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Selena Jones v. Us Bank National Association

February 25, 2011

SELENA JONES, PLAINTIFF,
v.
US BANK NATIONAL ASSOCIATION, AS TRUSTEE FOR CREDIT SUISSE FIRST BOSTON 2004-AA1; AHL ACQUISITION, LLC, AS SUCCESSOR IN INTEREST BY WAY OF MERGER TO AAMES FUNDING CORPORATION D/B/A AAMES HOME LOAN; WELLS FARGO HOME MORTGAGE, INC., D/B/A) AMERICA'S SERVICING COMPANY; REAL TIME) RESOLUTIONS, INC.; WILLIAM J. PARKER; CODILIS & ASSOCIATES, P.C.; UNKNOWN SHELL COMPANY; UNKNOWN TRUSTEE FOR UNKNOWN TRUST; UNKNOWN BENEFICIARY OF UNKNOWN TRUST; UNKNOWN HOLDER OF THE NOTE; DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: James F. Holderman, Chief Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

In this lawsuit, pro se plaintiff Selena Jones ("Jones") alleges that defendant Codilis & Associates, P.C. is liable to Jones for violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 U.S.C. §§ 1692, et seq. ("FDCPA") ("Eighth Cause of Action"), based on Codilis & Associates, P.C.'s representation of defendant US Bank National Association, as Trustee for Credit Suisse First Boston 2004-AA1 ("US Bank") in foreclosure proceedings initiated against Jones in 2005 in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, County Department, Chancery Division (Case No. 2005-CH-06541) (the "Foreclosure Case").

On June 10, 2010, Codilis & Associates, P.C. filed a "Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Amended Complaint" (Dkt. No. 45), arguing that Jones's FDCPA claim should be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction or, in the alternative, for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). For the reasons set forth below, defendant Codilis & Associates, P.C.'s motion to dismiss is granted.*fn1

BACKGROUND

At this stage in the litigation, the court under the law must accept the factual allegations set forth in Jones's Second Amended Complaint*fn2 as true for purposes of ruling on the pending motion, drawing all reasonable inferences in her favor. Fednav Int'l Ltd. v. Continental Ins. Co., 624 F.3d 834, 837 (7th Cir. 2010). The facts set forth below are therefore stated from that perspective.

On April 12, 2005, Codilis & Associates, P.C., acting on behalf of US Bank, filed the Foreclosure Case against Jones in state court. (Dkt. No. 73 ("2d Am. Compl.") ¶¶ 68, 127.) The Foreclosure Case was based on Jones's alleged default on a loan in the amount of $155,200.00 ("First Loan"), which had been secured by a mortgage on Jones's home at 3622 Cherry Hill Drive, Flossmoor, IL 60422 (the "Property"). (Id. ¶¶ 26, 32, 68.) During the litigation of the Foreclosure Case, "Defendant US Bank and Defendant Codilis & Associates, P.C. falsely represented to the Cook County Court that US Bank is an assignee" of Jones's underlying mortgage. (Id. ¶ 164.) In fact, "US Bank was not the mortgagee and was not an assignee." (Id. ¶ 69.)

Additionally, although Jones "timely disputed all notices and claims of debt and demanded verification and validation," Codilis & Associates, P.C. did not obtain verification and validation of the debt owed on the First Loan, or mail copies of this verification and validation to Jones. (Id. ¶ 163, 169.) Rather, Codilis & Associates, P.C. "continued debt collection attempts without verifying the debt." (Id. ¶ 166, 170.)

On June 9, 2008, US Bank obtained a judgment of foreclosure on the mortgage securing the First Loan. (Id. ¶ 74.) On January 6, 2010, the Property was sold as a result of the foreclosure judgment. (Id. ¶ 77.) Jones's FDCPA claim against Codilis & Associates, P.C. was filed on January 22, 2010. (Dkt. No. 8.)

LEGAL STANDARD

Under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a complaint generally must include only "a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief." Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a)(2). To survive a motion to dismiss brought pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), "a complaint must contain sufficient factual material, accepted as true, to 'state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'" Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. 1937, 1940 (2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007)).

If the allegations of a complaint "fail[ ] to state a claim upon which relief can be granted," the complaint will be dismissed. Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6). In making its determination in this case, the court construes Jones's Second Amended Complaint in the light most favorable to Jones, accepts as true all well-pleaded factual allegations set forth therein, and draws all reasonable inferences in Jones's favor. Fednav Int'l Ltd., 624 F.3d at 837.

ANALYSIS

1. Jurisdiction

Codilis & Associates, P.C. argues that certain parts of Jones's FDCPA claim must be dismissed for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction under the Rooker-Feldman doctrine, which generally "precludes lower federal court jurisdiction over claims seeking review of state court judgments." ...


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