United States District Court, D. Connecticut
ORDER OF DISMISSAL
CHARLES S. HAIGHT, JR. Senior United States District Judge
before the Court is Plaintiff's "Motion for
Emergency Preliminary Injunction" [Doc. 21]. However,
the Court is barred from considering such a motion because it
lacks subject matter jurisdiction over this matter. In
general, "[a] party seeking a preliminary injunction
must ordinarily establish (1) 'irreparable harm'; (2)
'either (a) a likelihood of success on the merits, or (b)
sufficiently serious questions going to the merits of its
claims to make them fair ground for litigation, plus a
balance of the hardships tipping decidedly in favor of the
moving party'; and (3) 'that a preliminary injunction
is in the public interest.'" New York ex rel.
Schneiderman v. Actavis PLC, 787 F.3d 638, 650 (2d Cir.
2015) (quoting Oneida Nation of New York v. Cuomo,
645 F.3d 154, 164 (2d Cir. 2011)). However, upon examination
of the Complaint, the Court is unable to assume jurisdiction
to consider this motion because the Rooker-Feldman
doctrine bars her claims as a matter of law. See,
e.g., Gentner v. Shulman, 55 F.3d 87, 90 (2d
Cir. 1995) (vacating district court's order denying
preliminary injunction and remanding case with instructions
to dismiss because "district court should have refused
to assume jurisdiction under either the
Rooker-Feldman doctrine or the Younger
challenge under the Rooker-Feldman doctrine is a
challenge for lack of subject matter jurisdiction,
Gentner, 55 F.3d at 89, so may be raised at any time
by either party or sua sponte by the court,
Transatlantic Marine Claims Agency, Inc. v. Ace Shipping
Corp., 109 F.3d 105, 107-08 (2d Cir.1997).
"Under the Rooker-Feldman doctrine, federal
district courts lack jurisdiction over cases that essentially
amount to appeals of state court judgments."
Vossbrinck v. Accredited Home Lenders, Inc., 773
F.3d 423, 426 (2d Cir. 2014). Specifically, the
Rooker-Feldman doctrine "directs federal courts
to abstain from considering claims when . . . (1) the
plaintiff lost in state court, (2) the plaintiff complains of
injuries caused by the state court judgment, (3) the
plaintiff invites district court review [and rejection] of
that judgment, and (4) the state court judgment was entered
before the plaintiff's federal suit commenced."
McKithen v. Brown, 626 F.3d 143, 154 (2d Cir. 2010)
(citing Hoblock v. Albany Cty. Bd. of Elections, 422
F.3d 77, 85 (2d Cir. 2005)).
present case, as argued by Defendant Bank of America in its
motion to dismiss [Doc. 8], Plaintiff's allegations are
inextricably intertwined with the prior state court judgment
of strict foreclosure, such that her federal claim would
succeed only if the state court wrongly decided the
issues. See Wells Fargo Bank v. Lewis,
No. FBT-CV07-5006088-S (Conn. Super. Ct. 2006). Here, all
four of the Rooker-Feldman factors are present.
First, Plaintiff lost in the foreclosure action in the
Connecticut Superior Court and strict foreclosure was entered
against her. Second, Plaintiff alleges she has been injured
by the Connecticut court's adjudication in the
foreclosure action because each claim in her present
Complaint relates to allegations that challenge the mortgage
on 1020 Old Town Road, Trumbull, Connecticut, the assignments
of that mortgage, and the securitization of the loan of $205,
000 granted to Plaintiff and secured by the
mortgage. Third, the judgment of strict foreclosure
entered in state court on April 3, 2018, predates this
action. Fourth, allowing Plaintiff to proceed with this
action would require the Court to re-adjudicate issues
already litigated and resolved in Connecticut Superior Court
(e.g., the note and mortgage are valid and
enforceable, the Plaintiff defaulted, and the Bank has
standing to foreclose and is entitled to judgment of strict
response to refute application of the Rooker-Feldman
doctrine is the conclusory allegation that the final judgment
in the foreclosure proceeding was "procured by extrinsic
fraud upon the Court." Doc. 12, ¶ 3. She also
asserts that Defendant Bank of America's counsel's
"attempts to invoke . . [this] affirmative defense . . .
for claim preclusion purposes [are] scandalous."
Id., ¶ 4. Lastly, she deems the state court
judgment to be "extraneous and inconsequential to this
case." Id. None of these statements, however,
provides grounds to escape application of the
Rooker-Feldman doctrine. The Second Circuit has held
that "[w]here a party asks the federal court to grant
him title to his property because the foreclosure judgment
was obtained fraudulently, Rooker-Feldman bars [that
party's] claim." Vossbrinck, 773 F.3d at
427. See also Gonzalez v. Ocwen Home Loan Servicing,
74 F.Supp.3d 504, 513 (D. Conn. 2015) ("Even where a
plaintiff alleges that a state court judgment was procured by
fraud, Rooker-Feldman will divest the federal court
of jurisdiction.") (collecting cases)), aff'd
sub nom. Gonzalez v. Deutsche Bank Nat. Tr. Co., 632
Fed.Appx. 32 (2d Cir. 2016).
"[i]n the particular context of state court judgments of
foreclosure, 'Courts in this Circuit have consistently
held that any attack on a judgment of foreclosure is clearly
barred by the Rooker-Feldman doctrine.'"
Gonzalez, 74 F.Supp.3d at 514 (quoting Gunn v.
Ambac Assur. Corp., No. 11 Civ. 5497(PAC)(JLC), 2012 WL
2401649, at *12 (S.D.N.Y. June 26, 2012) (collecting cases)).
review of the record in this case, the
Rooker-Feldman doctrine bars Plaintiff's action
in this Court. Accordingly, this Court lacks subject matter
jurisdiction to resolve Plaintiff's requests for relief,
including her "Emergency Motion" [Doc.
The Court must dismiss Plaintiff's action in total.
See Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(h)(3)("If the court
determines at any time that it lacks subject-matter
jurisdiction, the court must dismiss the action.").
See also Gentner, 55 F.3d 88 (remanding case for
dismissal due to Rooker-Feldman bar).
to the extent Plaintiff's complaint can be liberally
construed to allege injury stemming from the same transaction
but not directly caused by the foreclosure judgment -
i.e., so that her claims are not all barred by
Rooker-Feldman - these claims would still be subject
to dismissal on the ground of claim preclusion. See
Gonzalez, 632 Fed.Appx. at 34. See also Marcel
Fashions Grp., Inc. v. Lucky Brand Dungarees, Inc., 779
F.3d 102, 107-08 (2d Cir. 2015) ("Under claim
preclusion, a final judgment forecloses successive
litigation of the very same claim, whether or not
relitigation of the claim raises the same issues as the
earlier suit. The doctrine precludes not only litigation of
claims raised and adjudicated in a prior litigation between
the parties (and their privies), but also of claims that
might have been raised in the prior litigation but were
not.") (emphasis in original; citations and internal
quotation marks omitted); O'Connor v. Pierson,
568 F.3d 64, 69 (2d Cir. 2009) (stating that, under
Connecticut law, "[c]laim preclusion prevents the
pursuit of any claims relating to the cause of action which
were actually made or might have been made") (internal
quotation marks omitted)). Plaintiff had a full and fair
opportunity to litigate her claims in Wells Fargo Bank v.
Lewis, No. FBT-CV07-5006088-S (Conn. Super. Ct. 2006).
Therefore, to the extent the claims are not barred by
Rooker-Feldman, they must nevertheless be dismissed
Complaint is DISMISSED. The Clerk is directed to terminate
all pending motions and close the file.
 Public records reflect that a judgment
of strict foreclosure was entered in Wells Fargo Bank v.
Lewis, No. FBT-CV07-5006088-S, on April 3, 2018, by
Judge Hartmere and then modified and re-entered on May 14,
2019, by Judge Bruno. Plaintiff commenced the present action
immediately thereafter on May 14, 2019. Plaintiff had
previously filed a notice of removal to federal district
court on March 8, 2019. However, District Judge Shea remanded
to state court on March 13, 2019, having found that Plaintiff
had improperly attempted to remove the foreclosure action to
federal court because there was no federal subject matter
jurisdiction. No. 3:19-CV-341 (MPS), Doc. 13 ("[A] case
may not be removed to federal court on the basis of a federal
defense, including the defense of pre-emption, even if the
defense is anticipated in the plaintiff's complaint, and
even if both parties concede that the federal defense is the
only question truly at issue.") (quoting Caterpillar
Inc. v. Williams, 482 U.S. 386, 392 (1987)).
 In addition, Plaintiff pleads numerous
injuries related to the outcome of the state action,
including, inter alia, "actual damages"
and "emotional distress." Doc. 1 (Complaint), at
 In any event, it is well settled that
a plaintiff may not rely on a legal theory not raised in
state court to escape the Rooker-Feldman bar.
See, e.g., Pharr v. Evergreen Garden, Inc., 123
Fed.Appx. 420, 423 n.2 (2d Cir. 2005). "[T]he
applicability of the Rooker-Feldman doctrine turns
not on the similarity between a party's state-court and
federal-court claims . . . but rather on the causal
relationship between the state-court judgment and the injury
of which the party complains in federal court."
McKithen v. Brown, 481 F.3d 89, 97-98 (2d Cir.
2007), cert. denied, 552 U.S. 1179 (2008). Plaintiff
has brought this action in district court by asserting claims
such as violation of the Federal Racketeer Influenced and
Corrupt Organizations Act ("RICO), 18 U.S.C. §
1962, et seq.; Connecticut's RICO Act, Conn.
Gen. Stat. § 53-395, et seq.; Connecticut's
Unfair Trade Practices Act ("CUTPA"), Conn. Gen.
Stat. § 42-110, et seq.; the Federal Fair Debt
Collection Practices Act ("FDCPA"), 15 U.S.C.
§ 1692k, et seq.; and the Fair Credit Reporting
Act ("FCRA), 15 U.S.C. § 1681a, et seq.
She also brings state law claims for fraudulent concealment
and unjust enrichment. However, it is well settled that a
federal plaintiff may not escape application of the
Rooker-Feldman bar by relying on legal theories not
raised in state court. Pharr, 123 Fed.Appx. at 423
n.2. Each claim is a collateral attack upon the
state judgment of strict ...