Recent Opinions

ABI's Bankruptcy case opinion summaries website provides summaries of bankruptcy-related opinions issued by U.S. Bankruptcy Courts, District Courts and Circuit Courts of Appeal since 2005. Search almost 20,000 opinion summaries by keyword, relevant code section, court and judge. Opinion summaries are provided by our partner LexisNexis® Collier and are updated weekly.

Rieser v. Hayslip (In re Canyon Sys. Corp.)

Plaintiff chapter 7 trustee filed an adversary proceeding against several defendants, who were former investor clients of the debtor, seeking to avoid transfers from the debtor under both 11 U.S.C. § 548 and the Ohio Uniform Fraudulent Transfers Act ("UFTA") (exercising his "strong-arm" powers under 11 U.S.C. § 544(b)). The parties filed cross-motions for partial summary judgment.
Ruling: 
Transfers were deemed avoidable since they were made with actual intent to hinder, delay, or defraud creditors.
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Enron Corp. v. Ave. Special Situations Fund II LP (In re Enron Corp.)

Plaintiff bankruptcy trustee brought an adversary proceeding against defendant transferees of claims against bankruptcy debtors, asserting that the transferees'claims were subject to disallowance under 11 U.S.C. § 502(d) based on avoidable transfers received by the transferor bank in unrelated transactions. The transferees moved to dismiss the trustee's complaint.
Ruling: 
Court denied motion to dismiss trustee's avoidance complaint since the transferees'claims against debtors were subject to disallowance under section 502(d) if the claims were related to avoidable transfers received by the transferor bank.
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Comcast of L.A. Inc. v. Sandoval (In re Sandoval)

Plaintiff creditor, a cable television provider, sought a determination that its claim for statutory damages resulting from defendant debtor's alleged violations of anti-piracy and anti- signal theft laws under Cal. Penal Code § 593d was a nondischargeable debt under 11 U.S.C. § 523. The matter was before the court for decision following trial for the creditor to make a prima facie case that the debt was owing and that it was nondischargeable.
Ruling: 
Claim for statutory damages from debtor's alleged theft of cable services was deemed dischargeable debt.
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In re Hughes

The chapter 7 trustee filed a motion for approval of the sale of certain real property, free and clear of any liens, encumbrances or mortgages against the property, and also sought to impose against the proceeds of sale, his fees and expenses, as well as the fees and expenses of his attorney and his real estate broker.
Ruling: 
Trustee was denied motion to impose fee on creditor mortgagee for sale of property since trustee's efforts did not bestow benefit on creditor.
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Culley Septic Serv. V. Culley Excavation & Septic Serv. (In re Culley)

Plaintiff filed an action in state court against defendant company that was a "doing business as" of the debtor. The debtor removed the lawsuit to the court. The court granted plaintiff's emergency motion for a remand, and then granted the debtor's motion for reconsideration. Upon reconsideration, the court issued findings of fact and conclusions of law.
Ruling: 
Court abstained from adjucating the matter and granted motion to remand the case to state court since the case involved intrastate commerce matters only.
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Wells Fargo Bank of Texas N.A. v. Sommers (In re Amco Ins.)

Appellant creditor appealed to the District Court for the Southern District of Texas, the bankruptcy court's order granting substantive consolidation. The district court ruled unfavorably to the creditor and the creditor appealed. The significance of the case related to the nunc pro tunc substantive consolidation of the assets and liabilities of a corporation in bankruptcy and its sole shareholder, not in bankruptcy (until afterwards).
Ruling: 
Bankruptcy court erred in applying substantive consolidation nunc pro tunc since the court had authorized pursuit of state court litigation that it later invalidated well after the litigation had ended in a settlement.
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In re D & G Invs. of W. Fla. Inc.

Before the court in a chapter 11 case were the matters of confirmation of debtor's plan of reorganization, objection by creditor to the plan, and debtor's motion for cramdown as to creditor.
Ruling: 
Court denied confirmation of chapter 11 plan of reorganization with leave to amend to provide sufficient proof of feasibility.
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In re Seaman

A pro se individual bankruptcy debtor filed his bankruptcy petition, but the debtor neither filed a certificate of credit counseling with his petition pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 109(h) nor sought a temporary or permanent exemption from the counseling requirement under that section. The trustee moved to dismiss the debtor's petition.
Ruling: 
Court held that dismissal of case rather than striking debtor's petition as void ab initio was the appropriate remedy when debtor failed to meete credit counseling requirement.
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Bohlen v. Tsikouris (In re Tsikouris)

Plaintiffs, employee benefit funds subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 ("ERISA"), 29 U.S.C. §§ 1001 et seq., brought an adversary proceeding against defendant debtor, an employer, asserting that his debt for unpaid employer ERISA contributions was excepted from discharge pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(4). The benefit funds argued that a fiduciary relationship existed with respect to the unpaid contributions.
Ruling: 
Unpaid employer ERISA contributions debt was deemed dischargeable since no fiduciary relationship was shown.
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Izzo v. United States (In re Izzo)

Defendant United States sought review of an adversary proceeding summary judgment ruling by the bankruptcy court that the tax liabilities of plaintiff, a chapter 7 debtor, were not excepted from discharge under 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(1)(B)(i).
Ruling: 
Court reversed and remanded case since debtors'tax liabilities were deemed nondischargeable due to debtors'untimely filing of seven annual tax returns.
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In re Worldcom Inc.

Appellants appealed from an order of the bankruptcy court, which granted appellee debtor's motion to bar the prosecution of certain property-related claims initiated by appellants. The bankruptcy court ruled that any valid claims possessed by appellants were prepetition in nature and therefore had been discharged by the confirmation of debtor's plan of reorganization.
Ruling: 
Court affirmed ruling that causes of action arose prepetition and, thus, were discharged by confirmation of chapter 11 plan.
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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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Shadwick v. United States Dept of Educ. (In re Shadwick)

Plaintiff debtor filed an adversary proceeding against defendants, creditors, to determine the dischargeability of certain student loan obligations pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(8).
Ruling: 
Debtor was denied a request to discharge student loans since both debtor and debtor's spouse had potential to earn a good income despite their lack of effort.
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In re Miotto

The matter was before the court on the motion to dismiss the chapter 13 petition brought by the chapter 13 trustee for debtor's failure to comply with 11 U.S.C. § 109(h)(1). In response, debtor filed a motion to waive the counseling requirement.
Ruling: 
Debtor was denied a motion to waive the prefiling credit counseling requirement since the debtor failed to file a counseling certification and describe the circumstances of any potential exigent circumstances.
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