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.

Official Comm. of Unsecured Creditors of Schlotzskys Inc. v. Grant Thornton LLP (In re Schlotzskys Inc.)

Defendant accounting firm moved to abstain pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1334(c)(2) or in the alternative to dismiss for failure to state a claim pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) and Fed. R. Bankr. P. 7012 in a preference action brought by the creditors'committee for chapter 11 debtor, which asserted claims of negligence, breach of contract, aiding and abetting breaches of fiduciary duties, negligent misrepresentation, and gross negligence.
Ruling: 
Bankruptcy court declined to abstain from hearing state law aspects of preference proceeding.
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Napolitano v. Vibra-Conn Inc. (In re P.J. Patton Co.)

In this adversary proceeding commenced under 11 U.S.C. §§ 547 and 550(a), plaintiff chapter 7 trustee sought avoidance of certain transfers and recovery of $23,871.54 (plus interest and costs) as preferences paid to defendant involving, inter alia, three checks made payable to defendant and the debtor jointly.
Ruling: 
Checks payable jointly to debtor and third party and negotiated by the third party were avoidable.
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Harris v. Adams (In re Adams)

Plaintiff owner of a vehicle brought an adversary proceeding against defendant bankruptcy debtor, who operated an automobile repair shop, seeking a determination that a debt to the owner for damage to the vehicle was not dischargeable under 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(6) based on willful and malicious injury from the unauthorized use of the vehicle by the debtor's son. The bankruptcy court conducted a trial.
Ruling: 
Claim for damage to auto caused when debtor repairer's son drove creditor's vehicle after hours was not due to willful and malicious conduct by debtor and was dischargeable.
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Young v. Broussard (In re Broussard)

After an order of relief was entered on defendant debtors' petition for bankruptcy relief under chapter 7, plaintiff trustee filed a complaint seeking to revoke the debtors'discharge pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 727(d)(1). The trustee moved for summary judgment.
Ruling: 
Discharge revoked due to debtor's nondisclosure of cause of action against mobile home manufacturer.
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In re Brandon

Debtor filed her petition for relief in the instant case on April 17, 2006 (petition date). In the one-year period preceding that date, debtor had one case pending (prior case) under the bankruptcy code. The prior case was dismissed. The instant matter came on for hearing upon a motion by creditor to confirm termination or absence of the stay imposed by 11 U.S.C. § 362.
Ruling: 
Termination of stay pursuant to section 362(c)(3) applies only to debtor, not to property of the estate.
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Neal v. The Kansas City Star (In re Neal)

Appellants, a debtor and her unnamed creditors, sought review of a judgment of the District Court for the Western District of Missouri, which granted appellee newspaper's motion to reverse and vacate a bankruptcy court's order sealing the list of creditors under 11 U.S.C. § 107(b)(2).
Ruling: 
Bankrutpcy court abused discretion in sealing list of creditorsas list was not scandalous or defamatory.
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Velde v. Kirsch (In re Miller)

An involuntary chapter 7 petition was filed against debtor. Debtor converted the case to chapter 11. The case was later converted to chapter 7. The trustee commenced an adversary proceeding seeking to avoid a payment from debtor to a soybean seller of $44,955 as a preferential transfer. Pending was the trustee's motion for partial summary judgment. The complaint also sought to avoid a separate transfer, but it was not included in the motion.
Ruling: 
Subsequent new value defense to avoidance not available where preferential payment was made to cure a bounced check.
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Cross v. Mississippi Loan Ctr.

Plaintiffs, 17 individuals, sued defendants, three companies, in state court. The case was removed and remanded. After the filing of a chapter 7 bankruptcy petition by one individual, the case was removed. The individuals moved to remand arguing that assertion of bankruptcy jurisdiction was improper. Citing judicial estoppel, the companies asked the court to sever the claims of the bankrupt individual and submit them to bankruptcy jurisdiction.
Ruling: 
Tort action begun prior to filing date and but not claimed on schedules was dismissed as to discharged debtor and remanded as to other plaintiffs.
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Mann v. GTCR Golder Rauner LLC

Plaintiff, the trustee for a debtor in chapter 7 bankruptcy, moved for summary judgment in her adversary proceeding against defendants, a second consulting company, its owner, and the owner's wife, to avoid the sale of the debtor's assets to the second consulting company as a preferential transfer under 11 U.S.C. § 547.
Ruling: 
Sale of debtor's assets to another company owned by debtor's former CEO was not preferential as debtor was not an insider at time of transfer.
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Morin v. OYO Instruments LP (In re Labelon Corp.)

Pursuant to 11 U.S.C. §§ 547(b), 550 and 553(b), the chapter 11 debtor filed an adversary proceeding against defendant creditor to avoid certain transfers. After defendant filed an answer, plaintiff trustee moved for summary judgment and to amend the complaint to add intentional and constructive fraudulent transfer causes of action under state and federal law against defendant. Defendant cross-moved for summary judgment.
Ruling: 
Transfers to creditor pursuant to prepetition distribution agreement were not avoidable.
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In re Diaz

Before the court was the "1st Chapter 13 Fee Application" filed by debtors'attorney.
Ruling: 
Application for debtor's attorneys'fees denied in full due to filing of false schedules without adequately consulting clients or investigating veracity.
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In re Blinco

Bankruptcy debtors proposed a chapter 13 plan which provided for payments for four years and increased payments thereafter to pay their mortgage arrearage. The debtors'mortgagee objected to confirmation of the plan on the grounds that it was not feasible under 11 U.S.C. § 1325(a)(6), improperly claimed a setoff against the mortgage under 11 U.S.C. § 1322(b)(2), and did not cure the arrearage within a reasonable time under section 1322(b)(5).
Ruling: 
Confirmation denied due to debtors' insufficient monthly income, attempt to modify mortgage on primary residence, and failure to make payment towards mortgage arrearage until year five.
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In re Azbill

The United States Trustee's emergency motion to reopen the debtor's chapter 7 case to administer an asset was granted and a successor chapter 7 trustee was appointed on the same day. The successor chapter 7 trustee's subsequent motion to approve a compromise with a bank regarding a certificate of deposit was then granted. The debtor moved to set aside the order approving the compromise.
Ruling: 
Debtor's failure to receive notice of motion to approve compromise of claim where debtor's counsel received actual notice.
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Jensen v. Eck (In re Steele)

Plaintiff bankruptcy trustee brought an adversary proceeding against defendant transferee of payments from a bankruptcy debtor, seeking to set aside the transfers as preferential. The transferee moved to dismiss the proceeding on the ground that the transfers occurred outside the preference period of 11 U.S.C. § 547(b)(4)(B), and the trustee asserted that the period was equitably tolled.
Ruling: 
Close friend of debtor was not an insider so that transfer to the friend more than 90 days prepetition was not preferential.
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Scarborough v. Chase Manhattan Mortg. Corp.

Appellant debtor, during chapter 13 bankruptcy proceedings, sought under 11 U.S.C. § 506(a) to bifurcate appellee mortgage holder's claim. The bankruptcy court found that 11 U.S.C. § 1322(b)(2) precluded the debtor from bifurcating the claim, and the District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania affirmed. The debtor appealed.
Ruling: 
Anti-modification provision did not preclude bifurcation of mortgage secured by income- producing rental property.
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