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Villarreal v. State

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

January 22, 2019

Eugene Villarreal, et al.
v.
State of New Jersey, et al.

          VIA HAND DELIVERY OR U.S. MAIL Eugene & Soon Sik Villarreal, Pro Se

          VIA ECF All Counsel for Defendants

          LETTER ORDER

          MADELINE COX ARLEO UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Dear Litigants:

         Before the Court are Defendants' motions to dismiss the Complaint filed by pro se Plaintiffs Eugene Soon Sik Villarreal (“Plaintiffs”), ECF No. 1, pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6), ECF Nos. 11, 20, 38. Plaintiffs opposed Defendants' motions. ECF Nos. 17, 24, 28, 31, 44. On January 22, 2019, Plaintiffs also filed an ex parte application for an order to stay their eviction. For the reasons set forth below, Defendants' motions are GRANTED and Plaintiffs' ex parte application for injunctive relief is DENIED as moot.

         I. Background

         While Plaintiffs' Complaint is not clear, it appears that this matter arises out of foreclosure proceedings instituted against Plaintiffs in New Jersey Superior Court on March 17, 2009. See Compl. Plaintiffs allege that Defendants engaged in illegal acts to deprive them of their property following the filing of the foreclosure complaint. See id Specifically, Plaintiffs allege that several Defendants fabricated signatures on court filings. See id Plaintiffs therefore filed the instant action on June 12, 2018 against numerous public entities, public employees, and private individuals alleging violations of their due process rights and their rights under “federal Public Law 39-26.” See id. at 14.

         On July 23, 2018, Defendant Michael Saudino, in his official capacity as Bergen County Sheriff and in his individual capacity, filed a motion to dismiss pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6). ECF No. 11. Defendant Saudino argued, among other things, that this Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to the Rooker-Feldman doctrine. ECF No. 11.1 at 22-28. On August 15, 2018 and November 21, 2018, the remaining Defendants[1] filed separate motions to dismiss, but joined Defendant Saudino's motion with respect to its argument that this Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction. ECF Nos. 20, 38.

         Because the Court agrees that it lacks subject matter jurisdiction, the Court need not address Defendants alternative arguments here.

         II. Legal Standard

         In deciding a motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1), a district court must first decide whether the defendant's motion presents a facial or factual attack. See Constitution Party of Pa. v. Aichele, 757 F.3d 347, 357 (3d Cir. 2014). A facial attack challenges subject matter jurisdiction “without disputing the facts alleged in the complaint, and it requires the court to ‘consider the allegations of the complaint as true.'” Davis v. Wells Fargo, 824 F.3d 333, 346 (3d Cir. 2016) (quoting Petruska v. Gannon Univ., 462 F.3d 294, 302 n.3 (3d Cir. 2006)). In contrast, a factual attack challenges the factual allegations in the complaint, either through the filing of an answer or otherwise presenting competing facts. Id.

         Here, Defendants argue that the facts pled do not establish subject matter jurisdiction under the Rooker-Feldman doctrine. Thus, Defendants' motions must therefore be construed as a facial attack. See In re Horizon Healthcare Servs. Inc. Data Breach Litig., 846 F.3d 625, 632 (3d Cir. 2017). Accordingly, in considering Defendants' motions to dismiss, the Court accepts the facts in the Complaint as true and draws all reasonable inferences in favor of the nonmoving party. Constitution Party of Pa., 757 F.3d at 358.

         III. Analysis

         Defendants argue that Plaintiffs claims are nothing more than an attack on the state court's judgment of foreclosure. Therefore, Defendants contend that this Court lacks subject matter ...


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