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
Chapter 11, Classification of Claims, Miscellaneous     08/10/2016     Hungry Horse, LLC     

Debtor sought to remove Creditor from the unsecured creditors' committee, arguing that Creditor's claim was secured by Debtor's payment and performance bonds.  The Court concluded that the bonds acted as third party guarantees and did nchaptot give rise to any lien or collateral in favor of Creditor.  Creditor was therefore eligible to a member of the committee.

Judge David T. Thuma
Equitable Remedies, Miscellaneous, Property of the Estate     08/05/2016     WAS, LLC v. Clarke Coll     

Creditors asked the Court to impose a constructive trust on Debtor's funds after Debtor essentially breached its obligation to remit to Plaintiffs 32% of its operating revenues.  The Court determined that constructive trusts are an extraordinary remedy in bankruptcy, and typically are only imposed in cases involving fraud, extreme injustice, or egregious conduct.  The Court declined to impose a constructive trust because Debtor's failure to remit the income stream to Creditors did not rise to that level.

Judge David T. Thuma
Adversary, Evidence     08/01/2016     Cronk et al v. Bushey     

Creditor-plaintiffs who intend to offer only portions of a deposition transcript at trial are required under Rule 32(a)(6) to offer additional portions of the deposition transcript that in fairness should be considered together with the initially designated portions.  Opposing party-defendant, who did not attend the depositions and did not pay for a copy of the deposition transcripts would be given an opportunity to review the transcript to designate additional portions of the transcript that offering party would be required to introduce to comply with Rule 32(a)(6). However, the opposing party-defendant could not obtain a complete copy of the transcript through the pre-trial exchange of exhibits process.  The opposing party-defendant must pay for the deposition transcript per Rule 30(f)(3) if he wishes to introduce other portions of the transcript at trial, or wants to obtain a complete copy of the transcript.  Creditor-plaintiffs may file a motion in limine if they disagree that the counter-designated portions of the deposition testimony need not be included to comply with Rule 32(a)(6).

Chief Judge Robert H. Jacobvitz
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. motion

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
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, 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

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