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
Adversary Proceedings - Procedural Matters, Dismissal, Property of the Estate, Relief from Stay, Stay - Annulment     07/28/2017     Franco v. Franco et al     

Creditor sought annulment of the automatic stay, or a declaration that the automatic stay did not apply, to a quiet title action initiated post-petition on omitted assets.  Trustee sought dismissal of removed quiet title action, as void ab initio.  The Court declined to annul the stay, and declared the quiet title action void ab initio. 

Judge David T. Thuma
Discharge, Dischargeability, Nondischargeability     07/21/2017     Los Alamos National Bank v. Lamey et al     

Creditor sought to declare debt owed to it nondischargeable, or alternatively to deny Debtor’s discharge on multiple counts.  The Court denied debtor’s discharge under §§ 727(a)(2) and (a)(4) for concealing and omitting assets.

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
Motion to Sell, Sales of Assets     06/27/2017     Gary Edward Sasso     

The Court granted the Chapter 7 Trustee’s motion to sell the estate’s interest in a condominium under § 363(b).  The estate’s purported interest in the condominium was only a life estate interest.  The purchaser, the estate’s largest unsecured creditor, agreed to withdraw its claim in addition to paying $12,000 cash to purchase the estate’s interest in the Condo, without warranty.  The Trustee had sound business reasons for the sale, gave adequate and reasonable notice of the sale, and obtained a fair and reasonable price, and the buyer acted in good faith.  The cash purchase price, combined with the withdrawal of the creditor’s claim, approximated the fair market value of a life estate interest in the condominium, and provided a meaningful distribution to unsecured creditors. 

Chief Judge Robert H. Jacobvitz
Attorneys Fees, Damages, Discharge Injunction     06/23/2017     Sprague v. Williams et al     

Court held a damages trial on violation of the discharge injunction.  Court awarded attorney fees, but found that Plaintiff failed to prove certain other damages.

Judge David T. Thuma
Employment of Professionals     06/21/2017     WM Distribution, Inc.     

Law firm’s simultaneous representation of the debtor and a related debtor entity was a disqualifying actual conflict of interest that could not be cured by hiring independent “conflicts counsel.”   The related debtor entities had too many adverse interests central to their respective organization efforts for conflicts counsel to ameliorate the risk that the law form would be unable to give each debtor its undivided loyalty and provide to each debtor untainted advice and assistance.  

 

Chief Judge Robert H. Jacobvitz
Property of the Estate, Sales of Assets     06/14/2017     Railyard Company, LLC.     

The Chapter 11 Trustee sought to sell certain bowling equipment.  Debtor’s members objected.  The Court concluded that the bowling equipment was property of the estate, and the sale was fair and reasonable, and in the best intepropertyrests of the estate.  The Bowling Equipment was sold free and clear of liens

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

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