Judge Lessen

Moore v. Hermes (In re Hermes)

Plaintiff landlord filed an adversary proceeding against defendant debtors to have a rent obligation that the debtors owed to the landlord declared as a nondischargeable debt pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(4). The debtor farmed land that was owned by the landlord and had written a dishonored check for the rent payment.
Ruling: 
Debtors'rent obligation was deemed dischargeable since the landlord had no evidence of fraud, defalcation, larceny, or embezzlement.
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Pierce v. Carlson (In re Carlson)

Plaintiffs, creditors, filed an adversary proceeding against defendant debtor seeking a determination that the debt owed to them was nondischargeable pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 523. The debtor moved for summary judgment.
Ruling: 
Debt was deemed dischargeable since the creditor did not show that a fiduciary relationship was owed to it by the debtor and that the debtor submitted false statements.
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In re Smith

A lessor was sanctioned under 11 U.S.C. § 362(h) for violating the automatic bankruptcy stay by unilaterally terminating the farm lease of bankruptcy debtors, but the lessor asserted that the lessor did not know of the bankruptcy and that the debtors'tenancy was terminated prior to the bankruptcy. The lessor moved for relief from the judgment of sanctions.
Ruling: 
Lessor was denied relief from automatic stay violation sanctions since confirmed lease was in place and notice of the bankruptcy was not required.
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Richardson v. Schoemperlen (In re Schoemperlen)

Plaintiff bankruptcy trustee brought an adversary proceeding against defendant debtor seeking to revoke the debtor's discharge pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 727(d)(2) for the debtor's failure to turn over an inheritance that the debtor received after filing the debtor's bankruptcy petition. The debtor turned over the required amount immediately prior to trial.
Ruling: 
Debtor's discharge was revoked since the debtor failed to comply with instructions to turn over any inheritance obtained within six months of discharge and only complied on the eve of trial.
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Richardson v. Ford Motor Credit Co. (In re Casias)

Plaintiff chapter 7 trustee filed an adversary proceeding against defendant creditor seeking to avoid certain payments as preferences. The issue was whether the trustee could avoid as a preference wages paid to a judgment creditor within 90 days of the debtor's bankruptcy where a state court wage deduction order was entered more than 90 days before the bankruptcy was filed.
Ruling: 
Wages paid to judgment creditor within preference period pursuant to judgment order entered prior to preference period were avoidable transfers since the debtor obtained the interest in the wages after performing work.
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