Citi Makes Spokeo Escape on Late Mortgage Action

By Chris Bruce

Oct. 6 — A Citigroup unit’s failure to make public a paid-off mortgage isn’t enough for a lawsuit in federal court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit said today ( Nicklaw v. CitiMortgage Inc., 11th Cir., No. 15-cv-14216, 10/6/16 ).

The decision is the latest to apply the U.S. Supreme Court’s May ruling in Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, which said plaintiffs must show a “concrete” injury — one that actually exists — to meet the U.S. Constitution’s test for standing to appear in federal court.

The plaintiff in this case, Roger Nicklaw, said CitiMortgage Inc. failed to record a certificate of satisfaction within 30 days of the discharge of the mortgage as required by New York law.

The Eleventh Circuit dismissed Nicklaw’s appeal, saying it lacks jurisdiction because Nicklaw doesn’t have standing.

“He does not allege that his credit suffered or that he or anyone else knew that the certificate of discharge had not been recorded within the statutory period,” Judge William Pryor said for the court. “By alleging only that CitiMortgage recorded the certificate late and nothing else, Nicklaw has failed to establish that he suffered or could suffer any harm that could constitute a concrete injury.”

Nicklaw was represented by Todd S. Garber of Finkelstein Blankinship Frei-Pearson & Garber in White Plains, N.Y., and Scott R. Shepherd of Shepherd Finkelman Miller & Shah in Weston, Fla.

CitiMortgage was represented by Lucia Nale and Thomas V. Panoff of Mayer Brown in Chicago, April Boyer of K&L Gates in Miami, and Louis F. Bonacorsi of Bryan Cave in St. Louis.

To contact the reporter on this story: Chris Bruce in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mike Ferullo at

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