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Opinions

 

The summaries on this website are summaries of the opinions issued by the judges of the Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Virginia from October 2004 to date. The opinions may be searched by year, judge, category and chapter. For a more detailed search, enter a keyword in the search box above. This opinion bank, however, is not an exhaustive list of opinions issued by the judges of the Western District. These summaries are not intended to replace other research methods, but may be used as a starting point for your research. These summaries do not contain information as to whether an opinion has been published, appealed or the disposition of any such appeal, or otherwise overruled or affected by subsequent case law or statute. These summaries have been prepared for the convenience of the researcher and in no way constitute an interpretation by the Court of the opinion summarized. Please rely on the opinion not the summary. Please contact Judge Connelly's chambers or Judge Black's chambers regarding any questions or errors.

Robbins v. Groggins (In re Groggins) (Case No. 14-71033; A.P. No. 15-07018) 12/4/2015

The United States Trustee filed a complaint to deny the Debtor’s discharge, alleging that, under penalty of perjury, the Debtor declared that the information contained in the petition was true and correct, when in fact, the Debtor know the petition failed to disclose a prior bankruptcy filing in the District of Maryland.  The Debtor denied filing for bankruptcy in Maryland in his response to the complaint. 

Following the petition date, but prior to conversion of the case from Chapter 13 to Chapter 7, a federal grand jury indicted the Debtor and charged him with bankruptcy fraud under 18 U.S.C. § 152.  The Debtor later entered a guilty plea and judgment was entered against the Debtor in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia.  The Debtor was later incarcerated as a result of this plea agreement.

The Court granted the United States Trustee’s Motion for Summary Judgment, holding that there is no dispute that the Debtor signed the plea agreement, and in signing the plea agreement, the Debtor waived his right to challenge that he committed bankruptcy fraud in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 152.  Therefore, the Court denied the Debtor’s discharge pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 727(a)(4)(A).

In re Keen (Case No. 13-71705) 12/3/2014

Debtor's motion to redeem under section 722 and Federal Rule of Bankruptcy Procedure 6008 denied as the debtor failed to prove that the property sought to be redeemed was intended primarily for personal, family or household use and that it was subject to a lien securing a dischargeable consumer debt.  Creditor's motion for relief from stay partially granted as the creditor failed to meet its burden of proof on the issue of whether a security interest existed against all the property at issue.

In re Virginia Broadband, LLC (Case No. 12-62535) 11/05/2014

The chapter 11 debtor in possession objected to the claims of one of its former members and asked the court to disallow the claims, equitably subordinate the claims, or recharacterize the claims as equity.  The court overruled the objection to two of the three claims but partially granted the objection to an amendment to one proof of claim that did not relate back.  The court declined to equitably subordinate or recharacterize the claims.

In re Keith's Tree Farm (Case No. 13-71316) 10/03/2014

The debtor filed a chapter 12 plan and three amended chapter 12 plans; none of the plans were confirmed.  The two largest creditors and the chapter 12 trustee objected to each plan.  The debtor’s two largest secured creditors objected to their treatment under the plan and advocated for dismissal, citing unreasonable delay that is prejudicial to the creditors, under 11 U.S.C. § 1208(c)(1), and the continuing loss to or diminution of the estate and absence of a reasonable likelihood of rehabilitation, under 11 U.S.C. § 1208(c)(9).  The farm sought confirmation of its fourth chapter 12 plan over the objections of its creditors, or in the alternative leave to amend in order to file a fifth plan in hopes that it might be confirmed.  One of the creditors urged the court to deny any further leave to amend and simply dismiss the case.  The court denied confirmation of the plan and denied the debtor leave to amend the plan.  The court then dismissed the case.

In re Dickenson (Case No. 13-71283) 09/15/2014

The court considered whether to dismiss the chapter 12 debtor’s case for his failure to disclose assets, failure to disclose appropriate values, failure to comply with court orders, and other cause under 11 U.S.C. § 1208.  The court found that that the debtor’s actions throughout the case demonstrated an inability to provide the court and interested parties with full, clear, and trustworthy information, resulting in unreasonable and prejudicial delays to the creditors and little likelihood of proposing a confirmable plan of reorganization in the future.  The court therefore granted the motion to dismiss.

Fox v. Crowgey (In re Crowgey) (Case No. 13-62278; A.P. No. 14-06002) 9/24/2014

The Court granted the plaintiff's motion for summary judgment, finding the debt owed to it by the debtor was nondischargeable, pursuant to Bankruptcy Code section 523(a)(2)(A), as arising from the debtor's fraud.  The Court held that the debt, which arose from a default judgment in an Oklahoma state court for fraud, was nondischargeable, based on the relative closeness of the Oklahoma and Bankruptcy Code standards for fraud and the particular wording of the Oklahoma judgment, which suggested the Oklahoma court had received sufficient evidence in support of the motion.  Furthermore, the debtor appeared to have participated in the state-court proceedings until his counsel withdrew, at which time the court informed him he could retain other counsel but he did not.  

In re Tucker (Case No. 12-71910) 8/29/2014

Court denied the debtor's motion for sanctions under Federal Rule of Bankruptcy Procedure 9011, finding that the creditor had filed the allegedly inappropriate documents in a state court to determine its rights with regard to property and thus could not be the basis for sanctions because those documents were not filed with this Court.  Rule 9011 only authorizes the Court to sanction parties who inappropriately file signed documents before this Court.  Because the documents were filed in the state court, the Bankruptcy Court had no authority to sanction the creditor.

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