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
Attorneys Fees, Costs of Litigation, Fees, Sanctions     08/12/2015     Virginia McCauley, Individually and as Personal Representative of the Estate of Fred L. McCauley, Russel Reed, and Tom McCauley & Sons, Inc. v. William Arthur McCauley and Terri Lynn McCauley     

Plaintiffs sought attorney fees for obtaining a order compelling discovery and to enforce the order; the court reviewed the facts and the law regarding Rule 37 and concluded that attorney fee awards were appropriate.

Judge David T. Thuma
Adversary Proceedings - Procedural Matters     08/03/2015     Estate of Harold G. Johnson v. Antoinette Cynthia Metheney; AP No. 15-1025 J (Docket No. 12)     

A non-attorney personal representative of a probate estate may not appear before the bankruptcy court pro se on behalf of himself or on behalf of the probate estate.  Self-representation before the bankruptcy court by a personal representative who is acting as a fiduciary for the beneficiaries of the probate estate would constitute the unauthorized practice of law.

Chief Judge Robert H. Jacobvitz
Compromise, Fees, Professionals, Standing     07/31/2015     Picacho Hills Utility Company, Inc.     

Debtor and Debtor's principal objected to Chapter 7 Trustee's motion to approve settlement of fee application with Debtor's former counsel.  Debtor and its principal argued that the settlement did not account for value of alleged malpractice claim estate could raise against the attorney.  Trustee objected to standing arguing that the malpractice claim had little or no value. The Court ruled that Debtor and its principal had standing, but that the proposed settlement was fair, equitable, and in the best interest of creditors.

Judge David T. Thuma
Turnover     07/23/2015     Judith Wagner v. Michael Dreskin; et al; AP No. 13-1030 (Docket No. 160)     

The motion for judgment on the pleadings under Rule 12(c) was considered under the same standard as a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted under Rule 12(b)(6).  Trustee failed to state a claim for turnover or an accounting under § 542(a) or (e).  If the estate’s claim of ownership of property is in dispute, claims for turnover under § 542(a) must be coupled with a separate claim to avoid or recover a transfer for the benefit of the estate.  Documents subject to turnover under § 542(e) must already be in existence; § 542(e) cannot, therefore, be relied upon to request a party to create an accounting.  The documents trustee sought to recover did not relate to the debtors’ property or to the debtor’s financial affairs.

Chief Judge Robert H. Jacobvitz
Adversary, Discharge, Nondischargeability     07/13/2015     Ron G. Bustos et. al v. Jennifer Patricia Muller     

 Defendant sought judgment on the pleadings under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(c) of two claims in adversary complaint  .  The Court reviewed the pleadings and found that Plaintiffs met their burden in pleading claims for nondischargeability (523(a)(2)(A)) and denial of discharge (727(a)(6)).

Judge David T. Thuma
Administrative Claims, Chapter 13, Dismissal or Conversion     07/10/2015     In Re: Beuregard, Rule- Osburn, and Montano     

Chapter 13 trustee sought instructions about disbursing held funds after conversion of cases, in light of the Supreme Court ruling in Harris v. Viegelahn.  The Court ruled that, upon conversion, all held funds must be returned to the debtors.

Judge David T. Thuma
Cause, Dismissal, Good Faith     07/10/2015     Angela C. McGuire-Pike and Richard S. Pike     

Creditor moved to dismiss Chapter 7 case on grounds of bad faith.  The court weighed the evidence taken at trial, applied the relevant factors, and ruled that the movants did not carry their burden of proving bad faith.

Judge David T. Thuma
Adversary Proceedings - Procedural Matters, Jurisdiction, Res Judicata     07/02/2015     Marilyn M. Smelcer v. Citizens Bank of Kilgore et. al     

Liquidating agent for debtor's estate brought state law claims against secured lender.  Lender moved to dismiss, arguing inter alia that the claims had not been reserved by the confirmed plan of liquidation.  The court reviewed the case law and the plan language and granted the motion to dismiss.

Judge David T. Thuma
Waiver     06/18/2015     Eloy Martinez and Rosina Martinez; No. 7-10-11101 – Docket No. 210, entered 6/18/15     

Upon conversion from Chapter 13 to Chapter 7, § 348(f)(1)(B) negates all valuations of property made while the bankruptcy case was proceeding under Chapter 13.  The parties’ stipulation of value during the Chapter 13 case “for all purposes in the case” lacked specificity to establish that the parties intended the valuation to apply if the case converted to Chapter 7 or to waive application of § 348(f)(1)(B).  The parties may present extrinsic evidence.  For purposes of lien avoidance, the petition date, not the conversion date, is the operative date to determine value.

Chief Judge Robert H. Jacobvitz
Chapter 11, Dismissal or Conversion, Trustee     06/11/2015     Golden Park Estates, LLC, a New Mexico Limited Liability Company     

Major secured creditor moved to dismiss or convert chapter 11 case.  U.S. Trustee moved to dismiss the case or appoint a Chapter 11 trustee.  The court found that cause existed to convert, dismiss, or appoint a trustee.  The court ruled that appointment of a trustee was the preferred course because of other debt that could be paid and because the debtor apparently had substantial equity.

Judge David T. Thuma