MCNELEY v. SHEPPARD MULLIN RICHTER AND HAMPTON LLP (2020)
United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit.
Dillard James MCNELEY, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. SHEPPARD, MULLIN, RICHTER AND HAMPTON LLP; et al., Defendants-Appellees.
Decided: February 10, 2020
Before: FERNANDEZ, SILVERMAN, and TALLMAN, Circuit Judges.
Dillard James McNeley, Pro Se Timothy Kim, Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP, Los Angeles, CA, for Defendants - Appellees
Dillard James McNeley appeals pro se from the district court’s judgment dismissing his employment action alleging due process and fraud claims. We have jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1291. We review de novo a dismissal for lack of subject matter jurisdiction under the Rooker–Feldman doctrine. Kougasian v. TMSL, Inc., 359 F.3d 1136, 1139 (9th Cir. 2004). We affirm, and remand with instructions.
The district court properly dismissed McNeley’s claims, other than the claim under the California Bane Act, for lack of subject matter jurisdiction under the Rooker-Feldman doctrine because these claims amounted to a forbidden “de facto appeal” of two prior state court judgments. Noel v. Hall, 341 F.3d 1148, 1163-65 (9th Cir. 2003) (discussing Rooker–Feldman doctrine); see also Henrichs v. Valley View Dev., 474 F.3d 609, 616 (9th Cir. 2007) (explaining Rooker–Feldman doctrine barred plaintiff’s claim because alleged legal injuries arose from the “state court’s purportedly erroneous judgment” and the relief he sought “would require the district court to determine that the state court’s decision was wrong and thus void”).
Contrary to McNeley’s contention that his fraud-based claim fell within the extrinsic fraud exception to the Rooker–Feldman doctrine, the district court properly concluded that the Rooker–Feldman doctrine barred review of his fraud-based claim because it was already litigated in one of his prior state court actions. See Reusser v. Wachovia Bank, N.A., 525 F.3d 855, 860 (9th Cir. 2008) (holding that the Rooker–Feldman doctrine barred review of a claim of extrinsic fraud because that claim “was itself separately litigated before and rejected by” the state court (emphasis omitted)).
The district court did not abuse its discretion in denying McNeley’s motions for reconsideration because McNeley failed to establish any basis for such relief. See Sch. Dist. No. 1J, Multnomah Cty., Or. v. ACandS, Inc., 5 F.3d 1255, 1262-63 (9th Cir. 1993) (setting forth standard of review and grounds for reconsideration under Fed. R. Civ. P. 59(e) and 60(b)).
A dismissal under the Rooker–Feldman doctrine is a dismissal for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, see Kougasian, 359 F.3d at 1139, and thus should be without prejudice, see Kelly v. Fleetwood Enterprises, Inc., 377 F.3d 1034, 1036 (9th Cir. 2004). Additionally, dismissals based on declining to exercise supplemental jurisdiction should be without prejudice. See Gini v. Las Vegas Metro. Police Dep’t, 40 F.3d 1041, 1046 (9th Cir. 1994). Accordingly, we remand with instructions to enter judgment without prejudice.
We do not consider matters not specifically and distinctly raised and argued in the opening brief. See Padgett v. Wright, 587 F.3d 983, 985 n.2 (9th Cir. 2009).
AFFIRMED; REMANDED with instructions to enter judgment without prejudice.
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