Couch v. Panther Petroleum, LLC (In re Couch)

(6th Cir. Nov. 6, 2017)

The Sixth Circuit affirms the B.A.P., holding the entry of summary judgment in favor of the creditors in the nondischargeability action was appropriate. The creditors obtained a default judgment against the debtor in Tennessee state court. The default judgment was on the merits and the doctrine of collateral estoppel applied. Opinion below.

Judge: Rogers

Appellant: Pro Se

Attorneys for Creditors: Keating, Muething & Klekamp, Joseph E. Lehnert, Brian P. Muething, Jason V. Stitt

2017-11-06 – in re couch

Author: Matt Lindblom

Savino v. Dodd (In re Dodd)

(Bankr. S.D. Ind. July 14, 2017)

The bankruptcy court denies the creditor’s motion for summary judgment in this nondischargeability action under 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(2), (4), and (6). The creditor argued the debtor should be collaterally estopped from defending based on a prepetition judgment entered against the debtor. The court concludes that the issues were not “fairly and fully litigated” in the state court, and thus summary judgment based on collateral estoppel is not appropriate. Opinion below.

Judge: Moberly

Attorneys for Plaintiff: Blackwell, Burke & Ramsey, P.C., David M. Bullington, Jason R. Burke

Attorneys for Debtor: Halcomb Singler, LLP, Erika K. Singler

2017-07-14 – in re dodd

Author: Matt Lindblom

Trost v. Trost (In re Trost)

(6th Cir. B.A.P. June 28, 2017)

The Sixth Circuit B.A.P. affirms the bankruptcy court’s entry of summary judgment, finding the debt owed to the plaintiff nondischargeable under 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(6). The plaintiff had obtained a judgment against the debtors in state court on a conversion claim. The court holds that collateral estoppel applies and the elements of § 523(a)(6) were satisfied by the state court judgment. Opinion below.

Judge: Delk

Attorneys for Debtors: Schram, Behan & Behan, Michael R. Behan; Eiler Law Firm, Christian Michael Eiler

Attorneys for Plaintiff: Troy Richmond Hendrickson

2017-06-28 – in re trost

Author: Matt Lindblom

National Labor Relations Board v. Calvert

(S.D. Ind. Mar. 31, 2017)

The district court affirms the bankruptcy court’s ruling in favor of the debtor in the nondischargeability action. The NLRB argued its claim against the debtor should be denied under 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(6). The court holds that the prepetition administrative ruling finding the debtor acted out of “antiunion animus” did not necessarily satisfy the  requisite intent required under § 523(a)(6). Collateral estoppel did not apply. Opinion below.

Judge: Barker

Attorneys for NLRB: Dalford D. Owens , Jr., William R. Warwick

Attorneys for Debtor: Faegre Baker Daniels LLP, Dustin R. DeNeal, Harmony A. Mappes

2017-03-31 – national labor relations board v calvert

Author: Matt Lindblom

Hunt v. Spencer (In re Spencer)

(Bankr. S.D. Ind. Feb. 24, 2017)

The bankruptcy court denies the plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment in this nondischargeability action under 11 U.S.C. §§ 523(a)(2), (4), and (6). The plaintiff argued that a state court judgment collaterally estopped the debtor from defending against the claims. The court holds that the findings in the state court judgment are insufficient to prevent the debtor from asserting a defense in this action. Opinion below.

Judge: Carr

Attorney for Plaintiff: Mulvey Law LLC, Joseph L. Mulvey

Attorney for Debtor: Mercho Caughey & DeLay, Tarek Elias Mercho

2017-02-24-in-re-spencer

Author: Matt Lindblom

Panther Petroleum, LLC v. Couch (In re Couch)

(6th Cir. B.A.P. Feb. 2, 2017)

The Sixth Circuit B.A.P. affirms the bankruptcy court’s judgment in favor of the plaintiffs in the nondischargeability action. Collateral estoppel prevented the debtor from defending against the claim that the debt arose from fraud and a willful and malicious injury. A Tennessee state court had entered a default judgment against the debtor that included specific factual findings that established a claim for nondischargeability under 11 U.S.C. §§ 523(a)(2)(A), (a)(4), and (a)(6). Opinion below.

Judge: Opperman

Attorneys for Plaintiffs: Keating, Muething & Klekamp, Joseph E. Lehnert, Brian P. Muething, Jason V. Stitt

Attorneys for Debtor: Hamm, Milby & Ridings, Roger Aaron Hostettler

2017-02-02-in-re-couch

Author: Matt Lindblom

 

Nelson v. Taylor (In re Taylor)

(Bankr. E.D. Ky. Nov. 28, 2016)

The bankruptcy court enters summary judgment in favor of the plaintiffs in this 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(6) nondischargeability action. The plaintiffs had obtained a state court default judgment against the debtor for damages caused to them when the debtor drove to their home and shot one of the plaintiffs and injured the other plaintiff with flying debris. The court holds that collateral estoppel bars the debtor from relitigating the issue of whether the debtor caused a willful and malicious injury to the plaintiffs. Opinion below.

Judge: Wise

Attorney for Plaintiff: Noah R. Friend Law Firm, PLLC, Noah R. Friend

Attorney or Defendant: Jeanne K. Channell

2016-11-28-in-re-taylor

Author: Matt Lindblom

Leonard v. RDLG, LLC (In re Leonard)

(6th Cir. Mar. 28, 2016)

The Sixth Circuit affirms the order granting summary judgment to the creditor, finding a debt nondischargeable under 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(2)(A). Summary judgment was appropriate because the debtor was collaterally estopped from defending against the fraud claim. The creditor had obtained a default judgment against the debtor, post-petition, in another court as a sanction. The court holds that the entry of the default judgment was not a violation of the automatic stay. Opinion below.

Judge: Boggs

Attorney for Debtor: Jonathan Rudman Bunn

Attorney for Creditor: Rayburn, Cooper & Durham, Ross R. Fulton, David J. Fulton

2016-03-28 – in re leonard

Author: Matt Lindblom

Irvin v. Faller (In re Faller)

Irvin v. Faller (In re Faller)

(Bankr. W.D. Ky. Mar. 17, 2016)

In this nondischargeability action, the bankruptcy court denies the plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment as to the 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(6) claim based on defamation and grants the motion as to the § 523(a)(6) claim based on abuse of process. The court analyzes the prepetition state court judgment to determine whether the requisite willful and malicious injury for § 523(a)(6) was established such that collateral estoppel prevented the defendant from defending against the claims in this action. Because the defamation judgment was not clear as to whether the false information was published with knowledge of it being false or published with a reckless disregard for the truth, the defendant was not collaterally estopped from arguing 523(a)(6) did not apply to this claim. On the other hand, the judgment as to the abuse of process was clear that the defendant acted with the requisite intent for § 523(a)(6). Opinion below.

Judge: Lloyd

Attorney for Plaintiffs: Kerrick Bachert PSC, Scott A. Bachert

Attorney for Defendant: McClain Dewees, PLLC, Michael W. McClain

2016-03-17 – in re faller

Author: Matt Lindblom

Harris v. Deutsche Bank National Trust Company (In re Harris)

(S.D. Ind. Feb. 8, 2016)

The district court affirms the bankruptcy court’s decision holding that the debtor was collaterally estopped from challenging the amount of the mortgage lender’s claim. The lender had obtained judgment in a prepetition state court foreclosure action, in which the debtor had presented the same arguments regarding the loan balance calculation. The district court finds that the doctrine of collateral estoppel applies and the claim amount could not be re-litigated in the bankruptcy. Opinion below.

2016-02-08 – in re harris

Author: Matt Lindblom