Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems Inc. v. Johnston, 012319 FED9, 17-55053

Docket Nº:17-55053
Party Name:MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC., et al, Plaintiff-Appellees, v. TIMOTHY J. JOHNSTON, Defendant-Appellant.
Judge Panel:Before: RAWLINSON and BEA, Circuit Judges, and BASTIAN, District Judge.
Case Date:January 23, 2019
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
 
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MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS INC., et al, Plaintiff-Appellees,

v.

TIMOTHY J. JOHNSTON, Defendant-Appellant.

No. 17-55053

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

January 23, 2019

NOT FOR PUBLICATION

Argued and Submitted December 3, 2018 Pasadena, California

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Central District of California D.C. No. 2:15-cv-04853-PA-GJS Percy Anderson, District Judge, Presiding

Before: RAWLINSON and BEA, Circuit Judges, and BASTIAN, [**] District Judge.

MEMORANDUM [*]

Timothy Johnston appeals the district court's order granting Mortgage Electronic Registration System Inc.'s (MERS) motion for summary judgment. We have jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1291 and we affirm. Johnston sought and received a state court quiet title judgment without naming MERS, despite knowing of MERS's alleged interest in the property. MERS challenged the quiet title judgment in this action. The district court properly concluded it had subject matter jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a). The Rooker


Feldman doctrine did not deprive the district court of jurisdiction because MERS was not a party to the state court quiet title action. See Lance v. Dennis, 546 U.S. 459, 464-66 (2006) (per curiam).

The district court properly concluded that MERS had standing to bring this action. Plaintiffs seeking relief in federal court must establish the three elements that constitute the "irreducible constitutional minimum" of Article III standing, namely, that they have (1) suffered an injury in fact, (2) that is fairly traceable to the challenged conduct of the defendant, and (3) that is likely to be redressed by a favorable judicial decision. Lujan v. Defs. of Wildlife, 504 U.S. 555, 560-61 (1992). The quiet title judgment constitutes an injury in fact, which is directly traceable to Johnston's failure to name MERS, and is remediable through an order declaring the quiet title judgment void.

The district court did not err in concluding as a matter of law that Johnston obtained the quiet title judgment in violation of MERS's rights under section 762.010 of the California Code of Civil Procedure, and...

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