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Jasper Fanning v. Jared Brooks & Jeffrey Brooks (In re Brooks), Ch. 11, BK18-40417, -40418; A18-4016, -4017, -4024, -4025 (Oct. 15, 2020)

After a trial in four related adversaries concerning competing rights to the proceeds of the sale of cattle subject to a calf-share agreement, the court determined the appropriate division of the proceeds among the debtors, the owners of the cattle, and the debtors’ lender. One of the debtors had also filed an agister’s lien against the plaintiffs, which the court found to be invalid and unenforceable. As for the plaintiffs’ complaint seeking to except certain indebtedness from discharge under §§ 523(a)(2)(A) and (a)(4), the court dismissed those claims because there was no identifiable debt owed to the plaintiffs, no evidence of missing cattle, and no evidence the debtors intentionally misappropriated any of the cattle.

In calculating how the sale proceeds should be divided among the parties, the court said, “[T]he issue in those cases is simply a question of who owned the cattle that resulted in the proceeds. So, at the outset, the Court recognizes that due to the verbal nature of the cattle share agreement, the length of time that the agreement was in effect, and the lack of contemporaneous records kept by the parties, it is impossible to answer that question with 100% accuracy. The Court will instead endeavor to find the most fair result based on the facts as presented.”

Thursday, October 15, 2020
Judge Thomas L. Saladino