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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
Class Action     11/10/2015     Quick Cash Inc.     

Class proofs of claim are permitted in bankruptcy cases.  The bankruptcy court may, in its discretion, apply Federal Rule 23 (governing class actions) through Bankruptcy Rule 9014 and Bankruptcy Rule 7023 to the claims allowance process to allow a class representative to file a class proof of claim on behalf of all similarly situated members of the class.  The following factors are relevant to the Court’s decision to apply Rule 7023 to allow the filing of a class proof of claim:  whether the class has been certified; notice of the bankruptcy claims bar date to class members or putative class members; whether public policy reasons favoring class action suits should be applied to the claims process; the nature of the class action, including whether it is an opt in or opt out class;  the timing of the request to file a class proof of claim; whether potential jurisdictional issues impede the filing of a class proof of claim; and the potential impact of the filing of a class proof of claim om the debtor’s reorganization prospects, the potential prejudice to other creditors, and the potential benefit to class members. 

Chief Judge Robert H. Jacobvitz
Class Action     11/10/2015     Caroline Tullie v. Quick Cash, Inc.     

The putative class representative satisfied all requirements for class certification under Federal Rule 23(a) and (b)(3), made applicable to adversary proceedings by Fed.R.Bank.P. 7023:  numerosity, commonality, typicality, adequacy of representation, predominance, and superiority.

Chief Judge Robert H. Jacobvitz
Automatic Stay, BAPCPA, Reaffirmation Agreements     11/02/2015     Mark and Melanie Williamson     

Debtors filed a statement of intention indicating an intent to retain a manufactured home subject to creditor’s security interest and to continue to pay the debt.  Debtors did not seek to reaffirm the debt and did not seek to redeem the property.  The Court denied creditor’s motion to 1) compel debtors to comply with their duties under § 521 by entering into a reaffirmation agreement; and 2) to delay the entry of the debtors’ discharge, holding that a creditor’s exclusive remedy with respect to the property based on the debtors’ failure to comply with their duties under § 521(a)(2) and/or § 521(a)(6) is provided in § 362(h)(1) and the hanging paragraph under § 521(a)(6):  termination of the automatic stay and removal of the property from the bankruptcy estate.  The creditor may proceed to exercise its rights with respect to the property as may be permitted under applicable nonbankruptcy law. 

Chief Judge Robert H. Jacobvitz
Adversary Proceedings - Procedural Matters, Attorneys Fees, Fees, Sanctions     10/30/2015     Robert I. Maese, Sr. et. al v. Rovert Maese, Jr. et. al     

Plaintiffs sought attorney fees in connection with obtaining an order compelling discovery.  The Court found that under Rule 37(a)(5), Plaintiffs were entitled to reasonable fees incurring in drafting the motion to compel, attending hearings on the motion to compel, preparing a discovery order, and preparing the attorney fee affidavit.  Plaintiffs were not entitled to fees incurred in their good faith attempt to obtain discovery or for reviewing the documents that were produced.

Judge David T. Thuma
Sanctions     10/26/2015     Dennis Pantano v. Michael Manno et.al     

Pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 37(b), the court imposed on Defendant/Debtor the harshest of sanctions, default judgment denying discharge, based on Defendant/Debtor’s willful and bad faith failure to attend court-ordered deposition after having been warned that failure to appear at the deposition could result in entry of default judgment and after having failed to attend two prior scheduled depositions in violation of court orders without complying with NM-LBR 703-01(b). 

Chief Judge Robert H. Jacobvitz
Chapter 13, Valuation     10/23/2015     Robinelle A. Gensler     

Chapter 13 Debtor sought to value manufactured home.  The Court used the NADA guide as a starting point, and then increased the value to account for upgrades and decreased the value to account for necessary repairs.  The Court also held that the value of a manufactured home does not take into account the costs of removing, relocating, or delivering the home.  

Judge David T. Thuma
Chapter 11, Employment of Professionals, Professionals, Trustee     10/02/2015     Golden Park Estates, LLC, a New Mexico Limited Liability Company     

Chapter 11 trustee sought interim payments equal to 75% of the commissions earned during the previous month.  The Court found that Chapter 11 trustees are entitled to reasonable compensation under § 330(a)(7), up the statutory cap contained in § 326.  The Court also determined interim compensation was appropriate after considering factors such as the amount of work required to administer the estate, the existence of equity or cash flow, hardship to the trustee, whether the estate generates monthly income, and the existence of adequate safeguards in the event of disgorgement.

Judge David T. Thuma
Automatic Stay, Miscellaneous, Relief from Stay     09/15/2015     Kachina Village, LLC.     

Secured creditor sought to designate its collateral—an unimproved parcel— as single asset real estate, or “SARE,” as that term is defined in § 101(51B).  The only element in dispute was whether the subject property came within the exception for “residential real property with fewer than four residential units.”  The Court found that even if the exception applied to unimproved parcels, the subject property was SARE because Debtor’s development plans included more than four residences and a commercial building.

Judge David T. Thuma
Adversary     09/14/2015     United Tort Claimants v. Quorum Health Resources, LLC.     

The Court has broad discretion to control discovery under Rule 26 and applied the test articulated in Shelton v. American Motors Corp., 805 F.2d 1323, 1327 8th Cir. 1988) which limits a party’s ability to depose opposing counsel unless, among other things, “no other means exist to obtain the information.”

Chief Judge Robert H. Jacobvitz
Relief from Judgment, Reconsideration     09/03/2015     United Tort Claimants v. Quorum Health Resources, LLC.     

A party may not use a motion to alter or amend a judgment under Rule 59 to raise new arguments that could have been raised in response to a motion for summary judgment; arguments raised for the first time in a Rule 59 motion are deemed waived and the court generally will not consider them. Here, the Court found a waiver.

Chief Judge Robert H. Jacobvitz