§ 523(a)(6)

Cozzone v. Ingui (In re Ingui)

Adversary plaintiff, a judgment creditor of defendant debtor, sought to have the default judgment for $3.8 million he had secured in a state court excepted from the debtor's discharge pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(6).
Ruling: 
Default judgment was deemed dischargeable since the creditor did not demonstrate that the debtor had willfully and maliciously caused or intended to cause injury to the debtor.
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DirecTV Inc. v. Deerey (In re Deerey)

Plaintiff judgment creditor filed a motion for summary judgment, seeking an order that defendant debtor could not discharge, pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(6), a debt owed to the creditor as a result of the debtor's willful violation of 47 U.S.C. § 605(e)(4).
Ruling: 
Debt owed due to willful piracy of creditor's stallite television system required hearing on issue of malice prior to determination of dischargeability.
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Hughes v. Wells (In re Wells)

Plaintiffs, a prison inmate and his daughter as his attorney in fact, brought an adversary proceeding against defendant bankruptcy debtor, the inmate's former attorney, alleging that the attorney retained fees paid by the daughter which the attorney did not earn. The bankruptcy court conducted a trial concerning whether a debt existed and whether it was nondischargeable under 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(2)(A), (a)(4) and (a)(6).
Ruling: 
Court ruled fees collected in advance by a debtor former attorney of the creditor for services that later did not need to be performed were dischargeable since the attorney debtor did not cause willful or malicious injury to the creditor.
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Khaligh v. Hadaegh (In re Khaligh)

Appellee creditor brought an adversary proceeding against appellant bankruptcy debtor alleging that the creditor's arbitration award against the debtor for defamation was not dischargeable based on willful and malicious injury under 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(6). The debtor appealed the order of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California which granted summary judgment to the creditor based on issue preclusion.
Ruling: 
Creditor's arbitration award against the debtor for defamation was deemed nondichargeable since the arbitration satisfied the requirements of an adjudicated finding of willfull and malicious injury.
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Bank Calumet v. Whiters (In re Whiters)

Plaintiff bank filed an adversary proceeding against defendant, a chapter 7 debtor, seeking a determination that all, or a portion of, its claim against debtor was excepted from discharge under 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(4) and (a)(6).
Ruling: 
Debt related to refinancing loan for a vehicle was deemed dischargeable since debtor did not act in willful manner regarding creditor interests.
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Merritt v. Rizzo (In re Rizzo)

In defendant debtor's chapter 11 proceeding, plaintiff creditor filed an adversary complaint against the debtor alleging that the state court defamation judgment the creditor had obtained against the debtor was non-dischargeable under 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(6). The matter was tried before the court.
Ruling: 
Court held that a defamation judgment against the debtor was dischargeable since the debtor believed the debtor's statement was true and thus did not inflict a willful and malicious injury.
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Gilbane Bldg. Co. v. Air Sys. (In re Encompass Servs. Corp.)

After the debtors' chapter 11 plan was confirmed, plaintiff contractor brought an adversary proceeding against defendant purchaser, seeking a declaration that the debtors'assignment of a subcontract to the purchaser was invalid and remained in the estate, and seeking an injunction against the purchaser from further prosecuting the subcontract in state court. The parties cross- moved for summary judgment; the purchaser moved for abstention.
Ruling: 
Court ruled that it did not have jurisdiction over an action involving the assigment of a subcontract since the subcontract was created independent of the bankruptcy and did not impact postconfirmation distributions to creditors.
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Thompson v. Brookshire (In re Brookshire)

Plaintiffs, an administrator and a son, filed a motion for summary judgment in their adversary proceeding alleging that a state court judgment against defendant debtor for compensatory and punitive damages resulting from a breach of fiduciary duty and conversion was nondischargeable, pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(6).
Ruling: 
Damages award from a breach of fiduciary duty and conversion action was deemed nondischargeable since the state court's finding that the debtor had harmed the decedent financially and physically supported a finding that the debtor had acted willfully and maliciously.
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New Buffalo Sav. Bank v. McClung (In re McClung)

Defendant debtor filed for bankruptcy relief under chapter 7. Plaintiff bank filed a proceeding to obtain a ruling that its unsecured claim exceeding $617,000 was excepted from discharge because of a willful and malicious injury to the bank, as contemplated by 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(6). The debtor sought dismissal of the proceeding.
Ruling: 
Creditor's claim was not excepted from discharge since the creditor did not establish willful and malicious injury by the debtor.
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In re Hettler

Plaintiff creditor brought an adversary proceeding against defendant bankruptcy debtors, alleging that the creditor's state court judgment against the debtors established willful and malicious injury to the creditor and thus the judgment debt was not dischargeable under 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(6) based on collateral estoppel. The creditor moved for summary judgment.
Ruling: 
State jury findings of actual malice sufficiently established willful and malicious injury under the Code and thus judgment was nondischargeable.
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