In re Dickson

(Bankr. E.D. Ky. Nov. 22, 2017)

The bankruptcy court grants the the creditors’ motion for sanctions pursuant to Bankruptcy Rule 9011. The creditors argued that the debtor filed her Chapter 11 petition in bad faith. The court finds that sanctions are appropriate because the debtor filed the petition without a legitimate bankruptcy purpose. The debtor sought the protection of the automatic stay but did not intend to reorganize or seek an orderly liquidation. Instead, the debtor sought to obtain a civil remedy—the stay of execution of the judgment against the debtor while her appeal was pending. Opinion below.

Judge: Wise

Attorneys for Debtor: Gess Mattingly & Atchison, William W. Allen, Stefan J. Bing, John Thomas Hamilton, Elizabeth Thompson

Attorney for Creditors: DelCotto Law Group PLLC, Jamie L. Harris

2017-11-22 – in re dickson

Author: Matt Lindblom

In re Mann

(Bankr. W.D. Ky. Aug. 10, 2017)

The bankruptcy court denies the U.S. Trustee’s motion to enter an order for sanctions and requiring disgorgement of fees. The attorney had provided advice to the debtor about the petition and schedules that the debtor had drafted. The attorney was not aware that a bankruptcy was filed until he received the U.S. Trustee’s motion. The court declines to grant the relief requested under these circumstances. Opinion below.

Judge: Lloyd

2017-08-10 – in re mann

Author: Matt Lindblom

Edmondson v. Gordon (In re Gordon)

(6th Cir. B.A.P. May 18, 2017)

The Sixth Circuit B.A.P. affirms the bankruptcy court’s contempt order, but remands the matter for the limited purpose of providing the debtor sufficient notice and an opportunity to be heard on the issue of whether monetary sanctions were reasonable. The debtor sold property of the estate in direct violation of the bankruptcy court’s order. The bankruptcy court held the debtor in contempt and awarded the trustee his attorney fees as a sanction. However, the hearing notice for the contempt order did not make clear that monetary sanctions could be entered against the pro se debtor. Opinion below.

Judge: Opperman

Appellant: Pro Se

Attorney for Appellee: Thompson Burton PLLC, Phillip G. Young, Jr.

2017-05-18 – in re gordon

Author: Matt Lindblom

In re Lockhart

(Bankr. W.D. Ky. Jan. 17, 2017)

The bankruptcy court grants the creditor’s motion for sanctions, and awards the creditor her attorney fees. The debtor filed the Chapter 13 petition for the stated purpose of obtaining more time to obtain a reduction in his maintenance obligation owed to the creditor in the state court. The bankruptcy court finds that this was a violation of Bankruptcy Rule 9011(b). Opinion below.

Judge: Lloyd

Attorney for Debtor: Naber & Joyner, J. Gregory Joyner

Attorney for Creditor: Joseph S. Elder II

2017-01-17-in-re-lockhart

Author: Matt Lindblom

In re Parrish

(Bankr. W.D. Ky. Nov. 16, 2016)

The bankruptcy court grants in part and denies in part the debtor’s motion for sanctions for violation of the automatic stay. The government agency sought to collect its loan default claim by set off against the debtor’s tax refund. The debtor filed bankruptcy, and the government effected the set off before its system flagged the account for the bankruptcy. The court finds a technical violation of the automatic stay but also finds that a set off would have been appropriate and there was no evidence that a stay relief motion would have been denied. Accordingly, the court awards the debtor a minimal amount for the inadvertent stay violation. Opinion below.

Judge: Lloyd

Attorney for Debtor: Julie Ann O’Bryan

Attorney for Creditor: Assistant U.S. Attorney, Jessica R. C. Malloy

2016-11-16-in-re-parrish

Author: Matt Lindblom

In re Blasingame

(6th Cir. B.A.P. Nov. 7, 2016)

The Sixth Circuit B.A.P. reverses the bankruptcy court’s order sanctioning the attorney under Bankruptcy Rule 9011 and 28 U.S.C. § 1927. The court holds that the movant failed to satisfy the twenty-one day safe harbor in Rule 9011 and the one exception to the safe harbor did not apply because the attorney did not actually sign the petition, although he did advise on the case. Further, sanctions under § 1927 were not appropriate because the bankruptcy judge found that the attorney’s behavior fell short of subjective bad faith. The statute requires tactics that far exceed zealous advocacy. Opinion below.

Judge: Preston

Attorney for Movant: Malone Akerly Martin, Bruce W. Akerly, Ballin, Ballin & Fishman, Carl Barry Ward

Attorney for Appellant: Edward Michael Bearman

Author: Matt Lindblom

2016-11-07-in-re-blasingame

In re Jackson

(6th Cir. B.A.P. Aug. 4, 2016)

The Sixth Circuit B.A.P. holds that the bankruptcy court abused its discretion in awarding sanctions against a creditor for violation of a discharge order in the individual’s Chapter 7 bankruptcy case. The condominium association rescheduled a sheriff’s sale of the debtor’s condominium unit to complete a pre-petition foreclosure. The bankruptcy court found that the association’s primary objective was to collect the discharged debt from the debtor, for reasons including that there was likely no equity available to pay the association through the sale. The Sixth Circuit B.A.P. holds that this was an abuse of discretion, as the association had the right to enforce its lien post-petition. Opinion below.

Judge: Humphrey

Attorney for Condominium Association: Kaman & Cusimano, Erika R. Finley, Joseph E. DiBaggio

Debtor: Pro Se

2016-08-04 – in re jackson

Author: Matt Lindblom