United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
WILLIAM G. YOUNG UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
se litigant Olufunmilayo Sonuyi brings this action in
which she alleges that she is being wrongfully evicted from
her home. She names Beacon Residential Management, its
attorney, and the property manager as defendants. Upon review
of the complaint, the proposed amended complaint, and the
docket of her state court action, the Court concludes that it
must dismiss this action for lack of subject matter
to the state court dockets of Beacon Residential Mgmt. v.
Sonuyi, 11H84SP00687 (Mass. E. Hous. Ct.), 2019-J-0002
(Mass. App. Ct.),  in February 2011, Beacon Residential
Management commenced a summary process action against
Plaintiff. The parties entered into agreements for judgment
in March 2011, November 2017, and October 2018. On January 3,
2019, Plaintiff filed a motion to stay in the Massachusetts
Appeals Court. The single justice denied the motion on
January 14, 2019, indicating that the parties had agreed that
execution of the judgment of possession would issue on
February 1, 2019 and that Plaintiff had waived all appeals
and further stays:
The parties entered into multiple agreements for judgment.
The agreement entered by the parties on 11/30/17 expressly
provided for entry of the summary process judgment for the
plaintiff for possession as of that date. On 10/11/18, the
parties entered into a further agreement for judgment,
approved by a judge, and in which defendant agreed to vacate
voluntarily on 1/31/19, with execution to issue on 2/1/19.
Defendant also agreed to waive all appeals and further stays,
expressly agreeing that in no event would the stay be
extended beyond 2/1/19. After review of defendant's
motion for stay, the trial court docket, the parties'
agreements for judgment, and plaintiff's opposition to
the motion for stay, the motion is denied.
Residential Mgmt. v. Sonuyi, 2019-J-0002 (Mass. App. Ct.
Jan. 14, 2019).
has an obligation to inquire into its own subject matter
jurisdiction, see McCulloch v. Velez, 364 F.3d 1, 5
(1st Cir. 2004), and “[i]f the court determines at any
time that it lacks subject-matter jurisdiction, the court
must dismiss the action, ” Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(h)(3).
1257 of Title 28 of the United States Code provides that
final judgments rendered by the highest court of a state may
be reviewed by the United States Supreme Court if the
judgment raises a question of federal law. See 28
U.S.C. § 1257 (“§ 1257”). The Supreme
Court of the United States has held that, in enacting this
statute, Congress granted jurisdiction to review a state
court decision only to the Supreme Court-not to the lower
federal courts. See Dist. of Columbia Ct. of Appeals v.
Feldman, 460 U.S. 462 (1983) and Rooker v. Fidelity
Trust Co., 263 U.S. 413 (1923). Thus, under this
doctrine, referred to as the Rooker-Feldman
doctrine, a federal district court cannot exercise subject
matter jurisdiction over an action brought by a party who
lost in state court and who is “seeking review and
rejection of that judgment” in a lower federal court.
Exxon Mobile, 544 U.S. at 291.
Plaintiff is essentially asking this Court to review and
reject the judgments of the state court. However, under the
Rooker-Feldman doctrine, this Court lacks
jurisdiction to do so. In other words, Plaintiff cannot
pursue a de facto appeal of the state housing
court's decision in this Court.
this action is DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE for lack of
subject matter jurisdiction. The motion for leave to proceed
in forma pauperis shall be terminated as moot. SO