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
Classification of Claims, Discharge Injunction, Dischargeability, Miscellaneous     08/08/2017     Debra Renee Chacon v. The Greenbriar Townhouses, Inc.     

Debtor argued that a debt to a housing cooperative, where she was a member, was unsecured and therefore discharged by the Court’s discharge order.  The Court concluded when the Occupancy Agreement, Articles, By-Laws, and Certificate are read together, the documents created a security interest in the Debtor’s membership.  The security interest “rode through” the bankruptcy case and survived discharge.

Judge David T. Thuma
Attorneys Fees, Chapter 11, Fees, Professionals     07/14/2017     Railyard Company, LLC.     

Former chapter 11 DIP counsel sought approval of fee application.  Debtor’s members objected, primarily on the grounds that counsel did not render zealous, beneficial representation because a chapter 11 trustee was appointed.  The Court overruled the members’ objections but determined a 5% reduction in fees was appropriate after considering the factor in Johnson and section 330.

Judge David T. Thuma
Collateral Estoppel, Discharge, Dischargeability, Nondischargeability, Res Judicata     06/09/2017     Monge et al. v. Jayme et al     

Defendants sought to dismiss Plaintiffs’ adversary complaint under Rule 12(b)(6).  The Court determined Plaintiffs’ section 523 claims were barred by issue preclusion because the parties already litigated fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, etc. in the Texas bankruptcy court.  The Court also determined the complaint stated a claim under section 727(a)(2) and/or (2)(4) but not the other subsections of 727.

Judge David T. Thuma
Chapter 11, Employment of Professionals, Professionals - Conflict of Interest     06/08/2017     Lightning Dock Geothermal HI-01, LLC.     

Debtor sought to employ special counsel under section 327(e) to litigate a claim objection and other pending litigation in a chapter 11 case.  The Court determined that special counsel’s representation of Debtor’s corporate grandparent did not create a disqualifying conflict.

Judge David T. Thuma
Dischargeability, Nondischargeability     05/12/2017     Steve Shapiro v. Shaun Christopher Morrow     

Creditor sought a nondischargeable judgment against Debtor/Defendant, his former horse-racing partner, for fraud, embezzlement, and breach of fiduciary duty.  The Court determined the creditor did not carry his burden of fraudulent intent, but awarded $372.20 for embezzlement.  The Court also determined the fiduciary duties between partners under the Uniform Partnership Act is not enough to demonstrate a breach of fiduciary duty for purposes of section 523(a)(4).

Judge David T. Thuma
Chapter 13, Contract Interpretation, Relief from Stay     04/27/2017     Matilde Flores Hamilton     

Debtor confirmed a Chapter 13 plan.  Thereafter, the creditor moved for stay relief.  Debtor argued a statement she inserted in her Chapter 13 plan regarding the “entire loan balance” fixed the amount of the secured claim.  The Court applied traditional rules of contract construction and overruled Debtor’s argument.  Debtor’s reading contravened other parts of the plan and the creditor’s proof of claim.

Judge David T. Thuma
Attorneys Fees, Chapter 11, Fees, Professionals     04/26/2017     Harpole Construction, Inc.     

Counsel for the UCC sought approval of fee application.  Debtor objected on the grounds that counsel’s hourly rate should be reduced from $325 to $280.  After considering the factor in Johnson and section 330, and the UCC counsel’s rate in other similar cases, the Court determined there was insufficient evidence to support a higher fee in the instant case.

Judge David T. Thuma
Appeals, Motion to Sell, Reconsideration, Sales of Assets     03/21/2017     Sandia Resorts, Inc.     

Debtor’s principal sought reconsideration and a stay pending appeal of an order approving the sale of Debtor’s hotel and other assets under section 363(f). The Court determined there were no grounds to reconsider the sale order.  It also found the movant was ineligible for a stay because he failed to satisfy the four factor test (likelihood of success on the merits, irreparable harm, etc).

Judge David T. Thuma
Avoidance Actions, Collateral Estoppel, Public Utility, Res Judicata, Statutory Construction     03/21/2017     Coll v. Picacho Hills Development Company, Inc.     

Debtor/Defendant sought summary judgment on Trustee/Plaintiff’s complaint seeking the return of certain transfers of estate property.  Debtor/Defendant argued that the Public Regulation Commission’s findings and conclusions were not binding on the bankruptcy court.  Debtor/Defendant also argued it was not required to comply with section 549 (which pertains to unauthorized, post-petition transfers of estate property) while the case was suspended under section 305.  The Court determined it had insufficient evidence to rule on preclusion principles and that section 549 did not apply while the case was suspended.

Judge David T. Thuma
Administrative Claims, Attorneys Fees, Chapter 11, Employment of Professionals, Professionals - Conflict of Interest     02/28/2017     Blue Jet, Inc.     

Debtor sought approval of application to employ Chapter 11 DIP counsel under 11 U.S.C. § 327(a).  The Court concluded that Counsel's attempt to obtain an attorney charging lien for general bankruptcy work on Debtor's cash and accounts receivable would create a disqualifying interest under § 327(a).  The Court approved Counsel's employment absent the charging lien provision.

Judge David T. Thuma

Pages