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Judge Shon Hastings

Kip & Andrea Richards Family Farm & Ranch, LLC, Ch. 11, BK15-40070-SKH (Nov. 5, 2020)

The court granted a secured creditor’s request for turnover of $40,000 in insurance proceeds for a stolen tractor owned by the debtor. The debtor had been ordered to deliver the tractor and other machinery and equipment to the secured creditor prior to the time it was stolen, but failed to do so. Members of the debtor paid for the insurance policy and listed themselves as named insureds. The secured creditor was not named a loss payee. The insurance check was made out to the debtor, members of the debtor, and the secured creditor.

Julie Ann Stepanek, Ch. 7, BK19-80842-SKH (Oct. 26, 2020)

The court denied a debtor’s motion to reopen her Chapter 7 case to file a reaffirmation agreement. The discharge had been entered and the case was closed more than a year before the motion to reopen was filed. Because § 524(c)(1), which says that a reaffirmation agreement is enforceable only if filed before a discharge is granted, is strictly construed by courts, granting the motion to reopen the case simply to file an unenforceable reaffirmation agreement would be futile.

Koos Enter., LLC v. Marvin Earl Hughes & Kathleen Terry Bonnell (In re Hughes & Bonnell), Ch. 7, BK18-41582-SKH, A19-4013-SKH (May 28, 2020)

The bankruptcy court granted the debtors’ motion to dismiss an adversary proceeding against them, on collateral estoppel and Rooker-Feldman grounds. The adversary complaint sought a determination that debts owed to the plaintiffs, based on a state court judgment, were excepted from discharge under § 523(a)(2). The plaintiffs had filed a lawsuit in state court alleging fraudulent misrepresentation and breach of contract in connection with a lease of real property.

Jennifer J. Lashley v. Eric J. Lashley (In re Eric J. Lashley), Ch. 7, BK16-40825, A16-4027-SKH (Nov. 21, 2016)

The court denied the debtor's motion to dismiss the creditor's pro se complaint concerning discharge and dischargeability on the basis of timeliness. The creditor's causes of action under 11 U.S.C. §§ 523(a)(5) and (a)(15) could be brought at anytime and were not subject to a deadline.

Thomas D. Stalnaker, Trustee v. George Allison, Jr. (In re Tri-State Fin'l, LLC), Ch. 11, BK08-83016, A10-8052-SH (Jan. 13, 2015)

On remand, with no party requesting the court to recall witnesses for further testimony, the bankruptcy court reviewed the transcript and recordings of the original trial and concluded that the funds at issue were property of the debtor's bankruptcy estate rather than simply held in trust for a group of investors. The funds fall within the scope of a lender's security agreement, so the lender's claim is entitled to priority over the claim of the bankruptcy estate's unsecured creditors.

Gary Takuski & Camille Takuski v. Jerry V. Kurtz (In re Kurtz), Ch. 7, BK18-40959, A18-4023-SKH (Aug. 12, 2019)

After a trial in this adversary proceeding, the court applied a two-step analysis to determine the validity of a landowner's claim under an oral lease agreement and that a portion of the debt should be excepted from discharge under § 523(a)(2)(A). The court found that the debtor made false representations to the landowner regarding his plans to pay the landowner's portion of the crop proceeds.

Thomas D. Stalnaker, Trustee v. George Allison, Jr. (In re Tri-State Fin'l, LLC), Ch. 11, BK08-83016, A10-8052 (May 22, 2014)

After remand from the Eighth Circuit Bankruptcy Appellate Panel, Judge Shon Hastings, sitting by designation, considered the following question: Whether the $1,190,000 received by the trustee of the Tri-State Financial bankruptcy estate from the Tri-State Ethanol bankruptcy estate is property of the Tri-State Financial bankruptcy estate, and if so, who is entitled to the funds.

Cecil Schriner v. Sara J. Schriner (In re Sara J. Schriner), Ch. 7, BK16-41602-SKH, A17-4006 (July 26, 2017)

The debtor and the plaintiff used to be married to each other. As part of the dissolution of their marriage and the arrangements for child custody and support, the debtor was ordered to pay a certain amount of monthly child support. She also was ordered to pay attorney fees incurred by the plaintiff as part of the district court and appellate court litigation they engaged in.

Herbert F. Schroeder, Ch. 7, BK14-41523-SH (Feb. 9, 2015)

The court denied the debtor's motion for sanctions for violation of the automatic stay by a creditor who sent billing statements for medical expenses incurred by the debtor's late wife. While the debtor argued that the bills were an attempt to collect the debt from him because a husband is liable for his wife's medical expenses under Nebraska law, the court found no evidence either that the creditor knew the husband had filed bankruptcy or was in fact attempting to collect from the husband because the bills were addressed only to the non-debtor wife.


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