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Judge Shon Hastings

Kip & Andrea Richards Family Farm & Ranch, LLC, Ch. 11, BK15-40070 (Sept. 30, 2019) (standing)

The debtor failed to comply with terms of its confirmed Chapter 11 plan applicable to one secured creditor. After extensive litigation, the bankruptcy court ruled in the creditor's favor in part, but denied its request to force the debtor to sell certain vehicles, finding that the plan did not include the vehicles among the assets the debtor had agreed to liquidate to pay this creditor's claim.

Nicole Corrine Beauvais, Ch. 7, BK14-40365 (June 12, 2014)

The court denied the debtor's uncontested motion to avoid a non-possessory, non-purchase-money security interest in the vehicle she uses to commute to work. Following the holding of In re Cardwell, Case No. BK13-40623 (Sept. 12, 2013), the court ruled that simply using a vehicle for commuting is not sufficient to define it as a tool of the trade under federal law, and federal law determines the availability of lien avoidance.

Sandpoint Cattle Co., LLC v. Robert Craig (In re Sandpoint Cattle Co., LLC), Ch. 11, BK13-40219, A14-4052 (Jan. 6, 2016)

The bankruptcy court denied the defendants' motion for summary judgment in this legal malpractice case. The motion was primarily based on the doctrine of judicial estoppel, and the defendants argued that testimony on the debtor's behalf had changed significantly, with the debtor taking the position in the bankruptcy case that abandonment of certain assets was necessary, and now taking the position in the malpractice action that it could have maintained those assets and should not have been forced to abandon them.

Thomas D. Stalnaker, Chap. 7 Trustee v. Computershare Trust Co. (In re Randy S. Ricker & Paula D. Ricker), Ch. 7, BK08-83110, A11-8098-SH (Sept. 22, 2014)

On the bankruptcy trustee's complaint alleging securities fraud and common-law causes of conversion, breach of fiduciary duty, and tortious interference with business relationships/expectancy against the defendant, the bankruptcy court ruled that it had non-core related-to jurisdiction over the matters and, under Executive Benefits Ins. Agency v. Arkison (In re Bellingham Ins. Agency, Inc.), ___ U.S. ___, 134 S. Ct. 2165, 2170 (2014), could enter final judgment with the consent of the parties. Accordingly, the court granted summary judgment to the defendant.

Kip & Andrea Richards Family Farm & Ranch. LLC, Ch. 11, BK15-40070 (Sept. 30, 2019) (writ of execution)

A secured creditor filed a motion for civil contempt and sanctions to force the debtor to turn over machinery and equipment and execute a deed as provided for in the confirmed plan. After hearings, the court granted the motion and entered a writ of execution authorizing the creditor to repossess and sell the machinery and equipment at issue. Members of the debtor then filed a motion to amend the order, claiming that some of the equipment actually belonged to them and not to the debtor.

Sonia Lenett Lewis-Butler, Ch. 7, BK17-80769-SKH (Sept. 21, 2017)

The Chapter 7 debtor filed a post-discharge motion to revoke the discharge and allow her to file a reaffirmation agreement. The court denied the motion, citing § 524(c)'s strictly construed requirement that a reaffirmation agreement is enforceable only if filed prior to discharge. Because the debtor did not enter into the reaffirmation agreement before discharge, "any proposed agreement would be unenforceable" and granting the debtor's motion to revoke the discharge in order to file the agreement "would, therefore, be futile."

Sandpoint Cattle Co., LLC v. Robert Craig (In re Sandpoint Cattle Co., LLC), Ch. 11, BK13-40219, A14-4052-SKH (July 22, 2016)

The court found that counsel for the debtor violated the standard of care owed to his client because he failed to advise the debtor of the legal consequences, risks and benefits of the abandonment of assets, as well as other legal alternatives. Counsel's negligence was the proximate cause of financial losses by the debtor, and the court awarded the debtor $1.8 million for the lost market value of the abandoned assets.

Randal James Urbanec & Margaret Ann Urbanec, Ch. 7, BK14-81751 (Oct. 24, 2014)

The debtors did not receive credit counseling within 180 days before filing their petition, instead completing the counseling briefing 20 days post-petition. The 180-day period in § 109(h)(1) is "plain and mandatory," and those who do not comply are ineligible to be debtors under the Bankruptcy Code. As a result, the court dismissed the bankruptcy case without prejudice.

First Nebrask Bank v. Nolan B. Balfour & Maegan L. Balfour (In re Balfour), Ch. 7, BK18-81002-SKH, A18-8337-SKH (Jan. 24, 2020)

First Nebraska Bank ("Bank") filed a Complaint seeking denial of Debtors/ Defendants Nolan Balfour's and Maegan Balfour's discharge under 11 U.S.C. §§ 727(a)(2) and 727(a)(4). Alternatively, the Bank requests that the Balfours' debt to the Bank be excepted from discharge under 11 U.S.C. §§ 523(a)(2)(A) and 523(a)(2)(B).


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