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 23,000 opinion summaries by keyword, relevant code section, court and judge. Opinion summaries are provided by our partner LexisNexis® Collier and are updated weekly.

United States v. Bastin (In re Bastin)

Plaintiff U.S. government filed an adversary complaint seeking to deny a discharge to defendant debtor pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 727(a)(3) and (4). The government moved for summary judgment.
Ruling: 
Debtor was denied a discharge for not keeping adequate records, and the denial did not require finding of an intent to defraud.
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In re Hairston

Movant debtor filed an application for waiver of the chapter 7 filing fee pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1930(f)(1).
Ruling: 
Debtor's application for waiver of the chapter 7 filing fee was denied since the debtor's filings suggested that the debtor had the resources to pay the filing fee in installments if not in full.
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Stoe v. Flaherty

Plaintiff former officer sought review of a decision of the district court, which denied the officer's motion for mandatory abstention under 28 U.S.C. § 1334 after defendants, current and former officers of the officer's former employer, removed the officer's action for unpaid severance benefits to federal court. Defendants were also ultimately successful on the merits of the case.
Ruling: 
Court ruled that mandatory abstention applied to cases removed to federal court including the case of a former officer for unpaid severance benefits since the case was related to but did not arise in a bankruptcy case, did not arise under the Code, and was started in state court.
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In re Mark

Debtor individual filed for chapter 13 bankruptcy protection. Debtor then moved to extend the automatic stay pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 362(c)(3)(B). The bankruptcy court held a hearing on the motion.
Ruling: 
Debtor was granted a motion to extend an automatic stay from prior filing since the debtor demonstrated good faith in new filing.
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Randle v. Highfill (In re Highfill)

Plaintiff creditor, the spouse of defendant bankruptcy debtor, brought an adversary proceeding seeking nondischargeability of marital debts the debtor agreed to pay in the parties'separation agreement, pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(5) and (15). The bankruptcy court conducted a trial.
Ruling: 
Portion of debt owed to spouse was deemed nondischargeable since the debtor could pay about half of the debt and the debtor's continued use of an equity line of creditor for which the spouse was still obligated demonstrated bad faith.
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Manuel v. Walker (In re Zimmer)

The case was before the court upon plaintiff chapter 7 trustee's complaint against defendant transferees seeking to avoid and recover a transfer of real property pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 548.
Ruling: 
Trustee was entitled to avoid property transfer since it was clear the parents of one of the debtors had intended to transfer more than bare legal title.
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Cage v. Wyo-Ben Inc. (In re Ramba Inc.)

Two months before bankruptcy, a buyer received the debtor's assets free of liens, paid off the debtor's under secured lender, and paid the rest of the consideration to 10 defendant unsecured creditors. The debtor paid an 11th defendant unsecured creditor. The district court entered summary judgment against plaintiff trustee on an 11 U.S.C. § 547(b) preference action. The trustee appealed.
Ruling: 
Sale of debtor's assets was not an avoidable transfer since property for which the debtor had no equitable interest is not estate property.
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Cage v. Wyo-Ben Inc. (In re Ramba Inc.)

Two months before bankruptcy, a buyer received the debtor's assets free of liens, paid off the debtor's under secured lender, and paid the rest of the consideration to 10 defendant unsecured creditors. The debtor paid an 11th defendant unsecured creditor. The district court entered summary judgment against plaintiff trustee on an 11 U.S.C. § 547(b) preference action. The trustee appealed.
Ruling: 
Payment to an unsecured creditor was an avoidable transfer since the payment was not made according to ordinary business terms but rather was made on invoices older than the industry standard for making payment of 120 days.
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Peters v. WFS Fin. Inc. (In re Glandon)

Plaintiff chapter 7 trustee brought a complaint seeking avoidance of defendant creditor's lien in debtor's pickup truck as a preferential transfer under 11 U.S.C. § 547. The matter was pending judgment.
Ruling: 
Trustee was allowed to avoid creditor's lien in debtor's pickup truck as a preferential transfer since the lien was perfected during preference period.
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Dahmer v. United States (In re Dahmer)

Plaintiff chapter 7 debtors filed an adversary proceeding pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(1) against defendants, the United States and the State of Missouri Department of Revenue ("MDOR"), seeking a declaratory judgment that any tax debt owed for the 1987 tax year was dischargeable and that any liens associated with that tax debt should be avoided or should attach only to the debtors'property as of the date of their bankruptcy filing.
Ruling: 
Debtors'additional federal tax assessment was dischargeable even though the debtors did not file an amended tax return since a state statute requiring a taxpayer to report federal tax assessment changes did not mean the taxpayer had to file an amended tax return.
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In re Adelphia Communs. Corp.

In this contested matter under the umbrella of the jointly administered chapter 11 cases of debtors, a communications company (parent company) and its subsidiaries, the Ad Hoc Committee of Noteholders, who were the holders of bond debt issued by an intermediate subsidiary of the parent company, one of the 231 debtors whose chapter 11 cases were being jointly administered in this court, moved for several orders, including disqualifying counsel.
Ruling: 
Interdebtor disputes did not evidence fraud or mismanagement warranting the appointment of a trustee for the intermediate subsidiary of a chapter 11 debtor.
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Central Va. Cmty. College v. Katz

Respondent liquidating supervisor of a bankrupt estate commenced 11 U.S.C. §§ 547(b) and 550(a) proceedings to avoid and recover alleged preferential transfers to petitioner state institutions of higher education. The court of appeals affirmed a denial of a motion to dismiss. Certiorari was granted on the question whether the attempt to abrogate state sovereign immunity in 11 U.S.C. § 106(a) was valid.
Ruling: 
Supreme Court affirmed a denial of state institutions of higher education's motion to dismiss an alleged preferential transfers proceeding since Congress pursuant to the Bankruptcy Clause had determined that states were amenable to such proceedings and thus could not use sovereign immunity to bar such proceedings.
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In re Jaraki

A bankruptcy debtor was discharged but his case was reopened upon discovery of a pending state litigation by the debtor which was not disclosed in the bankruptcy. The trustee moved for approval of a settlement of the litigation for $12,500 pursuant to Fed. R. Bankr. P. 9019, and the debtor objected to the settlement on the ground that the value of the litigation substantially exceeded the settlement.
Ruling: 
Debtor's objection to a settlement of undisclosed litigation was overruled s ince the settlement provided for more recovery than was likely to occur and, thus, was in the best interest of the estate.
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In re Refco Inc.

After several related entities filed voluntary chapter 11 petitions, movant official committee of unsecured creditors moved to clarify its obligation under 11 U.S.C. § 1102(b)(3)(A) to provide unsecured creditors who were not members of the committee with access to information.
Ruling: 
Official committee of unsecured creditors had duty to keep unsecured creditors informed but did not have to disclose information that was confidential or required waiving of attorney-client privilege.
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Will v. Northwestern Univ. (In re Nutraquest Inc.)

Appellant university filed a third party complaint seeking contribution from various makers of ephedra products after it was sued following the death of one of its football players. Appellee debtor, one of the makers, later filed for bankruptcy protection. The university appealed after the district court upheld the bankruptcy court's approval of a settlement between appellee and the player's estate.
Ruling: 
Court did not abuse its discretion in finding that a tort settlement met Rules requirements and state tort law.
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