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Western District

Lankheet v. Porter (In re Bonzelaar)

Appellant seller sought review of a decision of a bankruptcy court, which found that certain real property was part of debtor's bankruptcy estate in the seller's case against appellee trustee.
Ruling: 
Property conveyed to debtor without her consent and listed in schedules solely upon advice of counsel was property of the estate.
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In re Wallace In re Wallace

Chapter 7 trustee filed an objection to debtor's claimed exemption in her undivided one-half interest in real property pursuant to Mich. Comp. Laws § 600.5451(1)(n), contending that section 600.5451(1)(n) was unconstitutional because it violated the Supremacy Clause, U.S. Const. art. VI, cl. 2.
Ruling: 
State could not create a customized set of bankruptcy exemptions for residents.
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In re Welch

After the debtor filed a chapter 7 bankruptcy petition, the United States Trustee filed a motion to dismiss the chapter 7 proceeding under former 11 U.S.C. § 707(b) (amended 2005). The chapter 7 trustee also sued defendant creditor, seeking to avoid a security interest in a vehicle pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 544(a). The creditor moved for summary judgment.
Ruling: 
Income of non-filing spouse was relevant to substantial abuse detemination but did not ultimately provide grounds for dismissal.
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Simons v. Hart (In re Hart)

Plaintiffs, an individual hurt in an automobile accident and his family, filed an adversary proceeding against defendants, husband and wife debtors, seeking a determination that their debt was nondischargeable pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(6) and (a)(9). The husband (debtor) had been involved in the automobile accident; he had been drinking.
Ruling: 
Debt resulting from intoxicated operation of motor vehicle was nondischargeable reagardless of degree of intoxication.
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In re St. Joseph Cleaners

A bankruptcy debtor's chapter 11 case was converted to chapter 7 and the chapter 11 counsel for the debtor received an award of fees which included the balance of the prepetition retainer paid by the debtor. The chapter 7 trustee subsequently discovered that the debtor's estate had insufficient funds to pay the chapter 11 administrative claims, and the trustee moved for disgorgement of a portion of counsel's retainer.
Ruling: 
Chapter 7 trustee's motion for disgorgement of portion of chapter 11 counsel's retainer paid prior to conversion was denied since confirmed plan payments were final.
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Olsen v. Slocombe (In re Slocombe)

A suit involving defendant, a chapter 7 debtor, was filed in the district court. The district court referred the suit to the court. Plaintiff, a chapter 7 trustee, later filed a motion asking the court to deny a discharge to the debtor pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 727(a)(4)(D), due to the debtor's failure to disclose information concerning the bankruptcy estate.
Ruling: 
Debtor was denied discharge due to failure to disclose certain information.
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In re Wallace

Debtor filed a chapter 7 bankruptcy petition, claiming that her interest in a particular property was exempt under Mich. Comp. Laws § 600.5451(1)(n). The chapter 7 trustee filed a timely objection to the claimed exemption, contending that Mich. Comp. Laws § 600.5451(1)(n) was unconstitutional because it violated the Supremacy Clause, U.S. Const. art. VI, cl. 2.
Ruling: 
Congress did not authorize states to create separate bankruptcy specific exemption schemes.
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In re Mars

The trustee filed a motion to dismiss debtors' chapter 7 bankruptcy proceeding, pursuant to former 11 U.S.C. § 707(b), on the basis that debtors were capable of funding a chapter 13 plan that would pay a significant amount to their unsecured priority creditors.
Ruling: 
Dismissal of debtor's case was denied since debtor did not have to choose chapter 13 over chapter 7 solely because a payment plan was feasible.
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In re Burrell

A chapter 13 matter came before the court upon debtor's Motion for Order Allowing Additional Fifteen Days to File Credit Counseling Certification. The trustee opposed the motion.
Ruling: 
Debtor's case was dismissed since debtor did not meet the prefiling credit counseling requirements.
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In re Lucre Inc.

In a chapter 11 matter, an alleged creditor that furnished the use of its network moved for relief from an automatic stay with respect to its interconnection agreement with debtor telecommunications company. The creditor requested that the automatic stay be modified so that it could attempt to dissolve state court injunctions that were preventing it from discontinuing services to debtor notwithstanding debtor's alleged breach of the agreement.
Ruling: 
Automatic stay was modified so that a creditor could move forward with efforts to relieve itself from two injunctions but not with regard to other issues including setoff rights.
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