United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Louisville Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
N. STIVERS, JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT.
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.
STATEMENT OF FACTS AND CLAIMS
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).
Defendant's Motion to Dismiss and for Summary Judgment
ruling on a motion for summary judgment,  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).
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
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
not Defendant's principal argument, the Court will first
address whether it has jurisdiction over Burke's FDCPA
claim under the Rooker-Feldman doctrine. 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.
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
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. ...