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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     06/06/2019     Indian Jewelers Supply Co., Inc.     

Three former employees filed claims based on debtor’s defunct employee stock ownership plan.  Debtor objected to the claims and argued that the claimants were stockholders, not creditors, because the ESOP held debtor’s stock in trust for them.  The Court concluded that former employees, who were or should have been cashed out of the ESOP interest years before, were creditors rather than stockholders.

Chapter 13, Fees, Trustee     05/23/2019     Edward Crespin and Janis Crespin     

The chapter 13 trustee requested to deduct a fee from funds she has been ordered to pay debtors’ counsel in this dismissed case.  Debtors’ counsel objected, arguing that the trustee was not entitled to a fee because the case was dismissed without a confirmed plan.  The Court concluded that the Bankruptcy Code did not permit the trustee to pay herself the requested fee.


Judge David T. Thuma
Adversary, Dischargeability     05/17/2019     Velma Morgan v. Michelle Renee Mladek     

Defendant was a lawyer who filed a lien against Plaintiff’s house. Plaintiff won the state court case for slander of title and initiated the adversary proceeding to hold the debt nondischargeable.  After trial, the Court concluded the Defendant lacked the requisite mental state under §523(a)(6) for a finding of nondischargeability.


Judge David T. Thuma
Chapter 13     05/14/2019     Jarrod Jay Battershell     

After both mortgages on Debtor’s house defaulted, junior lienholder mortgagee paid off the priority mortgage as a protective advance. Debtor argued that the payment should be characterized as a loan purchase rather than payoff and could cure the arrearages in plan payments. The Court concluded there was no basis to recharacterize the payoff as Debtor proposed and doing so would violate §1322(b)(2).

Judge David T. Thuma
Automatic Stay, Discharge Injunction     05/03/2019     Danielle D. Bridge     

Debtor is an OB/GYN accused of medical malpractice. Creditors moved to lift automatic stay to pursue state court litigation against the Debtor and the hospital where malpractice allegedly occurred. Court denied relief from the automatic stay, as to Debtor, but noted that creditors could still pursue the hospital.


Judge David T. Thuma
Chapter 13     04/30/2019     Sharon L. Pettit     

Debtor filed a motion for an order that its mortgagee could not charge for certain attorney fees incurred after her chapter 13 case was filed and must instead apply all payments received post-petition in accordance with the confirmed chapter 13 plan.  The mortgagee countered that the Debtor’s arguments lacked merit because the case was converted to chapter 7 before plan completion. The Court concluded that the mortgagee acted within its right because of the conversion to chapter 7 before plan completion.

Judge David T. Thuma
Appeals     03/12/2019     Manuela Q. Franco     

Creditor filed a motion to extend the time to appeal arguing excusable neglect.  After reviewing the motion and the facts of the case, the Court concluded that excusable neglect had not been shown and denied the motion.

Judge David T. Thuma
Avoidance Actions, Judicial Liens - Avoidance     02/11/2019     Teresa Christine Tapia     

Debtor brought motion to avoid a judgment lien on her house to the extent that it impaired her homestead exemption.  Judgment creditor countered that his lien did not attach to the homestead exemption, did not impair it, and therefore could not be avoided.  The Court found that the judgment lien did attach to the homestead exemption and that the judgment lien impaired Debtor’s homestead exemption and was subject to avoidance.


Judge David T. Thuma
Jurisdiction     02/08/2019     Sunnyland Farms, Inc.     

Debtor and creditor disagreed about Debtor’s proposed merger with another corporation.  Debtor asked the Court to enforce a provision of its bylaws that allegedly required creditor to arbitrate a dispute.  The Court concluded that it lacked jurisdiction to compel arbitration.  

Judge David T. Thuma
Attorneys Fees, Chapter 13     01/28/2019     Jenice R. Walton     

Debtor’s counsel could be paid her allowed attorney’s fees for Chapter 13 services following conversion from Chapter 13 to Chapter 7 based on Debtor’s knowing, voluntary Assignment of undistributed plan payments held by the Chapter 13 Trustee as of the conversion date.   

Chief Judge Robert H. Jacobvitz