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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
Corporate Veil, Exemptions, Property of the Estate     03/27/2020     Timothy W. Hess     

Chapter 7 trustee objected to Debtor’s claimed homestead exemption in a house that he claimed to lease from the LLC owner, which in turn is wholly owned by the Debtor. The Court sustained the trustee’s objection because the balance of the equities did not justify inside reverse piercing of the corporate veil, and the Court determined that the Debtor could claim an exemption only to the extent of the value of his month-to-month leasehold interest in the property.


Judge David T. Thuma
Chapter 11, Conversion, Standing     03/20/2020     Victor P. Kearney     

Debtor moved to strike for lack of standing an objection to his motion to convert from chapter 11 to chapter 7, filed by the trustees of trusts in which Debtor is a beneficiary. The Court ruled that the trustees have standing as parties in interest to both object to the motion to convert and to move for reconversion to chapter 11 if the Court were to grant Debtor’s motion to convert.

Judge David T. Thuma
Discharge Injunction, Jurisdiction, Redemption, Res Judicata, Standing     03/13/2020     Fred Dale Van Winkle     

Debtor’s co-personal representatives moved to reopen case to file an adversary proceeding against certain creditors for an alleged violation of the discharge injunction. The Court granted the motion after determining that movants had standing, that the Court was not procedurally barred from reopening the case, and that movants had made a sufficient showing to justify reopening.

Judge David T. Thuma
Abstention, Jurisdiction     03/10/2020     United Tort Claimants, as Individuals v. Quorum Health Resources, LLC     

Based on comity and respect for state court, the Court permissively abstained from adjudicating a fee sharing dispute between attorneys over entitlement to fees earned as a result of the settlement agreement entered in the related adversary proceedings. Even though the Court has inherent authority to enforce its own prior orders, regulate the practice of attorneys who appear before it, and, consistent with § 105, exercise jurisdiction to prevent an abuse of process, the fee sharing dispute was already raised in a pending state court action.


Chief Judge Robert H. Jacobvitz
Dischargeability     02/28/2020     Adrianne Anaya v. Amalio Cardoza et al     

After trial, the Court determined that the debt resulting from a dog bite did not meet the willful and malicious requirements for nondischargeability under § 523(a)(6). Even though Defendants knew that animal welfare had declared their dogs dangerous, and knew that the dogs continued to get out of the Defendants’ fenced yard, Defendants were unaware of any prior attack, did not intend to injure Plaintiff, and did not have the subjective belief that their failure to properly confine their dogs was substantially certain to cause Plaintiff her particularized injury.


Chief Judge Robert H. Jacobvitz
Adversary Proceedings - Procedural Matters, Attorneys Fees, Default Judgment, Nondischargeability, Res Judicata     02/28/2020     Derrick E. Hendricks et al v. John Casey Griffin et al     

Plaintiffs asked this Court to rule that Plaintiffs state court judgment against Debtor-Defendants for breach of lease was nondischargeable as willful and malicious injury. One Defendant failed to appear at trial or otherwise defend and his debt to Plaintiffs is therefore nondischargeable, but Plaintiffs failed to prove that the other Defendant willfully and maliciously injured Plaintiffs’ rental property so her debt is discharged.


Judge David T. Thuma
Attorneys Fees, Chapter 13     02/14/2020     Stephen Guajardo and Roberta Garcia-Guajardo     

Debtors’ objected to their former counsel’s fee application for work done over a four-month span in their bankruptcy case and an adversary proceeding. The Court awards most of the requested amount, concluding that counsel’s work on the case was necessary, beneficial, and reasonable, except for some clerical work that should not have been billed to the estate.


Judge David T. Thuma
Miscellaneous     01/31/2020     Alfred E.Luckett, Jr., and Christine McCarthy     

The Debtors filed a “Motion to Compel Turnover/Release of Debtors from Incarceration” in which they requested that the Court enter an order compelling the Santa Fe New Mexico Sheriff and the Santa Fe County Detention Center to release them from incarceration for civil contempt.  Finding that the Debtors’ motion was, in effect, a motion to grant a writ of habeas corpus, the Court denied the motion on the ground that the habeas corpus statutes, 28 U.S.C. §§ 2241 and 2254, did not vest bankruptcy courts with jurisdiction to order the Debtors’ release from state custody. 

Judge Thomas McNamara
Abstention, Core Proceedings, Jurisdiction, Remand     01/29/2020     Philip J. Montoya, as chapter 7 Trustee of the Cashco, Inc. bankruptcy estate v. Stephen P. Curtis, and Stephen P. Curtis, Attorney at Law P.C.     

The Court granted plaintiff’s motion for mandatory abstention and remand. The removed state law action asserted state law claims and remained a non-core proceeding subject to mandatory abstention notwithstanding defendants’ defense that allegedly implicated the Court’s core jurisdiction to determine whether property is bankruptcy estate property. 

Chief Judge Robert H. Jacobvitz
Discharge Injunction, Exemptions, Property of the Estate, Standing, Statutory Construction     01/28/2020     Raymond Archuletta     

Property owners’ association challenged Debtor’s homestead exemption in his residence, arguing that Debtor had only a mere expectancy in a ¼ interest in the property that would not be realized after Debtor’s deceased mother’s estate was probated and all claims against the property were paid. Because succession of real property occurs upon decedent’s death, and following the trend in other districts, the Court recognizes Debtor’s homestead exemption as valid. However, property owners’ association may proceed against the property and the Debtor as personal representative without violating the discharge injuction. 

Judge David T. Thuma