Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Burke v. Lawrence & Lawrence, PLLC

United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Louisville Division

March 22, 2018

ED BURKE PLAINTIFF
v.
LAWRENCE & LAWRENCE, PLLC DEFENDANT

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          GREG N. STIVERS, JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT.

         This matter is before the Court on Defendant's Motion to Dismiss and for Summary Judgment (DN 43) and Defendant's Motion to Hold Plaintiff's Motion for Partial Summary Judgment in Abeyance (DN 69). The motions are ripe for adjudication. For the reasons outlined below, Defendant's Motion to Dismiss and for Summary Judgment (DN 43) is GRANTED, and Plaintiff's Motion for Partial Summary Judgment (DN 67) and Defendant's Motion to Hold Plaintiff's Motion for Partial Summary Judgment in Abeyance (DN 69) are DENIED AS MOOT.

         I. STATEMENT OF FACTS AND CLAIMS

         PLAINTIFF Edward Burke (“Burke”) filed this action alleging that Defendant Lawrence & Lawrence, PLLC violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”), 15 U.S.C. §§ 1692-1692p. (Compl. ¶ 1, DN 1). The alleged violation of the FDCPA arises from a prior action styled First Capital Bank of Kentucky v. Primera, LLC, Jeff Hardin, and Paul Barker, filed in Jefferson Circuit Court, Kentucky, Civil Action No. 11-CI-401831. (Compl. ¶ 2). Burke was a third-party defendant in that action, and the state court entered an adverse judgment against him. (Compl. ¶ 2).

         II. DISCUSSION

         A. Defendant's Motion to Dismiss and for Summary Judgment (DN 43-44)

         In ruling on a motion for summary judgment, [1] the Court must determine whether there is any genuine issue of material fact that would preclude entry of judgment for the moving party as a matter of law. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). The moving party bears the initial burden of stating the basis for the motion and identifying evidence in the record that demonstrates the absence of a genuine issue of material fact. See Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986). If the moving party satisfies its burden, the non-moving party must then produce specific evidence proving the existence of a genuine issue of fact for trial. See Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 247-48 (1986).

         While the Court must view the evidence in the light most favorable to the non-moving party, the non-moving party must do more than merely show the existence of some “metaphysical doubt as to the material facts.” Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986) (citation omitted). Rather, the non-moving party must present specific facts proving that a genuine factual issue exists by “citing to particular parts of the materials in the record” or by “showing that the materials cited do not establish the absence . . . of a genuine dispute.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1). “The mere existence of a scintilla of evidence in support of the [non-moving party's] position will be insufficient; there must be evidence on which the jury could reasonably find for the [non-moving party].” Anderson, 477 U.S. at 252.

         In support of its motion, Defendant argues that the Court should dismiss Burke's claims, inter alia, because it is not a debt collector under the FDCPA, and any such claim would be barred by the Rooker-Feldman doctrine. (Def.'s Second Mem. Supp. Mot. Dismiss 11-18, 22-23, DN 44). These bases are addressed below.

         1. Rooker-Feldman Doctrine

         While not Defendant's principal argument, the Court will first address whether it has jurisdiction over Burke's FDCPA claim under the Rooker-Feldman doctrine.[2] Under this doctrine, federal district courts do not have jurisdiction to hear appeals of final decisions from state courts. See Exxon Mobil Corp. v. Saudi Basic Indus. Corp., 544 U.S. 280, 283-84, (2005). See also D.C. Court of Appeals v. Feldman, 460 U.S. 462 (1982); Rooker v. Fid. Tr. Co., 263 U.S. 413 (1923). The doctrine is considered to cover only a narrow set of cases in which a district court is called upon to review or void a state court's decision. See Exxon Mobil Corp., 544 U.S. at 283. Rooker-Feldman typically precludes cases in which a “state-court loser” invites federal courts to review state court judgments. See id.

         Since the Supreme Court's decision in Exxon Mobile Corp., the Sixth Circuit “has tightened the scope of Rooker-Feldman.” Pittman v. Cuyahoga Cty. Dep't of Children & Family Servs., 241 F. App'x 285, 287 (6th Cir. 2007) (citing Coles v. Granville, 448 F.3d 853, 857 (6th Cir. 2006)). Applying Pittman, a sister court explained:

The Rooker-Feldman doctrine does not prevent a district court from exercising subject matter jurisdiction simply because a party attempts to litigate in federal court a matter previously litigated in state court, as long as the federal plaintiff presents an independent claim even if that claim denies a legal conclusion reached by the state court.

Whittiker v. Deutsche Bank Nat'l Tr. Co., 605 F.Supp.2d 914, 921 (N.D. Ohio 2009) (citing Pittman, 241 F. ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.