The bankruptcy court recommends to the district court that it withdraw the reference of this adversary proceeding. The bankruptcy trustee seeks to recover fraudulent transfers from the corporate transferee’s principal through alter ego and veil-piercing theories. The defendant is entitled to a jury trial on these state-law non-bankruptcy claims, so the district court is the appropriate place for the case.
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After a trial interrupted by the plaintiff’s medical condition, which prevented him from testifying and necessitated further continuances, the court granted the debtor-defendant’s motion for judgment on partial findings under Rule 7052.
The plaintiffs were unable to establish the elements of their non-dischargeability claims under § 523(a)(2)(A) and § 523(a)(4). The state court judgment upon which they relied was essentially a default judgment, not decided on the merits, and had no res judicata effect in this adversary proceeding. There was no evidence of fraud or false representations, or justifiable reliance on such. The parties’ relationship was contractual, not based on an express trust. Judgment was entered for the debtor-defendant.
The court granted partial summary judgment to the Chapter 11 trustee on the issue of reasonably equivalent value in this action to avoid certain allegedly fraudulent transfers by the debtor to third parties. The evidence did not support the defendants’ “identity of interests” and “indirect benefits” defenses.
The court recommended granting the defendants’ unopposed motion to withdraw the reference of this adversary proceeding because the complaint alleges only state-law non-core claims over which the bankruptcy court does not have authority to enter a final judgment. In addition, the defendants are entitled to a jury trial, which will not occur in bankruptcy court.
The court granted an unopposed summary judgment to a debtor whose wages were garnished in the 90 days prior to the filing of the bankruptcy petition. The debtor established all the elements of a preferential transfer, so the transfers were set aside and the defendant was ordered to return the funds to the debtor.
The debtor’s motion for summary judgment in an action to avoid the lien of a junior lienholder was denied because the defendant(s) were not properly served.
A secured creditor sought denial of the debtors’ discharge under §§ 727(a)(6)(A) and (a)(7) for the debtors’ failure to turn over property pursuant to a court order in the debtors’ previous bankruptcy case. The court denied the creditor’s motion for summary judgment, despite the debtors’ failure to object, because the facts did not establish the elements pleaded in the complaint. Section 727(a)(6)(A) refers to a debtor’s refusal to comply with court orders in the present case, not a prior case, and § 727(a)(7) requires the objectionable acts to have occurred in connection with a case involving an insider, which did not exist here.
The court entered a default judgment excepting a debt from discharge in an adversary proceeding where the debtor was served with process but did not respond. The complaint requested relief under both § 523 and § 727, but the motion for default judgment did not include a prayer for denial of discharge under § 727, so that portion of the motion was denied.
On a motion by non-debtor defendants to withdraw the reference of this adversary proceeding, the bankruptcy court recommended to the district court that the motion be denied. The trustee alleges in this lawsuit that the debtor fraudulently transferred property of the estate to entities ostensibly owned by his relatives. The trustee seeks a finding that the non-debtor defendants are alter egos of the debtor and are subject to liability for the debtor’s debts; that the estates of the non-debtors should be substantively consolidated with the debtor’s estate; that certain contract benefits received by the non-debtors are property of the estate and should be turned over to the trustee; that fraudulent transfers should be avoided and recovered; and that the defendants should provide an accounting. Some of these claims are non-core matters over which the bankruptcy court lacks authority to enter final judgment. However, others are core proceedings, and the parties as well as judicial efficiency would be served by leaving the adversary proceeding in the bankruptcy court.
The court granted summary judgment to the debtor, ordering that a wholly unsecured junior lien on the debtor’s residential real estate may be avoided after the debtor completes Chapter 13 plan payments.