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
Good Faith, Statutory Construction     10/11/2019     Jody and Richard Garcia     

Debtor  signed an Endorsement Agreement guaranteeing a $1.8 million loan that her father used mostly to finance the rehabilitation of a ski mountain and resort.  She was to get ten percent of the profits from the ski area—either from operating profits or from sale of parcels.  Debtor was motivated to help her father, but also motivated by profit.  When the father defaulted on the loan, the Debtor attempted to repay it, but ultimately filed for bankruptcy.  Debtor sought to reconvert Chapter 13 bankruptcy to Chapter 7, and Bank argued that under 11 USC Section 707(b), Debtor’s case must be dismissed for abuse because the debt was a consumer debt.  The main issue is whether the debt is consumer or non-consumer debt, and this opinion synthesizes the case law and sets forth several considerations that factor into a court’s resolution of the issue of whether debt is “consumer” or “non-consumer.”  Court held that debt is a non-consumer debt, and therefore allowed conversion to chapter 7, and denied Bank’s motion to dismiss.

 

Judge David T. Thuma
Abandonment, Classification of Claims, Exemptions, Good Faith     10/04/2019     Michael Allen Holley     

Pursuant to 11 U.S.C. Section 544(c) only property that is properly scheduled on schedules A and B can be deemed abandoned.  The debtor in this case mentioned an accident from which he suffered personal injury on his Schedule I only.  He settled his personal injury claim for $1.6 million.  In a subsequent bankruptcy case, the debtor attempted to claim exemptions under 11 U.S.C. Section 522(d) in property purchased with the proceeds of the personal injury settlement.  The Court held that: (1)  the trustee did not abandon the personal injury claim to the Debtor; (2) the exemptions are not allowable because they were purchased with the ill gotten gains of an innocent misrepresentation, at best, or a bankruptcy crime, at worst; and (3) in the alternative, the exemptions were not allowable on their merits.

 

Judge David T. Thuma
Due Process, Proof of Claim, Service, Standing     10/03/2019     Kyu Dong Park and Woo Jung Lee     

Foreign claimant filed a proof of claim, the trustee objected, the claimant did not respond but the debtors did, alleging that they had standing and that the procedure of notifying the claimant was unfair. The Court held that notice was proper and that while the trustee can respond to claim objections, the debtors cannot, so the Court strikes debtors response and allows claimant 30 days to respond.

 

Judge David T. Thuma
Attorneys Fees, Fees, Professionals     09/30/2019     KOBA limited Partnership     

Former chapter 11 DIP counsel sought approval of fee application and debtor’s owner objected on the grounds that attorneys fees greatly overran estimates, that counsel did not protect debtor’s interest regarding critical vendors, that counsel misled owner, and that counsel’s work on real estate closing was unnecessary. After considering the factors in Johnson and section 330, the Court grants the application less the amount billed toward plan confirmation and the disclosure statement.

 

Judge David T. Thuma
Adversary, Contract Interpretation, Nondischargeability     08/30/2019     Vanessa K. Baca v. Mark Aragon     

Defendant Debtor sold a house to Plaintiff under false pretenses and/or false representations when he led Plaintiff to believe he could sell her the house unencumbered. Because Defendant’s impermissible actions made it impossible for Defendant to sell the house to Plaintiff free of the mortgage, the Defendant’s debt to Plaintiff is nondischargable in an amount to be determined in state court proceedings.

Judge David T. Thuma
Miscellaneous     08/08/2019     Clark C. Coll v. Carla Franco et al     

Defendant filed motions to strike the answers to her quiet title counterclaim and third-party claim on the grounds that the answers were filed late.  The Court concluded that the motions were not well taken and denied them.

 

Judge David T. Thuma
Motion to Sell, Professionals, Professionals - Conflict of Interest     07/31/2019     Roy Mitchell Waggoner and Jewell Kay Waggoner     

Trustee filed motion for proposed sale of Debtors’ house. The proposed sale included a “finder’s fee” to Rebecca Heizer, who is not a licensed real estate agent in any jurisdiction. Nor was Ms. Heizer employed by the estate. The Court ruled that the proposed sale was beneficial to the estate. However, the Court disallowed any payment of a finder’s fee as it was contrary to New Mexican law and Ms. Heizer was not employed by the estate.

 

Judge David T. Thuma
Adversary, Adversary Proceedings - Procedural Matters, Default Judgment, Reconsideration, Standing     07/24/2019     CA Silverman     

Trustee filed motion for “turnover” requiring Debtor to cooperate in marketing and sale of Debtor’s house. Debtor objected, moving to vacated the default judgment in the adversary proceeding against her ex-boyfriend on which the turnover motion was based. Parties stipulated to a ruling on the motions for the preliminary issues of whether the Debtor should have been named in the adversary proceeding and whether the default judgment should be set aside. The Court ruled the Debtor should not have been named, the default judgment would not be set aside, and Debtor did not have standing to object to the adversary proceeding default judgment under F.R.C.P. 60(b).

 

Judge David T. Thuma
Avoidance Actions, Fraudulent Transfers     07/19/2019     Clark C. Coll, Trustee v. Stephen Blanco et al     

The chapter 7 trustee sued defendant to avoid alleged fraudulent transfers in the form of checks and cash withdrawals.  Defendant presented a defense that the payments were for salary, rent, and other legitimate business expenses.  The Court found and concluded that only a portion of the transfers could be avoided for the benefit of the estate.

Judge David T. Thuma
Discharge, Nondischargeability     06/26/2019     Susan Pillarella-Bryant et al v. Joseph Bryant et al     

Defendant was accused of breach of trust. Plaintiff moved for a finding of nondischargeability of a domesticated judgment under §523 and a denial of discharge under §727. The Court ruled that the Defendant’s debt was nondischargeable under §523(a)(4) and §523(a)(6). Discharge was not denied under §727.dischar

Judge David T. Thuma

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