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.

Evans v. Echevarria & Assocs. P.A. (In re Evans)

A pro se bankruptcy debtor sought disqualification of the bankruptcy judge under 28 U.S.C. § 144 based on an ex parte communication. The debtor moved for reconsideration of the order denying the debtor's motion for disqualification.
Ruling: 
Disqualification of the bankruptcy judge was not warranted since the judge had properly complied with applicable disqualification procedures.
ABI Membership is required to access the full summary of Evans v. Echevarria & Assocs. P.A. (In re Evans). Please sign in if you are already an ABI member, or otherwise you may Become an ABI Member

Evans v. Codilis & Stawiarski P.A. (In re Evans)

A pro se bankruptcy debtor's motion for summary judgment in an adversary proceeding was denied, the debtor filed a notice of appeal, and the debtor improperly moved the district court for relief from the order denying summary judgment. The motion for relief from the order was refiled with the bankruptcy court.
Ruling: 
Motion was deemed timely filed despite not being properly filed until a day after the deadline since the pro se debtor filed the motion in good faith, though not properly, within the applicable time.
ABI Membership is required to access the full summary of Evans v. Codilis & Stawiarski P.A. (In re Evans). Please sign in if you are already an ABI member, or otherwise you may Become an ABI Member

Hydro Partners LLC v. Gilberti (In re Gilberti)

Plaintiff creditor sued defendant debtor. Count I alleged that the debtor was not entitled to discharge pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 727(a)(4). Count II alleged that the debtor was not entitled to a discharge pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 727(a)(2)(B). Count III asserted that the debt was excepted from discharge pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(2). The creditor moved for summary judgment. The debtor cross-moved for summary judgment on Count I.
Ruling: 
Debt was deemed nondischargeable since state court judgment satisfied elements of section 523(a)(2).
ABI Membership is required to access the full summary of Hydro Partners LLC v. Gilberti (In re Gilberti). Please sign in if you are already an ABI member, or otherwise you may Become an ABI Member

Merritt v. Rizzo (In re Rizzo)

In defendant debtor's chapter 11 proceeding, plaintiff creditor filed an adversary complaint against the debtor alleging that the state court defamation judgment the creditor had obtained against the debtor was non-dischargeable under 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(6). The matter was tried before the court.
Ruling: 
Court held that a defamation judgment against the debtor was dischargeable since the debtor believed the debtor's statement was true and thus did not inflict a willful and malicious injury.
ABI Membership is required to access the full summary of Merritt v. Rizzo (In re Rizzo). Please sign in if you are already an ABI member, or otherwise you may Become an ABI Member

McDow v. Geddings (In re Geddings)

Plaintiff U.S. trustee brought an adversary proceeding against defendant chapter 7 debtors, seeking denial of their discharge pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 727(a). The trustee moved for summary judgment.
Ruling: 
Debtors were denied discharge since the debtors were deemed to have intended to defraud by not disclosing transferred property and by filing inaccurate documentation.
ABI Membership is required to access the full summary of McDow v. Geddings (In re Geddings). Please sign in if you are already an ABI member, or otherwise you may Become an ABI Member

In re Moates

Debtors in two bankruptcy cases submitted to the court the question of whether they were required under 11 U.S.C. § 521(a)(1)(B)(v), as individual debtors whose debts were primarily business debts, to file a statement of current monthly income. The question was before the court for decision.
Ruling: 
Debtors whose debts were not primarily consumer debts were not required to file a statement of current monthly income as the filing of schedules I and J provided redundant information and, thus, satisfied that requirement.
ABI Membership is required to access the full summary of In re Moates. Please sign in if you are already an ABI member, or otherwise you may Become an ABI Member

Wellman v. Salt Creek Valley Bank (In re Wellman)

Debtors appealed from the bankruptcy court's orders: (1) dismissing their chapter 13 case with prejudice; and (2) denying their motion to reconsider the order of dismissal. Appellee was a first lienholder on a parcel of unimproved land adjacent to debtors'residence.
Ruling: 
Dismissal of debtors'chapter 13 case was affirmed since a substantial deficit in plan payments showed the debtors had materially defaulted in performing under their plan's terms.
ABI Membership is required to access the full summary of Wellman v. Salt Creek Valley Bank (In re Wellman). Please sign in if you are already an ABI member, or otherwise you may Become an ABI Member

HLI Creditor Trust v. Metal Techs. Inc. (In re Hayes Lemmerz Intl Inc.)

Plaintiff, a creditor trust, commenced an adversary proceeding, seeking to avoid and recover pursuant to 11 U.S.C. §§ 547 and 550, certain allegedly preferential transfers made by debtors to defendant, the transferee. The matter was before the court for decision following trial.
Ruling: 
Transfers made within credit terms did not insure that such transfers were made in the ordinary course of business, and, thus, some of the debtor's payments were deemed preferential transfers.
ABI Membership is required to access the full summary of HLI Creditor Trust v. Metal Techs. Inc. (In re Hayes Lemmerz Intl Inc.). Please sign in if you are already an ABI member, or otherwise you may Become an ABI Member

Law v. Stover (In re Law)

Appellant debtors challenged orders of the bankruptcy court entered on June 27, 2005, and June 29, 2005, in each of these cases sustaining the objection of appellee, the chapter 7 trustee, to debtors'claim of exemption in the portions of their federal tax refunds attributable to the federal child tax credit.
Ruling: 
Debtors were denied exemption of their federal child tax credit refunds since the refunds were contingent interests in future payments and thus were estate property.
ABI Membership is required to access the full summary of Law v. Stover (In re Law). Please sign in if you are already an ABI member, or otherwise you may Become an ABI Member

Gilbane Bldg. Co. v. Air Sys. (In re Encompass Servs. Corp.)

After the debtors' chapter 11 plan was confirmed, plaintiff contractor brought an adversary proceeding against defendant purchaser, seeking a declaration that the debtors'assignment of a subcontract to the purchaser was invalid and remained in the estate, and seeking an injunction against the purchaser from further prosecuting the subcontract in state court. The parties cross- moved for summary judgment; the purchaser moved for abstention.
Ruling: 
Court ruled that it did not have jurisdiction over an action involving the assigment of a subcontract since the subcontract was created independent of the bankruptcy and did not impact postconfirmation distributions to creditors.
ABI Membership is required to access the full summary of Gilbane Bldg. Co. v. Air Sys. (In re Encompass Servs. Corp.). Please sign in if you are already an ABI member, or otherwise you may Become an ABI Member

In re Keith

On November 5, 2003, an order of discharge on behalf of debtors was entered. On June 7, 2005, the trustee moved to reopen the case on the grounds that he learned that one debtor had an insurance fraud claim worth approximately $5,000 which was not reported during the course of the bankruptcy case. Debtors filed an amended Schedule B to list the fraud claim and asserted an exemption under Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 427.010(1). The trustee objected.
Ruling: 
Debtor failed to disclose an insurance fraud claim during the debtor's case and claimed a state law exemption after the case was reopened in bad faith.
ABI Membership is required to access the full summary of In re Keith. Please sign in if you are already an ABI member, or otherwise you may Become an ABI Member

Roberts v. Pierce (In re Pierce)

Appellant claimant challenged an order of the district court, which affirmed a bankruptcy court's order granting in part and disallowing in part a proof of claim against appellee debtor without holding an evidentiary hearing in a voluntary chapter 13 bankruptcy proceeding.
Ruling: 
Order regarding proof of claim was affirmed since negative notices are permissible under the Code.
ABI Membership is required to access the full summary of Roberts v. Pierce (In re Pierce). Please sign in if you are already an ABI member, or otherwise you may Become an ABI Member

Hutchinson v. Del. Sav. Bank FSB

Plaintiff debtors sued defendant lender for fraud, breach of contract, and violation of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act ("NJCFA") and sued defendant loan servicing companies for negligence/intentional tort, breach of contract, violation of the NJCFA, and violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act ("RESPA"). Defendants moved to dismiss.
Ruling: 
Debtors'claims against the lender were not barred by confirmation of their chapter 13 plan since conversion to chapter 7 removed the res judicita effect of that chapter 13 plan.
ABI Membership is required to access the full summary of Hutchinson v. Del. Sav. Bank FSB. Please sign in if you are already an ABI member, or otherwise you may Become an ABI Member

Movitz v. Fiesta Invs. LLC (In re Ehmann)

Shortly after issuance of the court's opinion and order, the parties conditionally agreed to a settlement of the instant adversary proceeding. Under the settlement, defendant would pay to the trustee $85,000. The condition of the settlement, however, was the court's withdrawal of its opinion. Both parties moved for approval of the compromise and settlement pursuant to Fed. R. Bankr. P. 9019, and for the court's withdrawal of its opinion.
Ruling: 
Bankruptcy court vacated its order and granted the trustee's motion to approve a settlement that mandated the court vacate its order but only after the court balanced the equities.
ABI Membership is required to access the full summary of Movitz v. Fiesta Invs. LLC (In re Ehmann). Please sign in if you are already an ABI member, or otherwise you may Become an ABI Member

Gallagher Langlas & Gallagher P.C. v. Clair (In re Clair)

In a core proceeding pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 157(b)(2)(I), (J), plaintiff law firm sought to recover from defendant debtor a sum of attorneys'fees that the debtor was ordered to pay pursuant to a divorce. The firm moved for summary judgment.
Ruling: 
Attorneys were denied summary judgment since a material issue remained as to whether an award of attorneys'fees to a debtor's former wife was intended to be a maintenance or support obligation and, thus, whether it was exempt from discharge.
ABI Membership is required to access the full summary of Gallagher Langlas & Gallagher P.C. v. Clair (In re Clair). Please sign in if you are already an ABI member, or otherwise you may Become an ABI Member

Pages