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
Chapter 11, Dismissal or Conversion     12/05/2016     Sandia Resorts, Inc.     

The Court converted debtor’s chapter 7 case, finding that conversion, rather than dismissal, was in the best interest of the estate and its creditors.  Creditor who had filed a competing reorganization plan made an offer to purchase the estate’s assets which, if accepted, could result in a 20% distribution on  non-priority unsecured claims. 

Chief Judge Robert H. Jacobvitz
Assumption and Rejection, Chapter 11, Trustee     12/02/2016     Railyard Brewing Company, LLC.     

Chapter 11 trustee of the Railyard Company sought to reject a lease between his estate and Railyard Brewing, a company owned by Debtor’s principals.  The lease was drafted by a principal while he controlled both companies, and it contained unusual terms that favored the lessee and burdened the lessor-estate.  The Court concluded that the trustee’s decision to reject the lease was within his sound business judgment.  However, because Railyard Brewing was potentially an appropriate tenant for the space, the Court directed the parties to attempt to negotiate a new, commercially reasonable lease through mediation.

Judge David T. Thuma
Contract Interpretation, Settlement     11/30/2016     Fuel 4 Less, LLC.     

Term in agreed order settling adversary proceeding which provided for payment of remaining settlement proceeds to “general unsecured creditors” was ambiguous and had to be construed against the drafter consistent with the priority distribution scheme contained in the Bankruptcy Code. The Code and Rules recognize priority unsecured claims and non-priority unsecured claims, but not general unsecured claims.  To be enforceable against all parties in interest with notice, a provision contrary to the requirements of the Bankruptcy Code must use explicit, clear language.   The Court denied the Chapter 7 Trustee’s motion to enforce the agreed order.

Chief Judge Robert H. Jacobvitz
Automatic Stay, Standing     11/30/2016     Susan Murphey     

Bank that obtained a judgment of foreclosure, acquired title to the property by special master’s deed, and obtained an order confirming the special master’s sale in state court before the filing of Debtor’s bankruptcy petition had standing as a party in interest to seek relief from the automatic stay.  Debtor, who was not the mortgagor, held only a possessory interest in the property as of the petition date.  The Court granted relief from the automatic stay to permit the Bank to return to state court to exercise its rights in the property.

Chief Judge Robert H. Jacobvitz
Abstention, Adversary Proceedings - Procedural Matters, Contract Interpretation, Due Process, Jurisdiction     11/23/2016     Harpole Construction Inc. v. Medallion Midstream, LLC     

Defendant asked the Court to dismiss the adversary proceeding for lack of jurisdiction, to abstain, or to transfer venue.  Defendant argued that pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 1409(d), venue should be transferred to Texas because it lacked sufficient minimum contacts with New Mexico.  The Court concluded that Defendant purposefully availed itself of the privilege of conducting activities within New Mexico, as it solicited Plaintiff to bid on projects and entered into a construction contract with Plaintiff that included provisions invoking New Mexico law.  The Court also declined to enforce a forum selection clause requiring the case to be tried in Dallas, Texas because the proceeding was core and the public interest in centralizing bankruptcy proceedings outweighed the interests in enforcing a forum selection clause.  Finally, the Court declined to abstain under discretionary abstention provisions.

Judge David T. Thuma
Adversary Proceedings - Procedural Matters, Contract Interpretation, Dischargeability, Jurisdiction, Nondischargeability     11/23/2016     Monge v. Jayme et al     

Defendants asked the Court to dismiss the adversary proceeding for lack of jurisdiction and failure to state a claim.  Plaintiffs asserted claims under sections 523 and 727.  The Court concluded standing, and therefore jurisdiction, was proper because Plaintiffs were listed as creditors.  The Court declined to dismiss based on preclusion principles because Plaintiffs did not include documents from the previous proceeding with their motion.  The Court also overruled Plaintiffs' argument that the complaint was time-barred, as it was filed within the extended deadline under section 523(c).  With respect to the sufficiency of the complaint, the Court ordered Plaintiffs to amend the complaint to state their claims with more clarity.

Judge David T. Thuma
Fees     11/18/2016     Martinez v. Jaffer     

Plaintiff whose income was less than 150 percent of the official poverty guideline for a family of the size involved, and who was unable to pay the fee for filing a complaint in installments, could defer payment of the fee pending recovery of sufficient funds to pay the filing fee from a money judgment entered in Plaintiff’s favor on Plaintiff’s claims raised in the adversary proceeding.  

Chief Judge Robert H. Jacobvitz
Adversary Proceedings - Procedural Matters, Dismissal     11/16/2016     Martinez v. Jaffer     

After defendant filed a motion to dismiss under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6), Plaintiff filed an amended complaint as a matter of right under Fed.R.Civ.P. 15(a)(1).  Because the amended complaint superceded the original complaint, the motion to dismiss sought to dismiss a complaint that was no longer in effect. The Court therefore denied the motion to dismiss without prejudice.

Chief Judge Robert H. Jacobvitz
Adversary, Adversary Proceedings - Procedural Matters, Due Process, Jurisdiction     11/14/2016     Montoya v. Akbari-Shahmirzadi et al     

Defendant from Dubai sought to dismiss Plaintiff's complaint for lack of personal jurisdiction and failure to state a claim.  Plaintiff sued Defendant to recover allegedly fraudulent transfers from the Debtor.  The inquiry was whether defendant had sufficient minimum contacts with the forum state, which in bankruptcy cases is the United States.  The Court concluded it had personal jurisdiction over the Defendant, which intentionally accepted $250,000 from the Debtor's Swiss bank account.  The Court also directed Plaintiff to amend the complaint to more clearly state his claims. 

Judge David T. Thuma
Chapter 11, Confirmation     11/04/2016     Sandia Resorts, Inc.     

The Court denied debtor’s motion to designate creditor’s ballots under 11 U.S.C. § 1126(e) as having been solicited in bad faith.  Designation under 11 U.S.C. § 1126(e) is permissive and falls within the Court’s sound discretion. Debtor presented insufficient evidence of improper solicitation necessary to designate creditor so that its ballot rejecting debtor’s plan would not be counted. 

Chief Judge Robert H. Jacobvitz

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