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
Appeals, Motion to Sell, Reconsideration, Sales of Assets     03/21/2017     Sandia Resorts, Inc.     

Debtor’s principal sought reconsideration and a stay pending appeal of an order approving the sale of Debtor’s hotel and other assets under section 363(f). The Court determined there were no grounds to reconsider the sale order.  It also found the movant was ineligible for a stay because he failed to satisfy the four factor test (likelihood of success on the merits, irreparable harm, etc).

Judge David T. Thuma
Administrative Claims, Attorneys Fees, Chapter 11, Employment of Professionals, Professionals - Conflict of Interest     02/28/2017     Blue Jet, Inc.     

Debtor sought approval of application to employ Chapter 11 DIP counsel under 11 U.S.C. § 327(a).  The Court concluded that Counsel's attempt to obtain an attorney charging lien for general bankruptcy work on Debtor's cash and accounts receivable would create a disqualifying interest under § 327(a).  The Court approved Counsel's employment absent the charging lien provision.

Judge David T. Thuma
Discharge, Discharge Injunction, Sanctions, Statutory Construction, Summary Judgment     02/10/2017     Sprague v. Williams et al     

Plaintiff asserted Defendants violated the discharge injunction and a court order when they took action, post-discharge, to foreclose judgment liens.  The Court declined to certify that issue to the New Mexico Supreme Court, as it required an analysis of the interplay between state and federal bankruptcy law.  The Court concluded that while a judgment lien ordinarily attaches to redeemed property under state law, Section 524 alters the analysis by cutting off lien attachment to property acquired after discharge.  The Court therefore entered summary judgment on liability, finding that Defendants violated the discharge injunction by attempting to collect a deficiency judgment from Plaintiff's redeemed property, to which the judgment lien had not attached.  The Court also declined to assess Rule 11 sanctions, set aside a stipulated order, and compel discovery.
 

Judge David T. Thuma
Avoidance Actions, Statutory Construction, Summary Judgment     02/08/2017     Aquatic Pools Inc.     

Debtor sought to avoid penalties accruing post-petition on otherwise perfected federal tax liens, on the theory that penalties accruing after lien notices were filed were unperfected.  Court concluded that the pre-petition penalties are perfected.

Judge David T. Thuma
Dischargeability, Nondischargeability     02/02/2017     Shirley v. Lopez     

Plaintiff claimed that Defendant willfully and maliciously hit his car, resulting in a nondischargeable debt under 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(6).  Defendant asserted the collision was an accident, and that he hit Plaintiff's car in an attempt to escape after Plaintiff chased him around Albuquerque's west side.  After weighing the credibility of each witness and examining photographs taken after the collision, the Court concluded that Defendant did not willfully or maliciously damage Plaintiff's car.

Judge David T. Thuma
Sanctions     01/31/2017     Enrique Fernandez Jr. and Renee Antoinette Fernandez     

The Court exercised its civil contempt powers and inherent authority under § 105 to hold special counsel in civil contempt based on special counsel’s failure to comply with order requiring special counsel to remit settlement proceeds to the Chapter 13 Trustee, and based on counsel’s failure to appear at a show cause hearing. Special counsel’s failure to remit the settlement proceeds caused a nearly one year delay.  Because civil contempt sanctions must either compensate the injured party for actual losses resulting from the contemnor’s conduct or coerce compliance, the Court based its monetary civil contempt sanction on the interest the settlement proceeds would have earned during the period of the delay at the Wall Street Journal prime per annum interest rate.

Chief Judge Robert H. Jacobvitz
Automatic Stay, Stay Violation     01/30/2017     Clyde Lovato     

The Court denied the debtor’s request to strike creditor’s motion for relief from stay, rejecting debtor’s argument that the creditor’s post petition recordation of an assignment of mortgage was void ab initio and violated the automatic stay.  The post-peptition transfer of an existing pre-petition mortgage and note, including the recording of an assignment of mortgage in the real property records, does not violate the automatic stay because it does not transfer the debtor’s property or property of the estate.  Such transfer does not constitute an act to perfect, create, or enforce a lien against the debtor’s property or property of the bankruptcy estate.

Chief Judge Robert H. Jacobvitz
Adversary, Contract Interpretation, Setoff     01/30/2017     Harpole Construction, Inc. v. Medallion Midstream, LLC     

Court held a trial on the merits on Plaintiff's and Defendant's breach of contract claims.  Although the Court found no breach of contract, the contract entitled Plaintiff to payment for work performed, which was more than offset by both the cost to fix Plaintiff's work and for subcontractor liens on Defendant's property.

Judge David T. Thuma
Discharge     01/24/2017     Peplinski v. Whitaker et al     

The Court denied the debtors’ discharge under § 727(a)(4) based on debtors’ failure to list  two vehicles on their schedules. 

Chief Judge Robert H. Jacobvitz
Employment of Professionals     01/18/2017     Gary Sasso     

The Court, sua sponte, terminated counsel’s employment representing Chapter 7 trustee in the bankruptcy case.   Counsel had an actual, disqualifying conflict of interest stemming from its representation of a creditor in the case.   

Chief Judge Robert H. Jacobvitz

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