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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, 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
Chapter 11, Confirmation     11/02/2016     Sandia Resorts, Inc.     

The Court temporarily allowed debtor’s principal’s claim pursuant to Fed.R.Bankr.P. 3018(a) for voting purposes.  The Court has some discretion to determine the amount of a creditor’s claim for voting purposes.  The claimant must present sufficient evidence that it has a colorable claim capable of temporary evaluation.  Claimant was not entitled to a claim for arising from anticipated lease-rejection damages.

Chief Judge Robert H. Jacobvitz
Exemptions     10/14/2016     Scott A. Bushey     

Creditors objected to debtor’s claims of exemption, asserting that debtor could not claim exemptions under the New Mexico exemption statute applicable to married persons or heads of household, nor could the debtor claim exemptions under the New Mexico exemption statute applicable to persons who support only themselves.  Debtor was not married and depended upon his live-in girlfriend for support.  The Court overruled the creditor’s objection, interpreting the New Mexico statute to allow the debtor to claim an exemption under 42-10-2 notwithstanding the fact that his income was insufficient to fully support himself.  The Court overruled the Creditors’ objection to debtor’s claimed exemption in the cash surrender value of a life insurance policy and debtor’s homestead exemption.  The Court also overruled the Creditors’ objection to Debtor’s claimed exemption in televisions, stereo, speakers, Blue Ray Players, wall art, beaver fur, and twenty-seven pieces of silver jewelry.  The Court sustained the creditors’ objection to the debtor’s claimed exemption in a camera, bicycles, skis, boots, and ski gear, because those items did fall within the category of “furniture” or “clothing” under the New Mexico exemption statutes. 

Chief Judge Robert H. Jacobvitz
Adversary Proceedings - Procedural Matters, Costs of Litigation     10/14/2016     Hasmukhbhai K. Patel v. Dipakkumar Vanmalibhai Patel et al     

After obtaining a nondischargeable judgment under section 523(a)(4), Plaintiffs sought to recover litigation costs under Fed.R.Bankr.P. 7054, Local Rule 7054-1, and 28 U.S.C. 1920.  Defendants argued the award should be limited to only those costs which can be tied to a successful claim.  The Court rejected this argument and instead analyzed whether the costs appeared necessary at the time they were incurred for preparation of the case.  The Court then analyzed whether individual costs for transcription fees, copying charges, and witness fees were reasonable and/or allowable. 

Chief Judge Robert H. Jacobvitz