Freemanv.Thomas Whittington Bergan

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth CircuitMar 30, 2010
374 Fed. Appx. 744 (9th Cir. 2010)

No. 08-35634.

Submitted March 16, 2010.

The panel unanimously concludes this case is suitable for decision without oral argument. see Fed.R.App.P. 34(a)(2).

Filed March 30, 2010.

John B. Freeman, Maple Valley, WA, pro se.

Hall Baetz, Esquire, Jennifer Lenga Long, Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, Seattle, WA, Lauren D. Studebaker, Thomas Whittington Anderson Bergan Studebaker Tuttle, Issaquah, WA, for Defendants-Appellees.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington, Benjamin H. Settle, District Judge, Presiding. D.C. No. 2:07-cv-01510-BHS.

Before: SCHROEDER, PREGERSON, and RAWLINSON, Circuit Judges.


This disposition is not appropriate for publication and is not precedent except as provided by 9th Cir. R. 36-3.

John B. Freeman appeals pro se from the district court's judgment dismissing his action challenging a state court writ of garnishment against him. We have jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1291. We review de novo. Noel v. Hall, 341 F.3d 1148, 1154 (9th Cir. 2003). We may affirm on any ground supported by the record. O'Guinn v. Lovelock Corr. Ctr., 502 F.3d 1056, 1059 (9th Cir. 2007). We affirm.

The Rooker-Feldman doctrine did not apply when the action was filed because there was no final state court judgment. See Exxon Mobil Corp. v. Saudi Basic Indus. Corp., 544 U.S. 280, 292-93, 125 S.Ct. 1517, 161 L.Ed.2d 454 (2005) (explaining that when there is parallel state and federal litigation, disposition of the federal action, once the state court adjudication is complete, is governed by preclusion law). Nevertheless, the district court properly dismissed the action because the issue of whether Freeman's bank account contained funds exempt from garnishment was litigated by the parties or their privies in state court and decided by the Washington courts in favor of defendants. See Freeman v. Bergan, No. 05-2-26618-0SEA, slip op. at 1-2 (Wash.Super.Ct. Sept. 14, 2007); Freeman v. Bergan, No. 05-2-26618-0SEA, slip op. at 1 (Wash.Super.Ct. Oct. 3, 2007); see also Rains v. State, 100 Wash.2d 660, 674 P.2d 165, 169 (1983) (describing elements of issue preclusion under Washington law).

Freeman's remaining contentions are unpersuasive.