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
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
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
Abstention, Attorneys Fees, Dismissal, Jurisdiction     12/19/2016     Wilbert W. Salazar and Stephanie Rae Salazar     

Debtor's former counsel asked the Court to enter a money judgment against debtors for the attorneys fees and costs allowed in a dismissed chapter 13 case.  After analyzing the definition of "judgment" in Rules 9001 and 9002 and the relevant case law, the Court determined that a final fee order is a judgment that establishes the debtor's debt to counsel.  The Court also determined that regardless of whether it had jurisdiction over post-dismissal collection of allowed fees, it would abstain and leave collection matters to the state court.
 

Judge David T. Thuma
Adversary Proceedings - Procedural Matters, Jurisdiction, Standing     12/12/2016     Robert Yaquinto, Jr. v. John N. Ehrman     

Defendant moved to dismiss claims in adversary proceeding under FRCP 12(b)(1), arguing that the Plaintiff did not have standing to assert the claims.  The Court dismissed the case, concluding that Plaintiff did not have standing, because the plan failed to reserve the claims at issue under 11 U.S.C. 1123(b)(3).

Judge David T. Thuma
Contract Interpretation, Costs of Litigation, Disgorge Fees, Professionals, Settlement     12/07/2016     Hart Oil & Gas, Inc.     

Former liquidating trustee asked the Court to order her former counsel to return $22,753 to the estate for redistribution.  The former trustee argued that the payment was contrary to counsel’s fee agreement.  Counsel countered that the agreement was changed through a settlement to allow him to collect the funds.  The Court found that the order approving the settlement was ambiguous, and applied tradition canons of contract construction, including the Restatement, to conclude that a proper interpretation required it to grant the former trustee’s motion. cont

Judge David T. Thuma

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