737 Fed.Appx. 79 (3rd Cir. 2018), 17-2220, Tonge v. State of New Jersey

Docket Nº:17-2220
Citation:737 Fed.Appx. 79
Opinion Judge:HARDIMAN, Circuit Judge.
Party Name:D. Richard TONGE; Just New Homes, Inc., Appellants v. State of NEW JERSEY; New Jersey Real Estate Commission
Attorney:Athan T. Tsimpedes, Esq., Tsimpedes Law Firm, Washington, DC, for Plaintiffs-Appellants Jeffrey S. Posta, Esq., Richard E. Wegryn, Jr., Esq., Office of Attorney General of New Jersey, Division of Law, Trenton, NJ, for Defendants-Appellees
Judge Panel:Before: HARDIMAN, KRAUSE, and BIBAS, Circuit Judges.
Case Date:September 11, 2018
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
 
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Page 79

737 Fed.Appx. 79 (3rd Cir. 2018)

D. Richard TONGE; Just New Homes, Inc., Appellants

v.

State of NEW JERSEY; New Jersey Real Estate Commission

No. 17-2220

United States Court of Appeals, Third Circuit

September 11, 2018

NOT PRECEDENTIAL

Submitted Under Third Circuit L.A.R. 34.1(a) September 7, 2018

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.N.J. No. 3-16-cv-01319), District Judge: Honorable Peter G. Sheridan

Athan T. Tsimpedes, Esq., Tsimpedes Law Firm, Washington, DC, for Plaintiffs-Appellants

Jeffrey S. Posta, Esq., Richard E. Wegryn, Jr., Esq., Office of Attorney General of New Jersey, Division of Law, Trenton, NJ, for Defendants-Appellees

Before: HARDIMAN, KRAUSE, and BIBAS, Circuit Judges.

OPINION[*]

HARDIMAN, Circuit Judge.

D. Richard Tonge and Just New Homes, Inc. (collectively, Tonge) appeal the District Court’s order dismissing their complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Because Tonge’s claims are barred by the Eleventh Amendment, we will affirm.

I

Tonge was licensed as a real estate broker in New Jersey. He attracted customers by offering incentives that apparently ran afoul of New Jersey law. The New Jersey Real Estate Commission initiated disciplinary action in 2005, and five years later entered a final order revoking Tonge’s real estate license and imposing a fine of $123,500. The Appellate Division of the New Jersey Superior Court affirmed, and the Supreme Court of New Jersey declined to hear Tonge’s case.

In 2016, Tonge filed this suit against the Commission and the State of New Jersey in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey. He asserted several causes of action, each of which rested on one basic claim. Tonge had argued to the Commission that New Jersey regulators had already approved his practices as part of an earlier settlement agreement. But the Commission found no such...

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