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
Motion to Sell     07/25/2016     Christopher R. Moreno and Ernestina S. Moreno     

The Court granted the Trustee’s amended motion to sell real property free and clear of liens, claims and interests to a relative of the debtor, pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 363(b), (f), and (h) with such liens, claims and interests, if any, to attach to the proceeds of the sale with the same validity and priority and to the same extent that they attached to the asset sold.  The Court applied the sound business judgment test which requires the Trustee to establish sound business reasons for the sale.  A non-debtor party who objected to the sale had a ½ interest in the property, which was located in a rural area.  The property had significant access, water, and septic issues.   The purchaser, a relative of the debtor and the objecting party, agreed to purchase the property “as is,” and provided independent estimates for the needed repairs and upgrades to the property to justify the low sales price. 

Chief Judge Robert H. Jacobvitz
Cause, Dismissal     07/15/2016     Herman Herrera     

Debtor sought to voluntarily dismiss this case under 11 U.S.C. § 707(a).  The Court balanced the interests of the Debtor and the creditors, and closely scrutinized the Debtor's motivations for dismissal and any prejudice to creditors.  The Court concluded that Debtor carried his burden to show cause for dismissal. 

Judge David T. Thuma
Adversary Proceedings - Procedural Matters, Dismissal, Standing     07/08/2016     Jim R. Hunter et al v. Madrid et al     

Debtor moved to dismiss the Chapter 7 case he filed, upon learning that he would not be able to retain a non-exempt rental property.  The trustee opposed the motion.  The court held that dismissal was appropriate under the facts and circumstances of the case.

Judge David T. Thuma
Discharge, Dischargeability, Relief from Judgment, Res Judicata     06/21/2016     Pantano v. Sasso     

Plaintiff sought to alter or amend the judgment denying defendant’s discharge pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 60(b) and the Court’s §105 equitable powers to increase the amount of a monetary judgment relating to plaintiff’s non-dischargeability claims. Plaintiff’s non-dischargeability claims were based on the same conduct that resulted in a state court judgment.  Claim preclusion principles barred the Court from changing the amount of the non-dischargeable debt represented by the state court judgment in a subsequent non-dischargeability proceeding.    The Court was required to give full faith and credit to the state court judgment, and, under Illinois law, the state court judgment was entitled to preclusive effect. 

Chief Judge Robert H. Jacobvitz
Automatic Stay, Relief from Stay     06/15/2016     Alliance Well Service, LLC.     

Secured creditor filed motion for relief from stay or alternatively adequate protection, and sought to establish that its right to adequate protection began on the petition date.  Absent specific guidance from the Bankruptcy Code, the Court considered three possible dates identified in the case law: petition date, motion date, or state law remedies date.  The Court concluded that the motion date was consistent with the code, practical, and fair to both sides.  The Court held that the creditor's right to adequate protection began to accrue as of the date the motion was filed.

Judge David T. Thuma
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