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 Kane

Bankruptcy debtors claimed a homestead exemption under Nev. Rev. Stat. §§ 21.090.1(l) and 115.010.2, but the bankruptcy trustee asserted that the claimed exemption exceeded the statutory exemption cap set out in 11 U.S.C. § 522(p). The trustee objected to the exemption.
Ruling: 
Bankruptcy court, in holding that section 522(p)'s cap on homestead exemptions applied to the debtors, interpreted section 522(p) to apply not only to those states where debtors elected between a federal or state exemption but also to those states where debtors were allowed only a state exemption.
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Deubois v. Ozinga Indiana RMC Inc. (In re PG Indus.)

In an action brought under 11 U.S.C. § 547(b), plaintiff trustee filed a verified motion for a default judgment. In that motion, the trustee sought an award of prejudgment interest.
Ruling: 
Court ruled that prejudgment interest begins to accrue from the date the trustee demanded the transferee of property return the preferential transfer, but the court had to order the trustee to file further information as to when such a demand was made.
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Burton v. Educ. Credit Mgmt. Corp. (In re Burton)

Plaintiff bankruptcy debtor brought an adversary proceeding against defendant student loan creditors, seeking to discharge his student loans based on undue hardship pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(8), due to mental illness and his inability to maintain employment. The bankruptcy court conducted a trial.
Ruling: 
Student loans were deemed nondischargeable since debtor failed to show that debtor's mental inllness was likely to prevent future employment or that debtor had made a good faith effort to repay the loans.
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In re Buis

Creditor filed a motion to dismiss chapter 13 debtors'case or convert it to a case under chapter 7.
Ruling: 
Debtors'chapter 13 case was dismissed on a creditor's motion since the creditor's claim of attorneys'fees incurred in obtaining a judgment against the debtors was a noncontingent, liquidated claim that put the debtors over the unsecured debt limit.
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City & County of San Francisco v. PG&E Corp.

Plaintiff governmental entities sued defendant corporation and its utility company in state court seeking restitution to third parties under Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code section 17200 of the California Unfair Practices Act. The actions were removed to bankruptcy court. The bankruptcy court ruled the section 17200 actions for restitution were not removable. The U.S. district court held otherwise. The entities appealed.
Ruling: 
State unfair practices actions seeking restitution constituted police or regulatory power actions that could not be removed to bankruptcy court.
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Grandy v. Sanders (In re Smith)

Plaintiff, the chapter 7 trustee, brought an action against defendant transferee to avoid the transfer of certain real estate by debtor to the transferee as an unauthorized postpetition transfer pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 549, or , in the alternative, as an avoidable preference pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 547(b). The matter was before the court for decision.
Ruling: 
Transfer of real estate was avoided since the transferee had not perfected via filing a quitclaim deed until after filing and such filing was not authorized by the court.
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Thompson v. Brookshire (In re Brookshire)

Plaintiffs, an administrator and a son, filed a motion for summary judgment in their adversary proceeding alleging that a state court judgment against defendant debtor for compensatory and punitive damages resulting from a breach of fiduciary duty and conversion was nondischargeable, pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(6).
Ruling: 
Damages award from a breach of fiduciary duty and conversion action was deemed nondischargeable since the state court's finding that the debtor had harmed the decedent financially and physically supported a finding that the debtor had acted willfully and maliciously.
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Gharavi v. U.S. Dept. of Educ. (In re Gharavi)

Plaintiff debtor filed an adversary proceeding seeking the discharge of her student loans pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(8). Defendant creditors defended the complaint by arguing that the debtor had resources to pay the obligation. The court held an evidentiary hearing.
Ruling: 
Court discharged most of the debtor's student loan debt due to undue hardship related to the debtor's multiple sclerosis.
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Bryant v. JCOR Mech. Inc. (In re Electron Corp.)

Defendant materialman appealed an order of the bankruptcy court that avoided as preferential a payment made by debtor within 90 days before debtor filed a proceeding under chapter 11. Plaintiff was the trustee of the debtor's estate.
Ruling: 
Payments were not preferential transfers since the materialman was a secured creditor in that the materialman would have been entitled to perfect a statutory lien had the materialman not been paid in full.
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In re Mundy

Plaintiff debtor filed an adversary proceeding against defendant creditor, seeking to avoid a lien that the creditor had in certain personal property owned by the debtor, pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 522(f)(1)(B). The court issued findings of fact and conclusions of law.
Ruling: 
Debtor was granted a motion to avoid a lien on common household goods but not on other personal property.
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Mirant Corp. v. S. Co.

The bankruptcy court recommended that the reference not be withdrawn as to an adversary proceeding filed by the jointly administered chapter 11 debtors and a creditors committee against defendant, one debtor's prior parent corporation, that asserted core and non-core claims under 28 U.S.C. § 157. The parent, who had requested a jury trial, had also requested transfer to Georgia after withdrawal.
Ruling: 
Motion for withdrawal of a reference was granted since the action was more in the nature of a non-core proceeding than a core proceeding.
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Mangiulli v. Rameker (In re Mangiulli)

Pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 548, plaintiff chapter 7 trustee filed an adversary proceeding complaint against defendant, a Wisconsin village, seeking to recover an alleged fraudulent conveyance made to the village by two chapter 7 debtors. The trustee appealed, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 158, after the bankruptcy court granted summary judgment to the village on his fraudulent conveyance claim.
Ruling: 
Property tax assessments were not reliable indication of market value in determining if conveyance was fraudulent.
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In re Habash

Appellant creditor filed an adversary complaint to revoke appellee debtor's chapter 7 discharge in the bankruptcy court. The bankruptcy court dismissed the complaint with prejudice and the creditor appealed.
Ruling: 
Proceeding for revocation of discharge properly dismissed as untimely where creditor should have been capable of filing within time limits.
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In re Euro-American Lodging Corp.

A creditor (mortgagee) filed an involuntary chapter 7 case, 11 U.S.C. § 303(b), against an alleged debtor, its mortgagor. The matter was before the court for a ruling following a three-day bench trial. The alleged debtor opposed the petition.
Ruling: 
Creditor sustained burden of proof on involuntary petition where debtor had no more than eight bona fide creditors as of petition date.
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In re Johnson

The court conducted a hearing on debtor's motion to extend the automatic stay and the creditor's opposition thereto. The court granted debtor's motion in open court and asked debtor's attorney to submit an order. The court signed the order granting the motion, but due to the nature of the creditor's opposition to the motion, the court entered a memorandum opinion clarifying its ruling.
Ruling: 
Creditor could not foreclose on the debtor's home since the stay did not automatically end after 30 days with respect to the debtor's home and thus remained in effect until the debtor's case was dismissed or discharged.
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