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
Dischargeability, Nondischargeability     02/02/2017     Shirley v. Lopez     

Plaintiff claimed that Defendant willfully and maliciously hit his car, resulting in a nondischargeable debt under 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(6).  Defendant asserted the collision was an accident, and that he hit Plaintiff's car in an attempt to escape after Plaintiff chased him around Albuquerque's west side.  After weighing the credibility of each witness and examining photographs taken after the collision, the Court concluded that Defendant did not willfully or maliciously damage Plaintiff's car.

Judge David T. Thuma
Sanctions     01/31/2017     Enrique Fernandez Jr. and Renee Antoinette Fernandez     

The Court exercised its civil contempt powers and inherent authority under § 105 to hold special counsel in civil contempt based on special counsel’s failure to comply with order requiring special counsel to remit settlement proceeds to the Chapter 13 Trustee, and based on counsel’s failure to appear at a show cause hearing. Special counsel’s failure to remit the settlement proceeds caused a nearly one year delay.  Because civil contempt sanctions must either compensate the injured party for actual losses resulting from the contemnor’s conduct or coerce compliance, the Court based its monetary civil contempt sanction on the interest the settlement proceeds would have earned during the period of the delay at the Wall Street Journal prime per annum interest rate.

Chief Judge Robert H. Jacobvitz
Automatic Stay, Stay Violation     01/30/2017     Clyde Lovato     

The Court denied the debtor’s request to strike creditor’s motion for relief from stay, rejecting debtor’s argument that the creditor’s post petition recordation of an assignment of mortgage was void ab initio and violated the automatic stay.  The post-peptition transfer of an existing pre-petition mortgage and note, including the recording of an assignment of mortgage in the real property records, does not violate the automatic stay because it does not transfer the debtor’s property or property of the estate.  Such transfer does not constitute an act to perfect, create, or enforce a lien against the debtor’s property or property of the bankruptcy estate.

Chief Judge Robert H. Jacobvitz
Adversary, Contract Interpretation, Setoff     01/30/2017     Harpole Construction, Inc. v. Medallion Midstream, LLC     

Court held a trial on the merits on Plaintiff's and Defendant's breach of contract claims.  Although the Court found no breach of contract, the contract entitled Plaintiff to payment for work performed, which was more than offset by both the cost to fix Plaintiff's work and for subcontractor liens on Defendant's property.

Judge David T. Thuma
Discharge     01/24/2017     Peplinski v. Whitaker et al     

The Court denied the debtors’ discharge under § 727(a)(4) based on debtors’ failure to list  two vehicles on their schedules. 

Chief Judge Robert H. Jacobvitz
Employment of Professionals     01/18/2017     Gary Sasso     

The Court, sua sponte, terminated counsel’s employment representing Chapter 7 trustee in the bankruptcy case.   Counsel had an actual, disqualifying conflict of interest stemming from its representation of a creditor in the case.   

Chief Judge Robert H. Jacobvitz
Adversary Proceedings - Procedural Matters, Proof of Claim, Waiver     01/10/2017     Harpole Construction, Inc. v. Medallion Midstream, LLC     

In this adversary proceeding, Defendant sought a jury trial on Plaintiff's claims, and its counterclaims.  Plaintiff filed a motion to strike the jury demand.  The Court granted the motion to strike, concluding that Defendant "waived" it's right to a jury trial by filing a claim against the estate.

Judge David T. Thuma
Cause     12/23/2016     United Tort Claimants v. Quorum Health Resources, LLC.     

Following phase 2 of the trial on plaintiffs’ negligence claims, the Court determined that Defendant’s breach was the proximate cause and cause in fact of the injuries of most of the Plaintiffs.  Defendant’s comparative fault in causing the harm was limited to 16.5%.  Factual allegations in the Plaintiffs’ complaint were judicial admissions.   The Court also analyzed the borrowed servant doctrine applicable under tort law. 

Chief Judge Robert H. Jacobvitz
Administrative Claims, Assumption and Rejection, Classification of Claims, Time     12/23/2016     Flying Star Cafes, Inc.     

Following rejection, the landlord sought allowance of an administrative expense claim for, inter alia, post-petition rent, insurance, property taxes, and repairs.  The Court determined that under 11 U.S.C. § 365(d)(3), the landlord is entitled to an administrative claim for unpaid post-petition lease obligations without demonstrating a benefit to the estate.  The Court also determined that to comply with § 365(d)(4), which sets the deadline for assumption or rejection, the motion must be timely filed; the Court need not approve the proposed assumption or rejection within the deadline.  After reviewing the lease to determine the Debtor's obligations, the Court awarded $29,991.15 as an administrative expense.

Judge David T. Thuma
Attorneys Fees, Costs of Litigation, Fees, Sanctions     12/23/2016     Lester G. Hunt     

Following a permanent loan modification and a number of contested matters, Chapter 13 Debtor sought attorney fees and costs from Lender.  Debtor argued he should be awarded  attorney fees and costs under a number of theories, including FRBP 7054, bad faith, discovery sanctions, and contempt sanctions.  The Court declined to award costs or fees.

Judge David T. Thuma

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