SCOTUS Petition: Does Rooker-Feldman’s extrinsic fraud exception apply to judicial corruption carried about state judicial officers

A Supreme Court petition for certiorari was filed this week in Chodosh v. Saunders, Petition No. 21-1374, arguing the Ninth Circuit departed from its own precedent and split from other circuits to hold the Rooker-Feldman doctrine’s “fraud on the court” exception does not apply to judges engaged in judicial corruption in state court proceedings.

The Rooker-Feldman doctrine precludes federal district courts from reviewing most state court decisions, with limited exceptions. One narrow exception is for extrinsic fraud.

The Ninth Circuit decision departs from the Seventh Circuit’s opinion in Nesses v. Shepard, 68 F.3d 1003, 1004 (7th Cir. 1995) where Chief Judge Posner held the RookerFeldman doctrine did not bar claim that there had been conspiracy in connection with manner in which decision was made.

The Ninth Circuit’s decision also departs from the Third Circuit’s opinion in Great Western Mining & Minerals v. Fox Rothchild, 615 F.3d 159, 161 (3rd Cir. 2010), which held that a conspiracy between the parties and the judiciary was not precluded by the Rooker-Feldman doctrine.

The petition in Chodosh v. Saunders, Petition No. 21-1374 argues it should be settled law that state judiciary involvement in bribery and conspiracy constitute fraud on the court and a denial of procedural due process.

“Ninth Circuit precedent is that judges that conspire and act for litigants to subvert judicial integrity are part of fraud on the court. The decision in this case transgresses Ninth Circuit law that fraud on the court includes fraud by an officer of the court.”

Chodosh v. Saunders, Petition No. 21-1374

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