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
Collateral Estoppel, Dischargeability, Nondischargeability, Summary Judgment     12/12/2013     Lopez Roofing Service, Inc., v. Baker     

Court entered summary judgment that debt to plaintiff was nondischargeable under Sec. 523(a)(4) (embezzlement), based upon debtor's guilty plea in prior criminal prosecution.  Court found that fact issues prevented judgment on the amount of damages.  Plaintiff's state court default judgment could not considered under claim preclusion principles because the judgment was based on alternative theories of recovery, at least one of which was dischargeable.

Judge David T. Thuma
Contract Interpretation, Integrated Agreement     12/09/2013     College of Christian Brothers of New Mexico     

Contract consisted of three separate documents that must be read together as the parties’ integrated agreement.  (2013 WL 6410408 (Bankr. D.N.M. Dec. 9, 2013);  Case No. 7-12-11195 JS)

Chief Judge Robert H. Jacobvitz
Dischargeability, Nondischargeability     12/02/2013     Gayle-Smith v. Wilson et al     

Court found that attorney fee debt was dischargeable, and that attorney's 523(a)(2) fraud claim failed because, inter alia, attorney did not prove justifiable reliance.discha

Judge David T. Thuma
Injunctions, Jurisdiction     11/27/2013     Tres Hermanos Dairy, LLC.     

Debtor's motion to stay proceedings pending district court ruling on a motion to withdraw the reference denied because the court found, inter alia, that the district court was unlikely to withdraw the reference of the subject core matter.

Judge David T. Thuma
Statutory Construction     11/26/2013     Platinum Oil Properties, LLC     

Court interpreted meaning of 25 C.F.R. § 211.53 to conclude that an assignment of operating rights in an oil and gas lease on Indian land requires approval of the Secretary of the Department of the Interior.    Because the debtor did not obtain the Secretary’s approval of a purported assignment of operating rights, the purported transfer was ineffective. (2013 WL 6195844 (Bankr. D.N.M. Nov. 26, 2013); Case No.  11-09-10832 JA – Docket No. 356)

Chief Judge Robert H. Jacobvitz
Discharge, Nondischargeability     11/13/2013     Sierra Chemicals, LLC v. Mosley     

Creditor sought to deny debtor's discharge under 727(a)(4) and/or declare its debt nondischargeable under 523(a)(4) or (a)(6).  Court ruled that the 727(a)(4) claim lacked merit because the false statement at issue was not material.  The court ruled that creditor's 523(a)(6) claim failed because the breach of contract at issue, while intentional, was not done with intent to harm.  Court ruled in creditor's favor on the 523(a)(4) claim to the extent of $30,000, finding that debtor embezzled creditor's intangible property.disch

Judge David T. Thuma
Judicial Estoppel, Jurisdiction, Reconsideration, Standing     10/28/2013     Baker v. Bank of New York, et al.     

Court has right and obligation to address its subject matter jurisdiction sua sponte.  Denial of plaintiffs' motion to substitute trustee of 2005 case as the sole plaintiff, made near the end of trial, properly denied when substitution would be futile and would prejudice defendant, and where plaintiffs should have discovered the ir standing problem years ago.

Judge David T. Thuma
Avoidance Actions, Fraudulent Transfers, Ponzi Scheme Issues     10/25/2013     Wagner v. Valencia, et al.     

In a case involving a Ponzi scheme, the Court concluded that the Trustee had established most of the prima facie elements of her preference claim.  More specifically, the Court found that: (1) payments to net losers were made on account of an antecedent debt; and (2) each investor received more than they would have in a Chapter 7 case.   Misc. Case No. 12-0006 (Bankr.D.N.M. Oct. 25, 2013).

Chief Judge Robert H. Jacobvitz
Avoidance Actions, Fraudulent Transfers, Ponzi Scheme Issues, Summary Judgment     10/23/2013     Wagner v. Oliva, et. al.,     

In a case involving a Ponzi scheme, the Court concluded that the Trustee had established most of the prima facie elements of her fraudulent transfer claims.  More specifically, the Court found that: (1) Douglas Vaughan’s plea agreement would be admissible at trial; (2) VCR operated as Ponzi scheme, meaning that the transfers were made with the actual intent to defraud creditors; (3) VCR was insolvent during the relevant time periods; (4) VCR received less than reasonably equivalent value for the payment of net winnings; and (5) VCR had an interest in the transferred funds.  Misc. Case No. 12-0006 (Bankr.D.N.M. Oct. 23, 2013).

Chief Judge Robert H. Jacobvitz
Collateral Estoppel, Nondischargeability, Summary Judgment     10/15/2013     Sierra Chemicals, LLC v. Mosley     

Plaintiff's motion for partial summary judgment based on issue preclusion denied; federal arbitration findings are entitled to preclusive effect, but a key finding of "willfulness" under Sec. 523(a)(6) was not made by the arbitrator.

Judge David T. Thuma

Pages