Opinions

 

All court opinions may be accessed at no charge via PACER through the "Written Opinions" link on the Reports page. You must, however, have an account to access the report via CM/ECF or PACER.

Access to opinions from 1997 to present, that are PDF searchable, unrestricted & unsealed, are also available through the Government Printing Office using the Advanced Search for Government Publications. There is no login required and publications are available free of charge.


Court's Web Site Opinions Database

The court's web site provides free access of some opinions, at the discretion of the judges, for the years 1998 to present. The results shown below are automatically displayed for all years, all judges, and all keywords/topics.

A search may be performed using the Search box above, or filtering by year, judge, and/or keyword/topic. To search for more than one judge and/or keywords/topics simultaneously, hold down the Ctrl key (or Command key) and select each item.

Keywords/Topic Date Title Description Judge
Attorneys Fees, Chapter 13     02/14/2020     Stephen Guajardo and Roberta Garcia-Guajardo     

Debtors’ objected to their former counsel’s fee application for work done over a four-month span in their bankruptcy case and an adversary proceeding. The Court awards most of the requested amount, concluding that counsel’s work on the case was necessary, beneficial, and reasonable, except for some clerical work that should not have been billed to the estate.

 

Judge David T. Thuma
Miscellaneous     01/31/2020     Alfred E.Luckett, Jr., and Christine McCarthy     

The Debtors filed a “Motion to Compel Turnover/Release of Debtors from Incarceration” in which they requested that the Court enter an order compelling the Santa Fe New Mexico Sheriff and the Santa Fe County Detention Center to release them from incarceration for civil contempt.  Finding that the Debtors’ motion was, in effect, a motion to grant a writ of habeas corpus, the Court denied the motion on the ground that the habeas corpus statutes, 28 U.S.C. §§ 2241 and 2254, did not vest bankruptcy courts with jurisdiction to order the Debtors’ release from state custody. 

Judge Thomas McNamara
Abstention, Core Proceedings, Jurisdiction, Remand     01/29/2020     Philip J. Montoya, as chapter 7 Trustee of the Cashco, Inc. bankruptcy estate v. Stephen P. Curtis, and Stephen P. Curtis, Attorney at Law P.C.     

The Court granted plaintiff’s motion for mandatory abstention and remand. The removed state law action asserted state law claims and remained a non-core proceeding subject to mandatory abstention notwithstanding defendants’ defense that allegedly implicated the Court’s core jurisdiction to determine whether property is bankruptcy estate property. 

Chief Judge Robert H. Jacobvitz
Discharge Injunction, Exemptions, Property of the Estate, Standing, Statutory Construction     01/28/2020     Raymond Archuletta     

Property owners’ association challenged Debtor’s homestead exemption in his residence, arguing that Debtor had only a mere expectancy in a ¼ interest in the property that would not be realized after Debtor’s deceased mother’s estate was probated and all claims against the property were paid. Because succession of real property occurs upon decedent’s death, and following the trend in other districts, the Court recognizes Debtor’s homestead exemption as valid. However, property owners’ association may proceed against the property and the Debtor as personal representative without violating the discharge injuction. 

Judge David T. Thuma
Reconsideration     01/24/2020     Picacho Hills Utility Company Inc.     

Debtor moved for reconsideration of the Court’s previous opinion overruling Debtor’s claim objection, arguing that its counsel lacked authority to permit the Court to issue a ruling on the pleadings and that Debtor would have provided new documentary and testimonial evidence in support of its position at a final hearing. Because counsel’s strategic litigation choice was not a concession that resulted in manifest injustice to the Debtor and because the findings and conclusions in the new evidence were previously in this record, the Debtor’s motion is denied

Judge David T. Thuma
Dischargeability, Sham Affidavit     01/24/2020     Gorence & Oliveros, P.C., TMP Legal, LLC, Adam Griego, and Elijah Haukereid v. Davie Robert Chavez, Jr.     

The Court granted summary  judgment as to one plaintiff on a non- dischargeability claim under 523(a)(6) for willful and malicious injury. To the extent       Defendant’s affidavit contradicted admissions contained in Defendant’s prior plea   agreement, the affidavit would be disregarded as a sham affidavit. Default judgment   had no issue preclusive effect. Fact issues precluded summary judgment as to the other  plaintiff. 

Chief Judge Robert H. Jacobvitz
Disclosure Statement, Jurisdiction     01/21/2020     Michele Geraldine Ament     

The Court determined that it has jurisdiction to divide community property notwithstanding a pending dissolution of marriage proceeding in which property division has not yet been determined. The Court therefore did not deny approval of the debtor’s disclosure statement based on alleged facial unconfirmability of plan that proposes to divide community property. The Court required debtor to amend disclosure statement provide adequate information. The Court also discussed abstention.

 

Chief Judge Robert H. Jacobvitz
Adequate Protection, Automatic Stay     01/16/2020     Michele Geraldine Ament     

The Court granted, in part, creditors motion for relief from stay as to certain real property, and denied the creditor’s motion for relief from stay as to other real property and two vehicles, which were necessary to debtor’s reorganization efforts, on the condition that the debtor make adequate protection payments to the creditor.

 

Chief Judge Robert H. Jacobvitz
Automatic Stay, Redemption     01/09/2020     Allison Katherine Fitzsimmons     

Creditor was entitled to recover compensatory damages for willful violation of the automatic stay by another creditor. The Court rejected the argument that the stay terminated by operation of law because the debtor failed to complete her intended redemption of a vehicle within a certain time.  The Court denied the creditor’s request for punitive damages.

Chief Judge Robert H. Jacobvitz
Chapter 11, Fees, Trustee     12/24/2019     MBF Inspection Services, Inc.,     

The Court granted motion for entry of a final decree over the objection of the U.S. Trustee’s Office that a final decree was inappropriate because the estate had not been fully administered.  The Court reached this conclusion after considering the several factors listed in the 1991 Advisory Committee notes to  BR 3022 and the significant burden on the Debtor of the U.S. Trustee’s fees which were charged at the much higher “alternative” rate set forth in 28 U.S.C. Section 1930(a)(6)(B).

 

Judge David T. Thuma

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