X

Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Tariq Salih filed a class action in Louisiana state court against Union Planters Bank, citing irregularities in the issuance of flood insurance. Salih’s claim alleged that UPB issued its policies through a California-based surplus line insurance broker, WNC Insurance Services. John Gavel was WNC’s agent in Louisiana. Salih had the trial court clerk issue a third-party deposition and document subpoenas to WNC and Gavel. WNC and Gavel filed a motion to quash. Though UPB did not join in the motion, it voiced support for it at a hearing. The trial court denied the motion to quash, but limited the scope of the document subpoena. WNC and Gavel appealed to the Louisiana Court of Appeals, which quashed the subpoena as to WNC, but not as to Gavel. None of the parties appealed to the Louisiana Supreme Court, and the trial court further clarified what Gavel would be required to produce. WNC then filed an action in federal district court for a preliminary injunction. The district court granted the motion, and made the injunction permanent. Salih appeals. HOLDING:Vacated and remanded. The court finds this case governed by the so-called Rooker-Feldman doctrine, which essentially says that an inferior federal court cannot modify or reverse state court judgments. Before the doctrine can apply, the court acknowledges that it must first determine the judgment would be entitled to full faith and credit. Therefore, the court will ask two questions: “(1) Would Louisiana courts give preclusive effect to the order requiring Gavel to produce the requested information; (2) if so, is UPB-which is not the named respondent to the subpoena-precluded from mounting a collateral attack in federal court against enforcement of the order?” The court determines that Louisiana law looks at a ruling denying a motion to quash a subpoena as a final judgment to be accorded full faith and credit for Rooker-Feldman purposes. It doesn’t matter whether the underlying judgment was in fact appealed to the highest level, what matters is whether the order was a final state court judgment and appealable. “The actions actually taken by WNC and Gavel-or even UPB-are immaterial.” The court then finds that UPB is barred from making a collateral attack. Despite its protests to the contrary, UPB was a party to the underlying action and had standing to challenge the production of information requested in the subpoena. It was also in a position to seek review of a state court ruling it thought was erroneously entered. “The fact that UPB unilaterally chose not to join WNC and Gavel’s Motion to Quash or to seek appellate remedies beyond the Louisiana Court of Appeal is of no consequence.” Again discussing the general premise of the Rooker-Feldman doctrine, the court also takes note of its case Weekly v. Morrow, 204 F.3d 613 (5 thCir. 2000), in which a party sought to enjoin a state administrator from enforcing an order. “Consistent with our earlier decision in Weekly, . . . we reiterate that inferior federal courts are without subject matter jurisdiction under the Rooker-Feldman doctrine to enjoin the enforcement of state court discovery orders that have become final if the federal plaintiff was legally entitled to challenge the discovery order through the state appellate channels to the Supreme Court of the United States.” OPINION:Wiener Jr., J.; Jones, Wiener and Prado, JJ.

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

Benefits of a Digital Membership:

  • Free access to 1 article* every 30 days
  • Access to the entire ALM network of websites
  • Unlimited access to the ALM suite of newsletters
  • Build custom alerts on any search topic of your choosing
  • Search by a wide range of topics

*May exclude premium content
Already have an account?

 
 

ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2021 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.