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Consumer Protection – FDCPA – Real Property – Homeowners’ Fees – Civil Practice – Subject Matter Jurisdiction

 

Since South Carolina courts recognize the right for liens to be imposed based on restrictive covenants and for those liens to ultimately be foreclosed upon, defendants’ foreclosure on the liens on plaintiffs’ properties is not a violation of the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

The court grants defendants’ motion to dismiss.

Plaintiffs are free to pursue their argument that these liens are illegal in the proper forum, namely, in state court as part of their foreclosure proceedings. Nonetheless, where, as here, there is no indication that the practice of filing a notice of lien and foreclosing on that lien violates any state law and state court decisions indicate otherwise, that action does not give rise to a claim under the FDCPA.

Plaintiffs’ requests for declaratory judgment ask this court to issue a decision on state law in a case involving parties solely from South Carolina. The court has no jurisdiction to hear these claims separate from some federal question, diversity of the parties, or supplemental jurisdiction. As explained above, to the extent that these relate to a claim under the FDCPA, plaintiffs are unable to state a claim. Therefore, the court lacks jurisdiction over plaintiffs’ cause of action for declaratory relief.

Having dismissed all of plaintiffs’ federal claims, the court declines jurisdiction over any remaining state law claims and dismisses them without prejudice.

Dismissed.

Erdogan v. Preserve at Charleston Park Homeowners Association, Inc. (Lawyers Weekly No. 002-131-18, 9 pp.) (Richard Gergal, J.) 2:18-cv-00084; Brian Gambrell for plaintiffs; Morgan Templeton, Stacey Canaday, Erica Greer Lybrand, Robert Wood, Kristina Maria McGuire, Robert Crum Osborne III, Mark Hedderman Wall, Michael Baxter McCall II, Douglas Walker MacKelcan III, Kristen Thompson, Donald Jay Davis Jr., John Joseph Owens, Mark Hedderman Wall and Perry Buckner for defendants. D.S.C.

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