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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, Employment of Professionals, Professionals, Trustee     10/02/2015     Golden Park Estates, LLC, a New Mexico Limited Liability Company     

Chapter 11 trustee sought interim payments equal to 75% of the commissions earned during the previous month.  The Court found that Chapter 11 trustees are entitled to reasonable compensation under § 330(a)(7), up the statutory cap contained in § 326.  The Court also determined interim compensation was appropriate after considering factors such as the amount of work required to administer the estate, the existence of equity or cash flow, hardship to the trustee, whether the estate generates monthly income, and the existence of adequate safeguards in the event of disgorgement.

Judge David T. Thuma
Automatic Stay, Miscellaneous, Relief from Stay     09/15/2015     Kachina Village, LLC.     

Secured creditor sought to designate its collateral—an unimproved parcel— as single asset real estate, or “SARE,” as that term is defined in § 101(51B).  The only element in dispute was whether the subject property came within the exception for “residential real property with fewer than four residential units.”  The Court found that even if the exception applied to unimproved parcels, the subject property was SARE because Debtor’s development plans included more than four residences and a commercial building.

Judge David T. Thuma
Sanctions     08/31/2015     Benjamin Lawrence Walker and Linda Lee Walker; No. 7-13-14158 JA; Benjamin Lawrence Walker and Linda Lee Walker v. Christopher Marr, et al; AP No. 14-1077 - Docket No. 52     

On Defendants’ request for sanctions under Rule 37(b) and motion for protective order, the Court declined to dismiss adversary proceeding based on Plaintiffs’ failure to comply with order compelling discovery, but limited the evidence Plaintiffs would be allowed to present at trial and required Plaintiffs to further supplement their discovery responses.  The Court also denied Defendants’ motion for protective order.

Chief Judge Robert H. Jacobvitz
Proof of Claim, Time     08/27/2015     Sunland, Inc.     

  Chapter 7 Trustee objected to four proofs of claims.  Court sustained Trustee's objection finding that claimants failed to carry their burden of proving that the claims were timely mailed.

Judge David T. Thuma
Chapter 11, Proof of Claim     08/18/2015     Sunnyland Farms, Inc.     

Debtor objected to creditor's proof of claim.  Debtor overcame prima facie evidence of validity and amount of the proof of claim.  Creditor failed to carry final burden of persuasion as to full amount claimed but succeeded in carrying burden as to a lesser amount.

Judge David T. Thuma
Attorneys Fees, Costs of Litigation, Fees, Sanctions     08/12/2015     Virginia McCauley, Individually and as Personal Representative of the Estate of Fred L. McCauley, Russel Reed, and Tom McCauley & Sons, Inc. v. William Arthur McCauley and Terri Lynn McCauley     

Plaintiffs sought attorney fees for obtaining a order compelling discovery and to enforce the order; the court reviewed the facts and the law regarding Rule 37 and concluded that attorney fee awards were appropriate.

Judge David T. Thuma
Adversary Proceedings - Procedural Matters     08/03/2015     Estate of Harold G. Johnson v. Antoinette Cynthia Metheney; AP No. 15-1025 J (Docket No. 12)     

A non-attorney personal representative of a probate estate may not appear before the bankruptcy court pro se on behalf of himself or on behalf of the probate estate.  Self-representation before the bankruptcy court by a personal representative who is acting as a fiduciary for the beneficiaries of the probate estate would constitute the unauthorized practice of law.

Chief Judge Robert H. Jacobvitz
Compromise, Fees, Professionals, Standing     07/31/2015     Picacho Hills Utility Company, Inc.     

Debtor and Debtor's principal objected to Chapter 7 Trustee's motion to approve settlement of fee application with Debtor's former counsel.  Debtor and its principal argued that the settlement did not account for value of alleged malpractice claim estate could raise against the attorney.  Trustee objected to standing arguing that the malpractice claim had little or no value. The Court ruled that Debtor and its principal had standing, but that the proposed settlement was fair, equitable, and in the best interest of creditors.

Judge David T. Thuma
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     Ron G. Bustos et. al v. Jennifer Patricia 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