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Savvidis v. McQuaid

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

January 16, 2020

SOPHIA SAVVIDIS, Plaintiff,
v.
RICHARD MCQUAID, TOWN CLERK OF THE CITY OF NORWALK and COUNTRYWIDE HOME LOANS, INC., Defendants.

          RULING ON DEFENDANT COUNTRYWIDE HOME LOANS, INC.'S MOTION TO DISMISS

          CHARLES S. HAIGHT, JR. SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Pro se Plaintiff Sophia Savvidis (“Plaintiff” or “Savvidis”) brings this action, under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, seeking damages and injunctive relief from Richard McQuaid, the Town Clerk of the City of Norwalk (“Defendant McQuaid” or “McQuaid”) and Countrywide Home Loans, Inc. (“Defendant CHL” or “CHL”). Doc. 1 (“Compl.”).

         Plaintiff alleges that Defendant McQuaid violated the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution by “recording and maintaining false, misleading, and fraudulent records” from third parties in connection with Plaintiff's property located at 106B Comstock Hill Avenue, in Norwalk, Connecticut (the “Property”). Compl. at 1-2 ¶ 1.[1] She also claims that CHL failed to prevent such fraud. Id. at 2 ¶ 5.

         CHL has moved to dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint. Doc. 17 (“Mot. to Dismiss”); Doc. 17-1 (“Def.'s Mem.”). Plaintiff has not filed any opposition.[2] This Ruling resolves CHL's motion.

         I. BACKGROUND

         The facts herein are taken from Plaintiff's Complaint and CHL's Brief.[3] On April 14, 2003, non-parties Athina Savvidis and Anastasios Savvidis executed a note (“Note”) in favor of Americas Wholesale Lender (“AWL”) in exchange for a loan in the principal amount of $550, 000.00 (the “Loan”). Doc. 17-2 (“Exhibit A”). As security for the Note, on April 14, 2003, non-parties Athina Savvidis and Anastasios Savvidis granted a mortgage on the Property to AWL and its successors and assigns (the “Mortgage”). Doc. 17-3 (“Exhibit B”). On April 25, 2003, AWL assigned the Mortgage to the Bank of New York as Trustee (“BONY”). Doc. 17-4 (“Exhibit C”).

         On December 19, 2005, Athina Savvidis executed a quitclaim deed which purported to deed the Property to Athina Savvidis, Anastasios Savvidis, and Plaintiff collectively. Doc. 17-6 (“Exhibit E”). According to CHL-and Plaintiff does not appear to dispute this-Plaintiff did not hold any ownership or other interest in the Property until the date of the quitclaim deed. Def.'s Mem. at 7.

         Sometime thereafter, Athina and Anastasios Savvidis defaulted on their loan repayment obligations and failed to cure the default. Id. As a result, on September 26, 2006, BONY, as mortgagee of record, commenced a foreclosure action against them in the Superior Court for the Judicial District of Stamford, captioned Bank Of New York as trustee for the Certificateholders v. Savvidis et al., FST-CV06-6000164-S (Conn. Super. Ct. 2006). Id. BONY also listed Plaintiff as a Defendant in that lawsuit. Id.

         On March 26, 2007, the Superior Court defaulted all defendants for failing to plead. Id. On that same date, the trial court granted BONY's motion for judgment of foreclosure by sale and set a sale date of June 2, 2007. Id. No defendant appealed that judgment. Id. Nonetheless, the sale did not occur. Id. at 7-8. Rather, it appears that for almost thirteen years, the Parties have engaged, and continue to engage, in various motion practice in state court in connection with the foreclosure of the Property. Id. at 8.

         Plaintiff filed the instant lawsuit on July 23, 2019.[4] Plaintiff alleges that Defendant McQuaid has been “recording and maintaining false, misleading, and fraudulent records” from third parties in connection with Plaintiff's Property. Compl. at 2 ¶ 1. According to Plaintiff, McQuaid's actions are hindering her from financing and selling her property. Id. at 2 ¶ 2.

         According to Plaintiff, furthermore, sometime after CHL offered her family a loan in April 2003, the title to the loan was transferred, though that transfer “failed ab initio”-that is, from the beginning. Id. at 2 ¶ 3. Thereafter, false claimants to the loan “emerged” but allegedly lacked proof of the debt. Id. at 2 ¶ 4. Therefore, the false claimants made false statements under oath in an attempt to transfer the loan to third parties. Id. According to Plaintiff, CHL failed to prevent or stop the fraudulent activity. Id. at 2 ¶ 5. Meanwhile, according to Plaintiff, unknown parties have now recorded their own deed to Plaintiff's property. Id. at 3 ¶ 7.

         Plaintiff seeks damages from Defendants for the harm done to her and an injunction directing McQuaid to remove the fraudulent records from the City's rolls. Id. at 3 ¶¶ 8-9.

         Pending before this Court is CHL's Motion to Dismiss. Defendant makes a number of arguments: (1) that the court lacks personal jurisdiction over CHL; (2) that the Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to the Rooker-Feldman doctrine, or, in the alternative, that the Court should decline to exercise jurisdiction over this matter in accordance with the Colorado River and Younger abstention doctrines; (3) that res judicata bars Plaintiff's claims; (4) that Plaintiff's claims are time-barred as a matter of law; and (5) that Plaintiff's claims fail as a matter of law. For the reasons stated below, the Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over Plaintiff's claims under the Rooker-Feldman doctrine; and, therefore, Plaintiff's Complaint must be dismissed.

         II. STAND ...


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