Stubbs et al v. Riverside Bank of the Gulf Coast et al
ORDER re 1 Complaint filed by Cedric Raynard Stubbs, Dechantra Catrecia Stubbs. Plaintiffs' Complaint 1 is DISMISSED without prejudice. Plaintiff may file an amended complaint on or before October 28, 2016 in accordance with the above. Signed by Judge Sheri Polster Chappell on 10/14/2016. (LMF)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
MIDDLE DISTRICT OF FLORIDA
FORT MYERS DIVISION
CEDRIC RAYNARD STUBBS and
DECHANTRA CATRECIA STUBBS,
Case No: 2:16-cv-762-FtM-99CM
RIVERSIDE BANK OF THE GULF
COAST, TIB BANK, FIRST
HORIZON HOME LOAN, FIRST
TENNESSEE HOME LOAN,
REGISTRATION SYSTEMS, INC.
(''MERS''), SETERUS, FANNIE MAE,
JANE DOES and JOHN DOES,
This matter comes before the Court on a sua sponte review of Plaintiffs Cedric
Raynard Stubbs and Dechantra Catrecia Stubbs’ Complaint (Doc. #1) filed on October
12, 2016. For the reasons set forth below, the Court finds that it lacks subject matter
jurisdiction over this case and dismisses Plaintiff’s Complaint without prejudice.
Federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction and are obligated to inquire about
jurisdiction sua sponte whenever it may be lacking. See Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins.
Co. of Am., 511 U.S. 375, 377 (1994); Univ. of S. Ala. v. American Tobacco Co., 168 F.3d
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405, 410 (11th Cir. 1999) ("[I]t is well settled that a federal court is obligated to inquire into
subject matter jurisdiction sua sponte whenever it may be lacking." (citations omitted)).
"Without jurisdiction the court cannot proceed at all in any cause." Univ. of S. Ala., 168
F.3d at 410.
Liberally construing the Complaint, Plaintiffs appear to assert strictly common law
challenges to the foreclosure of their real property in Punta Gorda, Florida. (Doc. #1).
They request a Court Order of Foreclosure and Sale and allege that Defendants are
“several corporations who have fraudulently perpetrated and choreographed a plan of
action, with the intent to injure the plaintiff and deceptively steal the Title to their real
property purchased and self-financed, which is located at 25050 Harborside Blvd, Punta
Gorda, Florida 33955.
Plaintiffs allege that the state court erred by rewarding the
Defendants judgment because they failed to produce the Promissory Note.
District courts have “original jurisdiction of all civil cases arising under the
Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States.” Id. (emphasis added). “The wellpleaded-complaint rule has long governed whether a case ‘arises under’ federal law for
purposes of § 1331.” Holmes Grp., Inc. v. Vornado Air Circulation Sys., Inc., 535 U.S.
826, 830 (2002) (citation omitted). That rule “provides that whether a case 'arises under'
federal law must be determined from what necessarily appears in the plaintiff's statement
of his own claim[.]” Id. (citation omitted). In other words, “federal jurisdiction generally
exists ‘only when a federal question is presented on the face of the plaintiff's properly
pleaded complaint.;” Id. at 831 (quoting Caterpillar Inc. v. Williams, 482 U.S. 386, 392
(1987) (emphasis in original)).
Here, Plaintiffs do not indicate the basis for subject matter jurisdiction in the Civil
Cover Sheet (Doc. #1-9)2 and the Complaint does not assert any claim arising under
federal law. (Doc. #1). If the Florida state court has already entered a final judgment of
foreclosure against Plaintiffs, this Court has no jurisdiction to relieve them from that
judgment. Plaintiffs cannot challenge the state court’s final decision in the foreclosure
proceeding without running afoul of the Rooker-Feldman doctrine. See Rooker v. Fidelity
Trust Co., 263 U.S. 413 (1923); District of Columbia Court of Appeals v. Feldman, 460
U.S. 462 (1983). Under the Rooker-Feldman doctrine, a federal district court lacks
subject matter jurisdiction to review a final state court decision. See Nicholson v. Shafe,
558 F.3d 1266, 1270-72 (11th Cir. 2009). The doctrine divorces federal courts from
reviewing “state court final judgments because that task is reserved for state appellate
courts or, as a last resort, the United States Supreme Court.” Nivia v. Nation Star Mortg.,
LLC, 620 F. App’x 822, 824 (11th Cir. 2015); see also Exxon Mobil Corp. v. Saudi Basic
Indus. Corp., 544 U.S. 280, 284 (2005) (stating a federal district court lacks jurisdiction
over “cases brought by state-court losers complaining of injuries caused by state-court
judgments rendered before the district court proceedings commenced and inviting district
court review and rejection of those judgments”). Therefore, the Complaint is due to be
dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. The Court will afford Plaintiffs one
opportunity to amend.
Accordingly, it is now
(1) Plaintiffs’ Complaint (Doc. #1) is DISMISSED without prejudice.
Although Plaintiffs quote the statute for diversity of citizenship under 28 U.S.C. § 1332, there are no
allegations of citizenship in the Complaint, and thus the Court finds no assertion of diversity jurisdiction.
(2) Plaintiff may file an amended complaint on or before October 28, 2016 in
accordance with the above.
DONE and ORDERED in Fort Myers, Florida this 14th day of October, 2016.
Copies: All Parties of Record
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