United States District Court, E.D. Wisconsin
JOHN L. MCLEMORE, Plaintiff,
U.S. BANK N.A. and DANIEL J. BOHRINGER, Defendants.
Stadtmueller U.S. District Judge
March 1, 2019, Daniel J. Bohringer (“Bohringer”)
removed a foreclosure action to this Court from Wisconsin
state court. U.S. Bank Nat'l Assoc. v. Daniel J.
Bohringer, 19-CV-317-JPS (E.D. Wis.), (Docket #1). He
did so in a transparent attempt to frustrate the consummation
of foreclosure on the subject property which he owned.
Id., (Docket #3). This Court dismissed the action
because it lacked subject-matter jurisdiction over the case.
Id. Bohringer was also denied leave to proceed
in forma pauperis but did not pay the filing fee.
by the dismissal of the removed case, Bohringer filed a new
action on May 7, 2019, titling it a “complaint in
mortgage foreclosure.” Daniel J. Bohringer v. U.S.
Bank N.A., 19-CV-665-JPS (E.D. Wis.), (Docket #1).
Bohringer apparently believed that he had a “purchase
money mortgage” in the property underlying the first
action. Id., (Docket #1 at 2). The
“mortgage” was in fact an attempt by Bohringer to
convey the property from himself to his own trust.
Id., (Docket #1-1 at 1-7). Despite the sham nature
of this transaction, according to Bohringer, the trust's
“purchase money mortgage” had priority over
Defendant U.S. Bank's (“U.S. Bank”) mortgage,
and so entitled the trust to foreclose against U.S. Bank.
Id., (Docket #1 at 2-4). The lawsuit asserted that
U.S. Bank owed him “‘$300, 000” payable in
lawful ‘gold or silver money' of the United
States.” Id., (Docket #1 at 4). Bohringer
further demanded that U.S. Bank “‘prove their
title, '” and if they failed to do so, “their
title will revert to [Bohringer].” Id.,
(Docket #1 at 5).
the first case, Bohringer sought to proceed in forma
pauperis. Id., (Docket #2). The Court reviewed
the financial information he submitted and found that he did
not qualify for this benefit. Id., (Docket #4). It
ordered Bohringer to pay the full filing fees he owed in the
first and second cases, which he failed to do. The Court then
dismissed the case on May 29, 2019. Id., (Docket
same day, Bohringer orchestrated the filing of a third action
concerning the foreclosure of the property-the instant case.
Here, Bohringer makes precisely the same allegations that
were offered in the second case. Compare
19-CV-665-JPS, (Docket #1) with 19-CV-803-JPS,
(Docket #1). This time, however, Bohringer identified himself
as a defendant and John L. McLemore (“McLemore”)
as the plaintiff, namely as a “substitute
trustee” for Bohringer's trust. See
19-CV-803, (Docket #1 at 1). The Court does not know who
McLemore is, whether he is aware of this case, or that his
name has been used by Bohringer. In any event, McLemore
resides at the same address Bohringer that has utilized for
his other court filings.
the first action, this latest case must be dismissed for want
of subject-matter jurisdiction. As the Court has already
explained to Bohringer, federal courts are courts of limited
jurisdiction, and may only hear cases in two primary
categories: 1) those raising issues of federal law, known as
“federal question” jurisdiction, and 2) those
between parties who are citizens of different states and
which involve an amount in controversy exceeding $75, 000.00,
known as “diversity” jurisdiction. See 28 U.S.C.
§§ 1331 and 1332(a). Foreclosure of mortgages is
not an issue of federal law. Moreover, with Bohringer aligned
as a defendant, there is not complete diversity among the
parties in the case.
the issue of subject-matter jurisdiction, this action is
barred by the Rooker-Feldman doctrine. Rooker v.
Fidelity Trust Co., 263 U.S. 413 (1923); District of
Columbia Court of Appeals v. Feldman, 460 U.S. 462
(1983). Rooker-Feldman precludes lower federal
courts from exercising what would effectively be appellate
jurisdiction over final state court judgments. Lance v.
Dennis, 546 U.S. 459, 463 (2006). It is “a narrow
doctrine, confined to ‘cases brought by state-court
losers complaining of injuries caused by state-court
judgments rendered before the district court proceedings
commenced and inviting district court review and rejection of
those judgments.'” Id. at 464 (quoting
Exxon Mobil Corp. v. Saudi Basic Indus. Corp., 544
U.S. 280, 284 (2005)).
foreclosure claim is precisely the sort which is prohibited
by Rooker-Feldman. Bohringer's goal in this case
is to undermine or modify the state court judgment of
foreclosure, and be paid $300, 000 in the process. This is
clearly impermissible. The only legitimate method available
to avoid the state court judgment is to appeal through the
state court system and, if Bohringer is unsuccessful there,
to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. If all of those options
fail, the judgment is final and is no longer reviewable.
action must, therefore, be dismissed for lack of
jurisdiction.Further, in light of Bohringer's
repeated frivolous filings, the Court is obliged to impose a
sanction against him. The Court will fine Bohringer in the
amount of $200. Bohringer shall also be obligated to pay the
filing fees he owes from the first two cases (the filing fee
was paid for the instant case), which total $800. Thus,
Bohringer owes the Court $1, 000. Until he pays that amount,
the Clerk of the Court in this District shall return,
unfiled, any papers submitted by Bohringer except for those
in defense of a federal criminal case or applying for a writ
of habeas corpus. Bradley v. Wis. Dep't of Children
& Families, 715 Fed.Appx. 549, 550 (7th Cir. 2018),
citing Support Sys. Int'l v. Mack, 45 F.3d 185,
186 (7th Cir. 1995). Bohringer may move the Court, no earlier
than two years from the date of this Order, to rescind or
modify this filing ban. A copy of this Order will be mailed
IT IS ORDERED that this action be and the
same is hereby DISMISSED without prejudice
for want of jurisdiction; and
IS FURTHER ORDERED that Daniel J. Bohringer is fined
in the amount of $200. Bohringer is also obligated to pay the
$800 in filing fees he owes stemming from Nos. 19-CV-317 and
19-CV-665. Thus, Bohringer owes the Court $1, 000. Until he
pays this amount in full, the Clerk of the Court of this
District is directed to return unfiled any papers submitted
by Bohringer except for those in defense of a federal
criminal case or applying for a writ of habeas corpus.
Clerk of the Court is directed to enter judgment accordingly.