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
Assumption and Rejection, Contract Interpretation     06/14/2016     SPOVERLOOK, LLC.     

Debtor moved to reject settlement agreement with a homeowner's association pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 365(a).  The settlement agreement required the Debtor to convey property and the HOA to release its claims against Debtor.  Neither had occurred as of the petition date.  The Court held that the settlement agreement was an executory contract because both parties had material unperformed obligations.  The fact that the HOA's obligation was contingent and self-executing did not change the result, as the mechanism for performance does not determine executoriness.  

Judge David T. Thuma
Discharge Injunction, Reaffirmation Agreements, Stay Violation, Summary Judgment     06/03/2016     Floyd White et al v. Cannon Federal Credit Union     

Creditor moved for summary judgment that its collection of a discharged debt did not violate the automatic stay and discharge injunction.  The court held that fact issues about whether the loan was secured; whether the debtors voluntarily agreed to pay the loansumm; and whether there was a valid novation, all prevented entry of summary judgment.

Judge David T. Thuma
Proof of Claim, Time     05/27/2016     Aquatic Pools, Inc.     

Debtor sought to establish on summary judgment that creditor's claim for wages or contract payables was not entitled to priority under § 507(a)(4).  Creditor argued that even though she was terminated more than 180 days before the petition date, the wages or contract payables were "earned" within that period because the payment was due about 150 days prepetition.  The Court overruled this argument and found that employees "earn" wages within the meaning of  § 507(a)(4) when the services are performed, not at the time of payment.

Judge David T. Thuma
Reconsideration, Standing     05/26/2016     Sandia Resorts, Inc.     

The court granted Debtor’s motion to set aside the order dismissing Debtor’s Chapter 11 case consistent with Rule 59(e) and 60(b)(6) to prevent manifest injustice.  The party who filed the motion to dismiss had transferred its interest in a loan before the filing of Debtor’s bankruptcy case, and was not acting as an agent of transferee, and, therefore, was not the real party in interest with constitutional standing to file the motion to dismiss.

Chief Judge Robert H. Jacobvitz
Chapter 11, Due Process, Injunctions     05/23/2016     Cady Landrum v. Otero County Hospital Association     

On cross motions for summary judgment, the Court determined that 1) the language in the Debtor-Hospital’s confirmed Chapter 11 plan was broad enough to enjoin claims against former employees of the Debtor-Hospital relating to claims against the Debtor-Hospital and has res judicata effect even if such third-party injunction is contrary to the requirements of the Bankruptcy Code;  2) that Plaintiff received actual notice of the commencement of the bankruptcy case, the hearing on confirmation of the Chapter 11 plan, and the deadline for filing administrative claims; and 3) fact issues concerning whether the content of the notice was sufficient to satisfy due process and bind plaintiff to the injunction contained in the Confirmed Chapter 11 plan precluded summary judgment.

Chief Judge Robert H. Jacobvitz
Discharge, Dischargeability, Nondischargeability     05/19/2016     Ron G. Sustos and Bustos, LLC v. Jennifer Patricia Muller     

Creditor filed an adversary proceeding to have Debtor's discharge denied under §§ 727(a)(3), (a)(4), and (a)(6), and the debt owed to him be declared nondischargeable under § 523(a)(2)(A).  After a trial on the merits, the Court ruled against the Creditor on all claims.

Judge David T. Thuma
Limitation of Actions, Summary Judgment     05/02/2016     Philip J. Montoya v. Gary Edward Sasso, et al.     

The Court denied summary judgment on the Trustee’s preference and fraudulent transfer claims to recover a vehicle as an asset of the bankruptcy estate.  Fact issues existed concerning whether the limitations period under § 546(a) could be extended under the doctrine of equitable tolling, which has a fraud component generally requiring active deception that lulls the plaintiff into inaction, and a diligence component measured by an objective standard.  The Court granted Trustee’s request under Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(g) to treat facts not subject to genuine dispute as established in the adversary proceeding.

Chief Judge Robert H. Jacobvitz
Automatic Stay, Cause, Relief from Stay     04/29/2016     SPOVERLOOK, LLC.     

Creditor moved for relief from the automatic stay for cause under 11 USC § 362(d)(1), in order to pursue a motion to enforce a settlement agreement in state court proceedings.  After applying the Curtisfactors, the Court decided that the motion should be denied, and reasoned that the Debtor should be allowed to attempt to reject the settlement agreement as an executory contract.

Judge David T. Thuma
Summary Judgment     04/14/2016     Philip Montoya, Trustee v. Gary Sasso et al     

Fact issues concerning the character of property acquired pre-petition by debtor’s non-filing spouse precluded summary judgment on Trustee’s claim for declaratory judgment determining that the property is an asset of the bankruptcy estate.  Court granted Trustee’s request under Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(g) to treat facts not subject to genuine dispute as established in the adversary proceeding.

Chief Judge Robert H. Jacobvitz
Avoidance Actions, Fraudulent Transfers, Preference, Summary Judgment     04/14/2016     Mazel v. Varela     

The Court denied the Trustee’s motion for partial summary judgment on claims to recover preferential and fraudulent transfers due to the following deficiencies: 1) the facts not subject to genuine dispute failed to establish the debtor’s insolvency at the time of the transfers – Trustee could rely on the presumption of insolvency only as to those transfers made within 90 days of the petition date and only with respect to the Trustee’s preferential transfer claims under § 547; 2) a lack of evidence of the value of the transferred property and the amount of creditor’s claim prevented the Court from determining whether the Trustee satisfied § 547(b)(5)’s hypothetical liquidation element for preferential transfers; 3) fact issues concerning reasonably equivalent value precluded judgment on the Trustee’s constructive fraud claims; and 4) circumstantial evidence of actual intent to hinder, delay, or defraud was not so overwhelming as to warrant summary judgment – such claims involving issues of intent and credibility are less susceptible to summary judgment.

Chief Judge Robert H. Jacobvitz

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