Rottier v. Paz

Real Property

New York Law Journal


Judge Paul Engelmayer

Rottier owns shares in a cooperative housing corporation (Coop) and is a member of its board. In 2010 R&L Realty, a partnership comprising Shomron and Fuks, contracted to sell 25 apartments to Paz. A state court's Aug. 2010 order authorized Shomron to sell the apartments to Paz in a bulk sale. In June 2011 that court granted R&L's Article 78 petition and ordered the Coop to "prepare, execute and deliver" all closing documents in connection with R&L's impending sale of the 25 shares to Paz. After the Coop continued to refuse to comply, the court's Dec. 2011 contempt order held Coop and Rottier in contempt for failing to comply with its June 2011 order. Invoking the Rooker-Feldman doctrine, district court dismissed, for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, Rottier's diversity action asserting tortious interference with contract, intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress. Rottier's stated interests in bringing suit were to protect herself financially as a Coop member, and to have the court "correct" the state court's allegedly incorrect judgements. The second is impermissible under the Rooker-Feldman doctrine, and the former was indistinguishable from the interests the Coop sought and failed to protect when it lost in state court.

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