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
Automatic Stay, Damages, Relief from Stay, Stay Violation     07/03/2014     Escobedo v. Davis et al     

Debtor sought damages for intentional stay violation, while creditor sought relief from the stay.  After trial the court held that the creditor willfully violated the automatic stay, and awarded debtor actual and punitive damages.  The court then modified the automatic stay to allow the creditor to pursue her rights in state court.

Judge David T. Thuma
Dischargeability, Dismissal, Due Process, Service, Summary Judgment     07/03/2014     Brown v. Humphrey     

Defendant filed motion to dismiss nondischargeability action because it was filed after the deadline.  Plaintiff responded that she was not given notice of the bankruptcy case until after the deadline.  The court ruled that it would treat the motion to dismiss as a motion for summary judgment because the response relied upon documents outside of the pleadings.  The court gave the defendant additional time to support its position on summary judgment.  The court also put the parties on notice that it would consider granting summary judgment on the issue to plaintiff, pursuant to Rule 56(f).

Judge David T. Thuma
Proof of Claim, Reconsideration, Service, Standing     06/19/2014     Sarah J. Quintero     

Debtor objected to creditor claim in a solvent chapter 7 estate. Trustee responded, defending the claim.  Creditor did not respond.  The court held that the trustee had standing to defend the claim and that the claim objection could not be sustained for procedural and substantive reasons.

Judge David T. Thuma
Discharge     06/12/2014     Kirtland Federal Credit Union v. Mesibov     

Creditor brought 727(a)(4) action, claiming that debtor made false  statements about her income.  After trial the court ruled that the statements were more in the nature of honest mistakes rather than intentionally false, and would not have changed the result of the Means Test.  Judgment for Debtor.

Judge David T. Thuma
Collateral Estoppel, Dischargeability, Res Judicata, Summary Judgment     06/12/2014     Duff et al v. Ayala     

Plaintiff moved for summary judgment in its Sec. 523(a)(6) action, based on a prior state court judgment.  The Court held that claim preclusion did not apply, but that issue preclusion did apply.  The Court then compared the elements of a 523(a)(6) action with the findings of the state court, and determined that issue preclusion left some key facts undetermined.  The Court denied summary judgment but limited the facts to be litigated at trial to those that were not determined by the prior state court judgment.

Judge David T. Thuma
Avoidance Actions, Res Judicata     05/29/2014     Mazel v. Hopkins     

On plaintiff's motion, the court struck two of defendant's affirmative defenses on res judicata and relevance grounds.

Judge David T. Thuma
Chapter 13, Valuation     05/23/2014     Ruben Authur Lucero     

Court heard testimony of the debtor and an appraiser and made findings about the value of a residential lot in rural New Mexico.

Judge David T. Thuma
Collateral Estoppel, Dischargeability, Nondischargeability, Summary Judgment     05/06/2014     Bates v. Siggins     

Plaintiff sued debtor alleging that a debt was nondischargeable due to fraud.  Debtor moved for summary judgment, arguing that a limitation of remedies in the subject contract precluded entry of a nondischargeable  money judgment.  The court denied the motion, holding, inter alia, that state court judgment entered pre-petition foreclosed such an argument under Rooker-Feldman and related doctrines.

Judge David T. Thuma
Classification of Claims, Punitive Damages, Unfair Discrimination     04/23/2014     Joe Michael Hyatt     

At disclosure statement stage, Court determined that the Debtor’s proposed separate classification of an unsecured claim based on a guaranty secured by non-debtor, third-party collateral was proper.   Debtor also proposed to separately classify the punitive damages portion of a creditor’s unsecured claim resulting in the subordination of the claim to other general unsecured creditors.  The Debtor could not rely on § 510(c) to equitably subordinate the punitive damages claim, but could attempt to achieve subordination through separate classification and treatment, subject to the requirements for separate classification under § 1122 and subject to the prohibition against unfair discrimination found in § 1129(b)(1).  This requires further evidence to be presented at confirmation.

Chief Judge Robert H. Jacobvitz
Discharge, Dismissal, Reconsideration     04/21/2014     Hari Simran Kaur Khalsa     

Debtor sought to reopen her bankruptcy case, closed ten years before, so she could amend her schedules to delete all creditors.  The Court determined that such a course of action was impermissible for a number of reasons, and further that it likely would not benefit the debtor in the way she intended.  The motion was denied.

Judge David T. Thuma

Pages