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.

In re WDS Inc.

The debtor initially filed for relief under chapter 11, and the matter was converted to a chapter 7 proceeding. The debtor filed a motion to alter or amend the court's earlier turnover orders related to attorney's fees, to approve the attorney's application for employment, nunc pro tunc, and the application to employ debtor's attorney for the estate.
Ruling: 
Debtor's motion to alter an order granting turnover to a trustee of the debtor's counsel's retainer and related motions were denied since the counsel had not filed an application for employment and the debtor did not show extraordinary circumstances for why the application was not filed.
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Ozenne v. Bendon (In re Ozenne)

Pro se appellant bankruptcy debtor asserted that appellee landlord of the debtor's mini-storage unit sold the contents of the unit after the debtor filed his bankruptcy petition. The debtor appealed the order of the Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California, which denied the debtor's motion for sanctions under 11 U.S.C. § 362 for the landlord's willful violation of the automatic bankruptcy stay.
Ruling: 
Bankruptcy panel reversed an order denying sanctions since the panel found that the landlord of the debtor's storage unit had willfully violated the automatic stay by selling the debtor's property after having notice of filing.
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In re Henderson

Petitioner debtor filed a petition for relief under chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code. On that same day, she also filed a Request for Thirty-Day Extension To File Credit Counseling Certificate, which was before the court for a decision.
Ruling: 
Debtor was denied an extension to file a credit counseling certificate but given time to obtain further legal advice since the debtor had not shown sufficient exigent circumstances to warrant the extension.
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Davis v. Educ. Credit Mgmt. Corp. (In re Davis)

Plaintiff debtor commenced the present adversary proceeding against defendant creditor for a declaration that her student loan was dischargeable pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(8).
Ruling: 
Some of student loan debt was discharged as undue hardship, but the remaining portion was deemed not dischargeable and within the debtor's means to repay.
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In re Heerlein

Debtor moved to avoid judicial lien pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 522(f) and for release of garnished wages.
Ruling: 
Debtor could not avoid a judicial lien since the debtor lost an interest in the garnished wages when the prepetition wage garnishment order was entered.
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In re Wright

A prior chapter 13 bankruptcy by debtors, husband and wife, was dismissed based on the debtors'failure to make payments required by their confirmed plan. The debtors filed a second chapter 13 bankruptcy petition and moved to extend the automatic bankruptcy stay pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 362(c)(3)(B).
Ruling: 
Debtors were granted an extension of the automatic stay from a prior chapter 13 case since the debtors showed that after failing to comply with the prior plan due to a job loss, that the debtors had begun operating a business that provided enough income to fund the current proposed plan.
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In re Jillians Entmt Holdings Inc.

Creditor landlord filed an application seeking an order requiring the administrator of debtor's chapter 11 plan to pay, as an administrative expense, the amount owed to it under debtor's lease, pursuant to 11 U.S.C. §§ 503(a) and 507(a)(1), The administrator objected to the landlord's application.
Ruling: 
Creditor landlord was granted rents due as an administrative expense.
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Killough v. Hebert (In re Hebert)

Plaintiff creditor brought an adversary proceeding against defendant bankruptcy debtor seeking a determination that a debt to the creditor arising out of an employment arrangement was not dischargeable under 11 U.S.C. § 523(a) based on the debtor's fraud and willful and malicious injury. The bankruptcy court conducted a trial.
Ruling: 
Debt owed to creditor who alleged creditor joined debtor's medical practice based on false promises was deemed dischargeable since the creditor failed to show fraudulent intent.
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U.S. Bank N.A. v. Young (In re Young)

Defendant debtor appealed from an order of the bankruptcy court granting several of plaintiff creditors'motions for summary judgment, wherein the creditors asserted that debtor was collaterally estopped by a guilty plea from arguing that he did not incur his obligations to them by way of fraud
Ruling: 
Debtor's lack of subject matter jurisdiction argument based on the debtor's status as a farmer was rejected since section 303(a) of the Code does not provide a jurisdictional challenge but rather an involuntary petition defense, one that the debtor waived by consenting to the petition.
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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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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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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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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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