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
Adversary     09/14/2015     United Tort Claimants v. Quorum Health Resources, LLC.     

The Court has broad discretion to control discovery under Rule 26 and applied the test articulated in Shelton v. American Motors Corp., 805 F.2d 1323, 1327 8th Cir. 1988) which limits a party’s ability to depose opposing counsel unless, among other things, “no other means exist to obtain the information.”

Chief Judge Robert H. Jacobvitz
Relief from Judgment, Reconsideration     09/03/2015     United Tort Claimants v. Quorum Health Resources, LLC.     

A party may not use a motion to alter or amend a judgment under Rule 59 to raise new arguments that could have been raised in response to a motion for summary judgment; arguments raised for the first time in a Rule 59 motion are deemed waived and the court generally will not consider them. Here, the Court found a waiver.

Chief Judge Robert H. Jacobvitz
Collateral Estoppel, Res Judicata     09/03/2015     United Tort Claimants v. Quorum Health Resources, LLC.     

The bankruptcy court has the authority to determine the preclusive effect of its own judgments, but may, under principles of judicial comity and judicial economy, defer to the state court to decide whether the bankruptcy court’s judgment should be given res judicata or collateral estoppel effect.  The Court deferred to the state court for several reasons.  The parties in the state court action were not parties in the adversary proceedings before the Bankruptcy Court, which raised due process concerns, and the issue was already being litigated in state court.  The application of res judicata and collateral estoppel required a determination of whether the parties in the two actions are in privity.colla

Chief Judge Robert H. Jacobvitz
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

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