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
Dischargeability     10/10/2019     Michael Alarid Jr. vs Robert Pacheco     

The Court denied defendant’s motion to dismiss for failure to state a non-dischargeability claim under § 523(a)(2)(A) and granted motion to dismiss for failure to state a non-dischargeability claim under § 523(a)(6), with leave to amend complaint. The standard for willful and malicious injury requires:  1) a deliberate or intentional injury (willful); and 2) culpable conduct beyond recklessness done without justification or excuse while desiring, knowing or intending that the action cause the resulting harm (malicious). Willfulness may be inferred based on the debtor’s subjective belief that the consequences of his actions are substantially certain to occur.  An intentional breach of a settlement agreement may serve as the basis for a non-dischargeable § 523(a)(6) claim, provided the intentional breach meets the willful and malicious standards

 

Chief Judge Robert H. Jacobvitz
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
Abstention, Remand     07/31/2019     Matthew Kitts v. Cashco Inc., a New Mexico Corporation, et al     

The Court abstained and remanded an adversary proceeding to state court. In exercising its discretion to permissively abstain from hearing a class action adversary proceeding with non-debtor parties that was removed from state court the Court placed weight on (a) the claims are governed wholly by state law and require resolution of unsettled issues of state law; (b) the plaintiff demanded a jury trial; (c) the debtor defendants’ decision to remove the proceeding to bankruptcy court was motivated in part by forum shopping; and (d) remand will not adversely affect the administration of the Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases. 

Chief Judge Robert H. Jacobvitz
Extension of Time, Service     07/31/2019     Yvette J. Gonzales, Chapter 7 Trustee of the Quick Cash, Inc., Bankruptcy Estate v. Timothy Delgago, et al     

The court determined on the parties’ joint motion for summary judgment based on stipulated facts that debtor’s former spouse’s claim arising from a state court judgment awarding her a judgment in the event she paid debtor’s share of guardian ad litem fees debtor was ordered to pay in connection with the parties’ dissolution of marriage proceeding constituted a domestic support obligation (“DSO”) under § 101(14A), entitled to priority under § 507(a)(1)(B).  However, portion former spouse paid to GAL based on court-imposed sanction against debtor was not in the nature of support; consequently it was not entitled to priority status as a DSO.

 

Chief Judge Robert H. Jacobvitz
Motion to Sell, Standing     07/26/2019     Sandia Tobacco Manufacturers, Inc.     

Creditor with a colorable claim to the res debtor sought to sell had standing to object to the sale; creditor of that creditor lacked standing to object to the sale motion. A party must establish that  property is property of the estate as a prerequisite to a request to sell that property free of interests under 363(f). 

Chief Judge Robert H. Jacobvitz

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