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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.

Morris v. St. John Natl Bank (In re Haberman)

Appellant chapter 7 trustee brought a lien avoidance action against appellee creditor and debtors pursuant to 11 U.S.C. §§ 544(a) and 551. The Bankruptcy Court for the District of Kansas limited the trustee's recovery of postpetition payments to the value of the vehicle on the date of bankruptcy and denied his motion to recover postpetition payments made in excess of the value of that vehicle. The trustee appealed.
Ruling: 
Trustee's recovery on avoided liens limited to value of collateral on petition date.
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In re Mirant Corp.

A chapter 11 debtor filed a motion, pursuant to Fed. R. Bankr. P. 9019, for an order approving a settlement agreement with a power company and for the assumption of a facility and capacity credit ("FCC") agreement from the cooperative. The objectors or holders of "Class 3" claims contested the motions.
Ruling: 
Settlement of complex litigation with power company approved as in best interests of estate.
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Wheeler v. Florida Dept of Correction

Plaintiff employee brought a retaliation claim under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e, et seq., against defendant state employer. The employer filed a motion for summary judgment based upon judicial estoppel and also claimed that the employee lacked standing to pursue the claim.
Ruling: 
Trustee allowed to amend schedules to include debtor's civil rights retaliation action.
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In re Piknik Prods. Co.

The attorneys for a bankruptcy debtor applied for approval of compensation and reimbursement of expenses. The committee of unsecured creditors objected to payment of any fee that would have resulted in priority above other administrative expenses.
Ruling: 
Debtor's attorneys fees could be paid from cash earned in operation of debtor's business within budget approved by creditor on pro rate basis with other administrative claimants.
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In re Morgan

A creditor filed a motion for relief from the automatic stay to permit it to proceed with ejectment proceedings against a chapter 13 debtor.
Ruling: 
Prepetition foreclosure sale terminated debtor's rights in property even though deed was filed postpetition.
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Graupner v. Town of Brookfield

Defendants, a town and associated officials, filed a motion for summary judgment in connection with a civil action for money damages brought by plaintiff police officer pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for alleged violation of his constitutional rights and various state law claims.
Ruling: 
Opening and closing of bankruptcy case did not effect abandonment of debtor's undisclosed labor law cause of action
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In re Burns

Chapter 11 debtor filed a motion to reopen his bankruptcy case and to reconsider the allowance of a claim.
Ruling: 
Debtor could not repopen case to contest allowance of claim based on evidence discovered, but not disclosed, while case was open.
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In re Quigley Co.

The debtor and its non-debtor parent company sought to confirm the debtor's third amended plan of reorganization under chapter 11 to deal with their asbestos-related liability. The holders of unfiled and unliquidated asbestos-related personal injury claims (claimants) voted to accept or reject the plan.
Ruling: 
Reduction of asbestos claims to 90% resulted in dilution of claimants'votes and prevented consensual plan confirmation.
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Smith v. Radoff (In re Smith)

Plaintiff chapter 7 debtor filed an adversary proceeding against defendants, a judgment creditor, the creditor's successor in interest, the successor's attorney, the attorney's law firm, a receiver appointed by a state court, and others, after the receiver withdrew money from his bank account. The debtor, the receiver, and the law firm all filed summary judgment motions. The attorney and law firm also filed an emergency motion for a continuance.
Ruling: 
Creditor's unsecured judgment was voided by entry of discharge and could not be basis for recovery of debtor's property.
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In re Jewell

Before the court in a chapter 7 matter was the Chapter 7 Trustee's Objection to the allowance of debtors'claimed exemptions.
Ruling: 
Debtors were not entitled to exemptions in state of former residence where law required debtors reside in that state at time of filing.
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In re Oliver

The United States Trustee brought a motion to dismiss debtor's chapter 13 case pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 707(b)(1), (b)(2) and (b)(3). Debtor was an individual with primarily consumer debt, and the issue was whether the chapter 7 case, filed after the effective date of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act ("BAPCPA"), constituted an abusive filing.
Ruling: 
Case ordered dismissed or converted as debtor's serious medical and mental conditions did not rebut presumption of abuse.
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In re Espey

A chapter 7 trustee objected to a debtor's claimed exemption under 11 U.S.C. § 522(d)(10)(A) of state and federal tax refunds under the Internal Revenue Service Earned Income Credit ("EIC") and Minnesota Department of Revenue Working Family Credit ("WFC") public assistance programs.
Ruling: 
Refunds received under IRS Earned Income Credit and state tax law were not "local" public assistance benefits and were not exempt.
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Walters Construction Inc. v. Cook (In re Cook)

Plaintiff contractor sued defendant chapter 7 debtor, seeking to exempt a $17,000 debt from discharge pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(2)(A) or (B) on the grounds that the debtor falsely certified a subcontractor's payroll records. The creditor moved for summary judgment.
Ruling: 
Creditor was not entitled to summary judgment that debt was excepted from discharge for fraud absent showing of scienter.
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Peters v. Wray State Bank (In re Kerst)

Debtor had a car loan with a lender. He refinanced his car loan with defendant bank. The bank's lien was recorded 47 days after debtor executed the security agreement. He later filed for bankruptcy. Plaintiff chapter 7 trustee sought to avoid the bank's lien. The bank argued (1) the transfer was protected under the earmarking doctrine or (2) it was substantially contemporaneous exchange for new value per 11 U.S.C. § 547(c)(1).
Ruling: 
Bank's delay of nine days in perfecting auto lien did not prevent a substantially contemporaneous transfer and could not be avoided.
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Daniel v. Boyd (Boyd)

Plaintiffs, creditors, filed a complaint to determine dischargeability and an objection to discharge. The issues were whether: (1) the debtor's discharge should be denied under 11 U.S.C. § 727(a)(2)(A); (2) the debtor's discharge should be denied under 11 U.S.C. § 727(a)(4)(A); and (3) the debt to the creditors was nondischargeable pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 532 (a)(2)(A).
Ruling: 
Debtor was denied discharge due to debtor's concealment of property interests and inaccurate income data.
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