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Summarizing by Bradley Pearce

Wendy Adelson v. Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC

Summarizing by Amir Shachmurove

Uberoi v. Supreme Court of Florida

D.C. Docket No. 8: 14-cv-02321-TGW; 15-12636
The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the district court's order dismissing complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction based on sovereign immunity and the Rooker-Feldman doctrine. Held: Under the Rooker-Feldman doctrine, federal district courts lack subject matter jurisdiction over claims "based on constitutional or other grounds, that a state court's jurisdictional decision in a particular case has resulted in the unlawful denial of admission to a particular bar applicant." The Rooker-Feldman doctrine applies so long as the party had a reasonable opportunity to raise his federal claims in the state court proceedings. The Board's allegations about appellant's financial irresponsibility and bankruptcy gave her the opportunity to argue in her written answer and/or at the formal hearing that it was improper for the Board to consider her bankruptcy filing. Held: District courts do have subject matter jurisdiction under the Rooker-Feldman doctrine over "general challenges to state bar rules" but nonetheless, the district court lacked jurisdiction over that claim because Eleventh Amendment sovereign immunity prohibits federal courts from entertaining suits brought by citizens against a state, including its agencies and departments, and the Florida Supreme Court is a department of the State of Florida.
Procedural context:
Appeal pro se of the district court's dismissal of appellant's complaint that appellee unlawfully denied her application to become a member of the Florida Bar in violation of federal bankruptcy law.
Appellant filed a Chapter 13 bankruptcy proceeding in 2007. Her bankruptcy case was subsequently dismissed for failure to make scheduled payments. In 2010, appellant applied for admission to the Florida Bar. The Florida Supreme Court denied appellant's admission, citing her lack of candor and "refusal to repay her financial obligations." Appellant filed a written answer to the allegations and the Board of Bar Examiners held a formal hearing. The Board recommended the Florida Supreme Court conditionally admit appellant. The Florida Supreme Court rejected the Board's recommendation, denied admission to the Bar, and refused to rehear the matter. Appellant sued the Florida Supreme Court in federal district court, alleging violations of 11 U.S.C. 525(a) and violations of due process. The Florida Supreme Court moved to dismiss the complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction based on sovereign immunity and the Rooker-Feldman doctrine. The district court granted the motion to dismiss.
Carnes; Hull; Marcus

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