690 Fed.Appx. 799 (3rd Cir. 2017), 16-3307, Rodrigues v. Unifund CCR, LLC

Docket Nº:16-3307
Citation:690 Fed.Appx. 799
Opinion Judge:PER CURIAM
Party Name:SHARON R. RODRIGUES, Appellant v. UNIFUND CCR, LLC; MULLOOLY, JEFFREY, ROONEY & FLYNN LLP; JOHN SHEERIN, Individually; ASHLEY CLAYTON, Individually
Attorney:SHARON R. RODRIGUES, Plaintiff - Appellant, Pro se, East Brunswick, NJ. For UNIFUND CCR LLC, Defendant - Appellee: Joann Needleman, Esq., Clark Hill, Philadelphia, PA; Steven M. Richman, Esq., Clark Hill, Princeton, NJ. For MULLOOLY JEFFREY ROONEY & FLYNN LLP, JOHN SHEERIN, Individually, Defendan...
Judge Panel:Before: RESTREPO, SCIRICA and FISHER, Circuit Judges.
Case Date:June 02, 2017
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

Page 799

690 Fed.Appx. 799 (3rd Cir. 2017)

SHARON R. RODRIGUES, Appellant

v.

UNIFUND CCR, LLC; MULLOOLY, JEFFREY, ROONEY & FLYNN LLP; JOHN SHEERIN, Individually; ASHLEY CLAYTON, Individually

No. 16-3307

United States Court of Appeals, Third Circuit

June 2, 2017

Submitted Pursuant to Third Circuit LAR 34.1(a) June 1, 2017.

NOT PRECEDENTIAL

Editorial Note:

This opinion is not regarded as Precedents which bind the court under Third Circuit Internal Operating Procedure Rule 5.7. (See Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure Rule 32.1)

On Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey. (D.C. Civil Action No. 3-15-cv-04830). District Judge: Honorable Peter G. Sheridan.

SHARON R. RODRIGUES, Plaintiff - Appellant, Pro se, East Brunswick, NJ.

For UNIFUND CCR LLC, Defendant - Appellee: Joann Needleman, Esq., Clark Hill, Philadelphia, PA; Steven M. Richman, Esq., Clark Hill, Princeton, NJ.

For MULLOOLY JEFFREY ROONEY & FLYNN LLP, JOHN SHEERIN, Individually, Defendants - Appellees: Mitchell L. Williamson, Esq., Barron & Newburger, Somerset, NJ.

Before: RESTREPO, SCIRICA and FISHER, Circuit Judges.

Page 800

OPINION[*]

PER CURIAM

Sharon R. Rodrigues appeals from the District Court's order granting summary judgment to the defendants. For the following reasons, we will affirm.

I.

Because we write primarily for the parties, who are familiar with the case, we discuss the background only briefly. In June 2015, Sharon Rodrigues filed a complaint in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, based on collection activities which occurred in tandem with a collection matter filed by defendants Mullooly, Jeffrey, Rooney & Flynn (MJRF) and John Sheerin, Esq. (" Sheerin" ) on behalf of Appellee Unifund CCR, LLC (" Unifund" ) against Rodrigues in the Superior Court of New Jersey. Rodrigues raised three claims: (1) violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), 15 U.S.C. § 1692 et seq., regarding the quality/nature of the proofs defendants utilized to procure judgment in state court; (2) violations of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act (NJCFA), N.J. Stat. Ann. § 56:8, and the New Jersey Collection Agency License Surety Bond statute, N.J. Stat. Ann. § 45:18-1; and (3) alleging that her credit report was pulled without a permissible purpose in violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), 15 U.S.C. § 1681 et seq.

Page 801

In February 2016, the defendants filed motions for summary judgment, asserting that the FDCPA and NJCFA claims were barred under the New Jersey Entire Controversy, Rooker-Feldman,1 and res judicata doctrines; and that the allegations regarding the FCRA should be dismissed because defendants had a permissible purpose for pulling Rodrigues' credit report. MJRF and Sheerin also asserted that N.J. Stat. Ann. § 56:8 does not apply to law firms/attorneys. By order entered on July 14, 2016, the District Court granted defendants' motions for summary judgment, concluding that Rodrigues' claims were identical to her state court claims and were therefore barred by the Rooker-Feldman and res judicata doctrines. The Court also determined that because Rodrigues' opposition papers failed to address the NJCFA claim, it was deemed abandoned. This timely appeal followed.

II.

We have jurisdiction over this appeal pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1291, and exercise plenary review over the district court's decision granting summary judgment. See McGreevy v. Stroup, 413 F.3d 359, 363 (3d Cir. 2005). Summary judgment is appropriate " if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). We may affirm on any basis supported by the record. Murray v. Bledsoe, 650 F.3d 246, 247 (3d Cir. 2011) (per curiam).

III.

On appeal, Rodrigues primarily takes issue with the District Court's ruling that her claims are barred by the doctrines of Rooker-Feldman and res judicata.[2] Specifically, she contends that her federal claims stem not from the validity of the underlying...

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