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.

In re Teraforce Tech. Corp.

The law firm for the unsecured creditors' committee in a chapter 11 bankruptcy case applied for the allowance of compensation and reimbursement of expenses under 11 U.S.C. § 330(a). A secured creditor and the reorganized debtor were the objecting parties.
Ruling: 
Attorneys'fees approved with reduction for reasonableness and inappropriate time entries.
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In re Custom Servs. Intl Inc.

Two attorneys for a bankruptcy debtor applied for attorney fees and expenses. The chapter 7 trustee objected to the applications.
Ruling: 
Fee application denied due to attorney's undisclosed conflict of interest and application of second attorney reduced for excessive time.
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In re Thompson

Creditors filed a motion to allow claim of creditors following their filing of a report of the proceedings in a civil action indicating that a judgment had been entered against the debtor and that the jury had determined that the debtor's actions were intentional.
Ruling: 
Creditors could reopen case to allow claim based on post-discharge entry of civil judgment.
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Williams v. Adams

Plaintiffs, creditors, filed an adversary proceeding against defendant debtor seeking a determination that its debt was nondischargeable pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(6). The creditors had obtained a state court judgment against, inter alia, the debtor. The judgment imposed liability on the debtor, who had owned a restaurant and bar, under Missouri's dram shop law. The creditors moved for summary judgment based on collateral estoppel.
Ruling: 
Dram shop judgment was not automatically excepted from discharge due to differing state and code standards for willful wanton and malicious conduct.
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Drew v. MAK Inv. LLC (In re Drew)

Plaintiff, the chapter 7 trustee, brought suit seeking to avoid the prepetition transfer of the debtor's residence to a third party purchaser under 11 U.S.C. § 548, and to collect damages pursuant to state law and the common law, treble damages plus fees and costs pursuant to the New Hampshire Consumer Protection Act ("NHCPA"), N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 358-A. The purchaser argued it had paid "reasonably equivalent value"for the property.
Ruling: 
Purchase of title for less than reasonably equivalent value was avoidable.
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Northwest Airlines Corp. v. Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (In re Northwest Airlines Corp.)

Bankruptcy debtors, an airline and its affiliates, rejected a collective bargaining agreement ("CBA") pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 1113 and implemented the employment terms of their last proposal to a union. The debtors moved for a preliminary injunction prohibiting the union from engaging in economic self-help, and the union moved for an order substituting employment terms set out in a subsequent CBA which was not ratified by union members.
Ruling: 
Rejection of collective bargaining agreement entitled union to engage in self-help but court refused to enforce terms of new, unratified collective bargaining agreement.
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In re Tropea

An unsuccessful stalking horse bidder for the business assets of the chapter 13 debtor asked the bankruptcy court to award him a "finder's fee" of $3,000 to offset his unrecovered costs. The court held a hearing on the request.
Ruling: 
Unsuccessful stalking horse bidder debtor's business entitled to administrativ expense fee as efforts prevented tax sale to benefit of estate.
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In re Davis

A chapter 7 trustee filed a motion pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 329(b) seeking to disgorge the attorney's fee paid, prepetition, by a chapter 7 debtor to her attorney. The debtor objected to the motion. The $1,500 fee amount was in excess of the presumptive fee amount adopted by the court in 1999 for chapter 7 cases. The court held a hearing and thereafter issued a decision on the motion.
Ruling: 
New requirements of BAPCPA justified raising of local presumptive attorneys'fee.
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In re Brinley

An unsecured creditor moved for an order finding that the unencumbered equity created by the avoidance of its judgment lien against certain property be preserved for the bankruptcy estate pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 551. The debtor objected to the motion, arguing that section 551 was inapplicable and that the property in question had been technically abandoned as a result of the closing of the bankruptcy case.
Ruling: 
Unencumbered equity in abandoned property should be preserved for benefit of the estate.
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Fugate v. Equity One Inc. (In er Graybeal)

Chapter 7 trustee filed a motion for summary judgment in its action, which sought to preserve an avoided lien for the benefit of the estate pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 551. Creditor filed a cross motion for summary judgment.
Ruling: 
Erroneously released deed of trust could be preserved for benefit of estate over objection of junior lienholder.
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In re Sheffer

Chapter 7 debtor filed a motion to approve a global settlement of several fraudulent transfer claims.
Ruling: 
Per se ban on settlement of proceedings for denial of discharge would be unduly restrictive.
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In re Rolling Thunder Gas Gathering LLC

The Official Unsecured Creditors Committee for chapter 11 debtor objected to a claim filed by alleged creditors of debtor.
Ruling: 
Claim based on note from debtor to creditors for assignment to debtor's parent company disallowed.
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Farelli v. Farelli (In re Farelli)

Plaintiff former spouse of a bankruptcy debtor brought an adversary proceeding against the debtor, seeking a declaration that a debt to the spouse arising from the parties'divorce decree was not dischargeable under 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(5) since it was in the nature of support.
Ruling: 
Cash payment owed by debtor to former spouse pursuant to divorce decree was in the nature of support and excepted from discharge.
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In re Lemieux

After the debtors filed a voluntary chapter 13 petition, mortgage holder sought relief from the automatic stay pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 362(g) and objected to the debtors'first amended chapter 13 plan.
Ruling: 
Objection to plan sustained due to incorporation of prohibited balloon payments to mortgagee.
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In re Skaggs

The United States Trustee filed a motion to dismiss the debtors' case pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 707(b)(2) on the grounds that the filing constituted a substantial abuse of the provisions of chapter 7.
Ruling: 
Case dismissed for substantial abuse due to debtor's excessive monthly income.
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