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
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     Bustos et al v. 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     Smelcer v. Citizens Bank of Kilgore     

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
Attorneys Fees, Garnishment, Judicial Liens - Avoidance, Stay Violation     05/29/2015     Seigfried et al v. Board     

Plaintiffs sought attorney's fees for Defendant's willful violation of the automatic stay.  Court held that award of attorney's fees should be offset by Defendant's judicial lien on garnished wages that was not avoided.

Judge David T. Thuma
Compromise, Professionals     05/15/2015     Nancy Akbari-Shamirzakdi     

Liquidating Trustee moved to settle all of the estate's claims against the Debtor's former attorney.  Debtor objected arguing the settlement ignored the value of alleged malpractice claims the estate could raise against the attorney.  The court ruled that the proposed settlement was fair, equitable, and in the best interest of creditors.

Judge David T. Thuma
Automatic Stay, Damages, Stay Violation, Summary Judgment     05/11/2015     Velasquez v. Los Alamos National Bank     

Debtor sought emotional distress damages, punitive damages, fees, and costs for willful violation of the automatic stay.   Creditor filed papers in the state court after entry of the stay relief order but before the expiration of the 14-day stay contained in Rule 4001(a)(3).  The court denied debtor's request to conduct additional discovery on summary judgment because debtor failed to demonstrate how the requested discovery would create a fact issue.  The court also found that debtor suffered no damages as a result of the stay violation, which occurred only 5 days before the stay terminated and was immediately remedied.

Judge David T. Thuma

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