United States District Court, N.D. California
ORDER DENYING EX PARTE APPLICATION TO ENJOIN UNLAWFUL
DETAINER JUDGMENT PENDING APPEAL RE: DKT. NO. 74
JACQUELINE SCOTT CORLEY, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Brigette Taylor filed this action against Wells Fargo, Bosco
Credit LLC, and Franklin Credit Management Corporation,
challenging the handling of her residential mortgage loan and
subsequent foreclosure of her home. After multiple amendments
and rounds of motion practice, the Court granted
Defendants' motion to dismiss Plaintiff's Truth in
Lending Act, 12 C.F.R. § 1026.7 and state law claims
with prejudice and Plaintiff appealed. (Dkt. Nos. 68, 70,
72.) Following Plaintiff's appeal, the Contra Costa
Superior Court held a trial on an unlawful detainer action
regarding Plaintiff's home and entered judgment in Bosco
Credit LLC's favor. (Dkt. No. 74-1 at 12.) Over two
months later, Plaintiff filed the now pending ex parte
application to enjoin the judgment in the unlawful detainer
action under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 62(d). (Dkt. No.
74.) Plaintiff's request for an order enjoining the state
court's unlawful detainer judgment is DENIED as the
relief Plaintiff requests is barred under the Anti-Injunction
Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2283.
62(d) allows a district court to “suspend, modify,
restore, or grant an injunction” pending an appeal from
a judgment that grants or denies injunctive relief.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 62(d). A motion for an injunction pending appeal
is considered under the same standard as a motion for a
preliminary injunction. See Tribal Vill. of Akutan v.
Hodel, 859 F.2d 662, 663 (9th Cir. 1988). A party
seeking an injunction pending appeal must show (1) a
likelihood of success on the merits, (2) it is likely to
suffer irreparable harm, (3) an injunction will not
substantially injure the other parties, and (4) an injunction
is in the public interest. Hilton v. Braunskill, 481
U.S. 770, 776 (1987).
Court need not consider whether Plaintiff's motion
satisfies this standard because Plaintiff's motion fails
as threshold matter under the Anti-Injunction Act, 28 U.S.C.
§ 2283, which “is an absolute prohibition against
enjoining state court proceedings, unless the injunction
falls within one of three specifically defined
exceptions.” Atl. Coast Line R.R. Co. v. Bhd of
Locomotive Eng'rs, 398 U.S. 281, 286 (1970)
(analyzing the three exceptions enumerated in 28 U.S.C.
§ 2283). Under the Anti-Injunction Act, federal courts
can only “enjoin state court actions if one of three
exceptions is met: 1) as expressly authorized by Congress, 2)
where necessary in aid of the federal court's
jurisdiction, or 3) to protect or effectuate the federal
court's judgments.” See California v.
Randtron, 284 F.3d 969, 974 (9th Cir. 2002) (internal
citation omitted). These three exceptions are to be construed
narrowly. See Lou v. Belzberg, 834 F.2d 730, 739
(9th Cir. 1987); see also Montana v. BNSF Ry. Co.,
623 F.3d 1312, 1315 (9th Cir. 2010) (“[D]oubts as to
the propriety of a federal injunction against state court
proceedings should be resolved in favor of permitting the
state courts to proceed.”) (internal citation and
quotation marks omitted).
these exceptions apply here. First, “[t]here is no
federal statute authorizing a district court to enjoin a
state unlawful detainer action.” See Carrasco v.
HSBC Bank USA, N.A., 2012 WL 646251, at *3 (N.D. Cal.
Feb. 28, 2012) (collecting cases).
an injunction is not “necessary to prevent a state
court from so interfering with a federal court's
consideration or disposition of a case as to seriously impair
the federal court's flexibility and authority to decide
that case.” Atl. Coast Line, 398 U.S at 295.
That is, there are no orders of this Court which are
undermined by the state court's judgment on the unlawful
detainer action. In Plaintiff's appeal of this
Court's Order dismissing her complaint for failure to
state a claim and as barred by the statute of limitations,
Plaintiff challenges the Court's dismissal of her TILA
claim and her unfair competition claim under California
Business and Professions Code § 17200 et seq. See
Taylor v. Bosco Credit LLC, et al., No. 19-16727, Dkt.
No. 10, Appellant's Opening Brief filed Dec. 4, 2019 (9th
Cir.). Neither of these claims involve a dispute regarding
title to the property at issue (which had been sold to Bosco
in a Trustees' Sale prior to Plaintiff filing this
action, see Dkt. No. 56-1 at 50) and the only relief
Plaintiff could obtain if she prevails on these claims is
damages or restitution. See DeMando v. Morris, 206
F.3d 1300, 1303 (9th Cir. 2000) (“Failure to comply
with any requirement imposed under TILA's credit
provisions, including the original and subsequent disclosure
requirements imposed by Regulation Z, gives rise to civil
liability” in the form of damages under 15 U.S.C.
§ 1640(a)); ABC Int'l Traders, Inc. v.
Matsushita Elec. Corp., 14 Cal.4th 1247, 1270-71 (1997)
(finding that the remedy under Section 17200 includes
restitution of money lost by plaintiff or gained by defendant
as a result of unfair competition).
an injunction is not necessary “to protect or
effectuate the court's judgment.” 28 U.S.C. §
2283. This exception applies “to protect the res
judicata effect of [the court's] judgment.”
Randtron, 284 F.3d at 974. As noted above, the
Court's judgment here did not involve title to the
at-issue property and the unlawful detainer action has no
effect on the Court's determination that Plaintiff failed
to state a claim for relief under TILA or state law and that
her claims are barred by the statute of limitations.
Court thus concludes, as have numerous other courts, that
“the Anti-Injunction Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2283,
prohibits a federal district court from issuing a temporary
restraining order staying unlawful detainer proceedings in
state court.” Le v. 1st Nat. Lending Servs.,
No. 13-CV-01344-LHK, 2013 WL 2555556, at *2 (N.D. Cal. June
7, 2013)(collecting cases); see also Ortiz v.
California, 785 Fed.Appx. 477 (9th Cir. 2019) (holding
that the district court properly dismissed plaintiff's
action seeking to enjoin unlawful detainer proceedings in the
state court because “due to the provisions of the
Anti-Injunction Act, [the district court] could ‘not
grant an injunction to stay proceedings in [the] State
court.'”). To the extent that Plaintiff seeks to
challenge the state court's decision in the unlawful
detainer action, she may do so through the state court
system. Zavala v. Golden Empire Mortg., Inc., No.
11-02876, 2011 WL 13318960, at *2 (C.D. Cal. May 31, 2011)
(“In general, where a party is dissatisfied with either
the manner in which state court unlawful detainer proceedings
were conducted or with their results, the appropriate remedy
is to seek suitable appellate review within the state court
system, including a request for a stay of the underlying
judgment pending such review.")
reasons stated above, Plaintiffs ex parte application for an
injunction enjoining the state court unlawful detainer
judgment is DENIED.
Order disposes of Docket No. 74.