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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
Reconsideration     01/24/2020     Picacho Hills Utility Company Inc.     

Debtor moved for reconsideration of the Court’s previous opinion overruling Debtor’s claim objection, arguing that its counsel lacked authority to permit the Court to issue a ruling on the pleadings and that Debtor would have provided new documentary and testimonial evidence in support of its position at a final hearing. Because counsel’s strategic litigation choice was not a concession that resulted in manifest injustice to the Debtor and because the findings and conclusions in the new evidence were previously in this record, the Debtor’s motion is denied

Judge David T. Thuma
Dischargeability, Sham Affidavit     01/24/2020     Gorence & Oliveros, P.C., TMP Legal, LLC, Adam Griego, and Elijah Haukereid v. David Robert Chavez, Jr.     

The Court granted summary  judgment as to one plaintiff on a non- dischargeability claim under 523(a)(6) for willful and malicious injury. To the extent Defendant’s affidavit contradicted admissions contained in Defendant’s prior plea   agreement, the affidavit would be disregarded as a sham affidavit. Default judgment   had no issue preclusive effect. Fact issues precluded summary judgment as to the other  plaintiff. 

Chief Judge Robert H. Jacobvitz
Disclosure Statement, Jurisdiction     01/21/2020     Michele Geraldine Ament     

The Court determined that it has jurisdiction to divide community property notwithstanding a pending dissolution of marriage proceeding in which property division has not yet been determined. The Court therefore did not deny approval of the debtor’s disclosure statement based on alleged facial unconfirmability of plan that proposes to divide community property. The Court required debtor to amend disclosure statement provide adequate information. The Court also discussed abstention.


Chief Judge Robert H. Jacobvitz
Adequate Protection, Automatic Stay     01/16/2020     Michele Geraldine Ament     

The Court granted, in part, creditors motion for relief from stay as to certain real property, and denied the creditor’s motion for relief from stay as to other real property and two vehicles, which were necessary to debtor’s reorganization efforts, on the condition that the debtor make adequate protection payments to the creditor.


Chief Judge Robert H. Jacobvitz
Automatic Stay, Redemption     01/09/2020     Allison Katherine Fitzsimmons     

Creditor was entitled to recover compensatory damages for willful violation of the automatic stay by another creditor. The Court rejected the argument that the stay terminated by operation of law because the debtor failed to complete her intended redemption of a vehicle within a certain time.  The Court denied the creditor’s request for punitive damages.

Chief Judge Robert H. Jacobvitz
Adversary, Trustee     01/09/2020     Dean L. Horton and Frances H. Horton     

Liquidating Trustee in a related bankruptcy case sought leave to bring constructive trust action against individual debtors’ bankruptcy estate’s most valuable asset—the debtors’ residence.  Debtors and the chapter 7 trustee objected, arguing that the “Barton doctrine” and the automatic stay bar the claim.  The Court holds that neither the Barton doctrine nor the automatic stay prevents the liquidating trustee from bringing in rem action against the chapter 7 trustee.    

Judge David T. Thuma
Chapter 11, Fees, Trustee     12/24/2019     MBF Inspection Services, Inc.,     

The Court granted motion for entry of a final decree over the objection of the U.S. Trustee’s Office that a final decree was inappropriate because the estate had not been fully administered.  The Court reached this conclusion after considering the several factors listed in the 1991 Advisory Committee notes to  BR 3022 and the significant burden on the Debtor of the U.S. Trustee’s fees which were charged at the much higher “alternative” rate set forth in 28 U.S.C. Section 1930(a)(6)(B).


Judge David T. Thuma
Administrative Claims, Chapter 11, Chapter 12, Dismissal or Conversion, Settlement     12/19/2019     Jackie Don Roberts and Vickie Mae Roberts     

Debtors, who are farmers, filed for bankruptcy under chapter 11 because their aggregate debt exceeded the then-applicable debt limit in Section 108(18) and rendered them ineligible to file a chapter 12 case.  When the Family Farmer Relief Act raised the debt limit to $10 million, debtors became eligible for chapter 12.  After a period of contentious litigation, Debtors and their creditors negotiated a settlement, which included an agreement that Debtors would convert their case from chapter 11 to chapter 12.  Debtors’ former attorney, an administrative claimant, filed the only objection to conversion.  The Court overruled the objection on the ground that the bases therefor were unfounded.  The Court granted Debtors’ motion to convert based on its finding that conversion was fair and equitable to all parties.   


Judge David T. Thuma
Dischargeability     12/17/2019     Marie J. Holguin v. National Collegiate Student Loan Truste 2006-2, a Delaware Statutory Trust,     

Although the Court determined that a non-profit institution’s guaranty of a student loan program satisfies the “funded” requirement for non-dischargeability of student loan debt under § 523(a)(8)(A)(i), the Court denied defendant’s motion for summary judgment, finding that defendant did not establish the chain of title for the student loan at issue and did not establish that the non-profit’s guaranty was in effect at the time the loan was granted. 

Chief Judge Robert H. Jacobvitz
Default Judgment, Nondischargeability, Summary Judgment     12/13/2019     Gretchen Welch v. David Tracy Giron     

Plaintiff moved for summary judgment, asking that her California state default judgment against debtor-defendant (domesticated in New Mexico) be found to be nondischargeable. The Court denies plaintiff’s motion because while the state court judgment definitively established the amount of the debt, the Court will not grant issue preclusive effect to the state court judgment, and a judgment for plaintiff would be inequitable under these facts.


Judge David T. Thuma