(6th Cir. B.A.P. Dec. 4, 2014)
The Sixth Circuit B.A.P. affirms the bankruptcy court’s denial of the creditor’s motion to extend the deadline to object to the debtor’s discharge. The court holds that the deadline for discharge objections is not jurisdictional and thus the bankruptcy court did have discretion to extend the deadline. The bankruptcy court did not abuse its discretion in denying the creditor’s request. The court relied on the factors for equitable tolling set forth in In re Maughan: (1) lack of actual notice of filing requirement; (2) lack of constructive knowledge of filing requirement; (3) diligence in pursuing one’s rights; (4) absence of prejudice to the defendant; and (5) a plaintiff’s reasonableness in remaining ignorant of the notice requirement. The creditor argued that the extension was warranted because his attorney had been in a car wreck that gave him a severe concussion, causing him to miss weeks of work. The bankruptcy court determined that equitable tolling should not be permitted, and the appellate court affirmed. Opinion below.