United States District Court, D. Connecticut
ORDER DISMISSING CASE
A. DOOLEY, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
review of the Plaintiffs' motion to proceed in forma
pauperis, it appears that they are unable to pay the
filing fee and that they should be permitted to proceed
in forma pauperis. The Motion to Proceed in
forma pauperis is GRANTED. (ECF No. 2.)
the Complaint is sua sponte dismissed for lack of
subject matter jurisdiction. United Food & Commercial
Workers Union, Local 919, AFL-CIO v. CenterMark Props.
Meriden Square, Inc., 30 F.3d 298, 301 (2d Cir. 1994)
(“Where jurisdiction is lacking . . . dismissal is
mandatory.”); see 28 U.S.C. §
1915(e)(2)(B)(ii) (“Notwithstanding any filing fee, or
any portion thereof, that may have been paid, the court shall
dismiss the case at any time if the court determines that . .
. the action . . . fails to state a claim on which relief may
preliminary matter, the Court notes that it “may take
judicial notice of a document filed in another court
‘not for the truth of the matters asserted in the other
litigation, but rather to establish the fact of such
litigation and related filings.'” Liberty Mut.
Ins. Co. v. Rotches Pork Packers, Inc., 969 F.2d 1384,
1388 (2d Cir. 1992) (citing Kramer v. Time Warner
Inc., 937 F.2d 767, 774 (2d Cir. 1991)). Here, the Court
takes judicial notice of the housing matter cited by the
Plaintiffs in their Complaint, Liberty Home Equity
Solutions, Inc. v. Arnold, No. HFH-CV19-6013382-S (Conn.
Super. Ct. filed June 25, 2019). In reviewing the docket for
that state court housing proceeding, and the allegations of
the Complaint in their entirety, this Court concludes that it
lacks subject matter jurisdiction over the claims asserted in
the Plaintiffs' Complaint.
Complaint contains a series of seemingly disjointed
allegations which, without more, make it very difficult to
identify the nature of any of the legal claims asserted
therein. Using the form complaint for this District, the
Plaintiffs assert in the “Statement of the Claim”
section the following:
HOUSE HAD A FLOOD DUE TO PIPE BURSTING, LIBERTY/OCWEN
PROMISED TO FIX AND REIMBURSE FOR DAMAGES, TO THIS DATE NO
REIMBURSEMENT HAS BEEN FORTHCOMING NOR HAVE ANY REPAIRS BEEN
DONE. WATER SERVICE WAS FULLY CUT FOR A PERIOD OF FIVE
BUSINESS DAYS, LIBERTY/OCWEN IS EVICTING TO GET OUT OF
No. 1 at 4.) In the “Irreparable Injury” section
of the Complaint, the Plaintiffs assert that eviction would
adversely affect their four minor disabled children; that
they have no other housing option that would allow the family
unit to remain intact; that they would suffer continued
financial hardship; and that they would lose a large part of
their claim if they move out (presumably in this action).
(Id. at 5.) In the “Relief” section of
the Complaint, the Plaintiffs seek, in addition to monetary
damages, “injunction against execution of eviction
until a jury trial can be held. . . .” (Id.
allegations of the Complaint unquestionably “arise
out of a landlord-tenant dispute over which the federal
courts simply have no jurisdiction.” Ally v.
Sukkar, 128 Fed.Appx. 194, 195 (2d Cir. 2005) (summary
order). “Federal courts do not have subject matter
jurisdiction over landlord-tenant matters. Wrongful eviction
claims, whether for a temporary or final eviction, are state
law claims, and this Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction
over them.” Jordan v. Levine, No. 12-cv-03527
(RRM) (JO), 2012 WL 2921024, at *2 (E.D.N.Y. July 17, 2012)
(collecting cases), aff'd, 536 Fed.Appx. 158 (2d
Cir. 2013) (summary order); accord Allied Manor Rd. LLC
v. Berrios, No. 17-cv-02277 (WKF)(RML), 2017 WL 5558650,
at *1 (E.D.N.Y. Apr. 20, 2017) (same), appeal
dismissed, No. 17-1257, 2017 WL 8232189 (2d Cir. July
18, 2017), cert. denied, 138 S.Ct. 455 (2017);
Abubakari v. Jianchao Xu, No. 3:18-cv-00972 (JAM),
2018 WL 2971099, at *2 (D. Conn. June 12, 2018)
(“Landlord-tenant disputes are ordinarily governed by
state law, not federal law.”).
addition, to the extent the Plaintiffs ask this Court to
invalidate or to enjoin enforcement of a state court order,
the Rooker-Feldman doctrine precludes federal courts
from reviewing adverse state court judgments, such as the one
entered in the underlying state housing court matter. See
Sung Cho v. City of New York, 910 F.3d 639, 644 (2d Cir.
2018). Indeed, courts consistently apply the
Rooker-Feldman doctrine when dismissing matters
arising from summary process or eviction proceedings in a
state court. Morris v. Rosen, 577 Fed.Appx. 41 (2d
Cir. 2014) (summary order) (affirming dismissal of complaint
alleging due process violations resulting from
plaintiff's eviction “because [plaintiff's]
claimed injury stems from the adverse state court holdover
judgment, review of that judgment is precluded by
Rooker-Feldman”); Jordan v. Levine,
536 Fed.Appx. 158, 159 (2d Cir. 2013) (summary order)
(affirming dismissal of complaint seeking an order staying
the enforcement of a state court warrant of eviction as
barred by the Rooker-Feldman doctrine); Babalola
v. B.Y. Equities, Inc., 63 Fed.Appx. 534, 536 (2d Cir.
2003) (summary order) (affirming dismissal of complaint for
lack of jurisdiction where “a review of the complaint
would necessitate an inquiry into the propriety of the
eviction warrant issued by the housing court . . . [which] is
clearly barred under the Rooker-Feldman
doctrine.”); Rene v. Citibank NA, 32 F.Supp.2d
539, 543 (E.D.N.Y. 1999) (“The claims raised in the
plaintiffs' Complaint implicate the propriety of the
state judgment of foreclosure and eviction - the very issues
apparently decided by the state court. Because the
Rooker-Feldman doctrine compels a federal court to
give full faith and credit to the judgments of state courts .
. ., this Court is without subject matter jurisdiction to
hear this case.”).
foregoing reasons, the Complaint is DISMISSED and the Clerk
of the Court is directed to close this case.
Rooker v. Fid. Tr. Co., 263
U.S. 413 (1923); D.C. Court of Appeals v. Feldman,
460 U.S. ...