Jacobs et al v. JP Morgan Chase Bank NA et al
Opinion & Order signed by Judge James S. Gwin on 4/19/17. The Court, for the reasons set forth in this order, denies plaintiffs' motions for Preliminary Injunction and Temporary Restraining Order, denies defendant's motion for leave to plead as moot, and dismisses this action. The Court certifies, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(3), that an appeal from this decision could not be taken in good faith. (Related Docs. 1 , 3 , 8 , and 9 ) (D,MA)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF OHIO
BARBARA JACOBS and
JP MORGAN CHASE BANK N.A., et al., :
CASE NO. 3:17-CV-0475
OPINION & ORDER
[Resolving Doc. Nos. 1, 3, 8 and 9]
JAMES S. GWIN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE:
Pro se Plaintiffs Barbara and Ronald Jacobs claim Defendants violated mortgage
disclosure requirements under the Truth in Lending Act (“TILA”) and breached a fiduciary duty
to them. They claim this renders the note and mortgage void. They also acknowledge the
property secured by the mortgage was foreclosed upon in 2013 in an action filed by JP Morgan
Chase in the Lucas County Court of Common Pleas. They ask this Court to assume jurisdiction
over the Lucas County foreclosure action, award them compensatory damages in the amount of
the note and finance charges, and award them punitive damages for wrongful foreclosure.
Plaintiffs filed a Motion for Preliminary Injunction (Doc. No. 3) and a Motion for
Temporary Restraining Order (Doc. No. 9) asking this Court to enjoin their eviction from the
property. For the reasons stated below, the Motions are denied and this action is dismissed.
In 2008, Plaintiffs executed a mortgage and a note, secured by real property. They
defaulted on the mortgage and JP Morgan Chase filed a foreclosure action in the Lucas County
Court of Common Pleas in 2012.1 The court permitted Homeward Residential, Inc.
(“Homeward”) to substitute as the Plaintiff for JP Morgan Chase on January 22, 2013.
Plaintiffs did not file an Answer in the action and the Court granted a default judgment in favor
of Homeward on February 7, 2013. After several legal delays, including Plaintiffs’ Chapter 13
bankruptcy filing, the property was sold at sheriff’s sale to Federal Home Loan Mortgage
Corporation (“Federal Home Loan”) in April 2016. Federal Home Loan filed an eviction action
to remove Plaintiffs from the premises. The Toledo Municipal Court granted a writ of
possession to Federal Home Loan on April 3, 2017.2
Plaintiffs filed this federal court action to challenge the validity of the note and
mortgage. They claim JP Morgan Chase “originate[d] money” for a credit/mortgage account
but did not loan any of its money to the Plaintiffs. They state, without explanation, that the
Defendants did not provide full disclosure of their right to rescission under the TILA. They also
claim the Defendants breached a fiduciary duty to them and abused their trust. They seek
II. Legal Standard
Although the Court does not hold pro se pleadings to the same standard as those filed by
attorneys, the Court may dismiss an action sua sponte if the Complaint is so “implausible,
attenuated, unsubstantial, frivolous, devoid of merit, or no longer open to discussion” as to
JP Morgan Chase v. Jacobs, No. G-4801-CI-201203430-000 (Lucas Cty Ct. Comm. Pl.
filed May 23, 2012).
Federal Mortgage Corp. v. Jacobs, No. CVG-16-18754 (Toledo Mun. Ct. Apr. 3. 2017).
deprive the court of jurisdiction.3 The claims asserted in this action involve issues that were
decided by the state court in the foreclosure action and are no longer open to discussion.
Furthermore, the Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction to award damages for wrongful
First, Plaintiffs’ claims are barred by res judicata. They challenge the validity of the
mortgage and indicate the Defendants did not provide full disclosure concerning their right to
rescind it. The validity of the mortgage was necessarily decided by the state court when it
granted a judgment in favor of Defendants. Furthermore, Plaintiffs actually filed a Notice of
Rescission in the foreclosure action two years after judgment was issued and the state court
rejected their arguments. Plaintiffs cannot file a case in federal court to relitigate issues or
claims already decided by the state courts.4 This Court must give full faith and credit to the
state court foreclosure judgment.5
In addition, this Court cannot declare a state court foreclosure action to be unlawful.
United States District Courts do not have jurisdiction to review or overturn state court
decisions.6 Only the United States Supreme Court can review a state court judgment, either by
appeal or by writ of certiorari.7 Under this principle, generally referred to as the Rooker-
Apple v. Glenn, 183 F.3d 477, 479 (6th Cir. 1999)(citing Hagans v. Lavine, 415 U.S. 528,
Grava v. Parkman Twp., 73 Ohio St.3d 379, 382 (1995).
Id.; Migra v. Warren City School District Board of Educ.465 U.S. 75, 81 (1984).
Exxon Mobil Corp. v. Saudi Basic Indus. Corp., 544 U.S. 280, 292 (2005).
Feldman Doctrine, a party losing his case in state court cannot file an action in a Federal District
Court claiming in essence that the state court judgment itself violated his or her federal rights.8
To the extent Plaintiffs are asking this Court alter the state court judgment of foreclosure or
declare it to be unlawful, the Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction to hear that claim.
Accordingly, Plaintiff’s Motion for a Preliminary Injunction (Doc. No. 3), and his
Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order (Doc. No. 9) are denied. Defendant’s Motion for
Leave to Plead (Doc. No. 8) is denied as moot. This action is dismissed. The Court certifies,
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(3), that an appeal from this decision could not be taken in good
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Dated: April 19, 2017
James S. Gwin
JAMES S. GWIN
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Berry v. Schmitt 688 F.3d 290, 298-99 (6th Cir. 2012). See District of Columbia Court
of Appeals v. Feldman, 460 U.S. 462 (1983); Rooker v. Fidelity Trust Co., 263 U.S. 413 (1923).
28 U.S.C. § 1915(a)(3) provides:
An appeal may not be taken in forma pauperis if the trial court certifies that it is not
taken in good faith.
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