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Local Rules

BLR 1001-1 Title

These are the Local Rules of Practice for the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Georgia. They may be cited as BLR.

Opposing parties shall file with the Bankruptcy Clerk and serve on all parties to the matter as to which the withdrawal of the reference has been requested, their written responses to the motion to withdraw the reference within 14 days after being served with a copy of the motion. The moving party may serve and file a reply within 14 days after service of a response.

When the record is complete for purposes of transmittal, but without awaiting the filing of any transcripts, the Bankruptcy Clerk shall promptly transmit to the District Clerk the motion papers and attached exhibits. After the District Court has assigned a number to the case or matter, all documents pertaining to the matter under review by the District Court shall be filed with the District Clerk. The parties shall continue to file all documents relating to all other matters in the bankruptcy case or adversary proceeding with the Bankruptcy Clerk.

A continuance of any trial, pretrial conference, or other hearing will be granted only on the basis of exceptional circumstances. No such continuance will be granted on stipulation of counsel alone, but shall be granted only by the Bankruptcy Judge.

Motions for continuance on account of the absence of any witness must show the steps which have been taken to secure the attendance of the witness and must reveal the nature of the witness's testimony. The motion must also state the time at which the witness will be available and, unless waived, must include a certificate of a doctor when illness of the witness is alleged. The stipulation of the adversary as to the witness's testimony shall be sufficient reason for denial of the motion for continuance.

When an attorney has a hearing or other matter before the Bankruptcy Court in which the attorney is lead counsel scheduled for the same time as a § 341 meeting of creditors, the attorney shall give prompt written notice of the conflict and a proposed resolution thereof to the case trustee, Chapter 13 Trustee, or United States Trustee as appropriate.

(a) When an attorney is scheduled for a day certain to appear in two or more courts, and the matter cannot be informally resolved with counsel for the other side or with the courtroom deputy, the attorney shall give prompt written notice as specified below. In the absence of objection from opposing counsel or the courts affected, the proposed order of conflict resolution shall stand.

(b) The attorney shall submit prompt notice of the conflict not less than seven days prior to the date of conflict to each courtroom deputy clerk for the Bankruptcy Judge, and other judge(s), together with a proposed resolution of the conflict setting forth the proposed order of matters to be tried with a listing of the time and date of each hearing or trial and the date each matter was set for hearing or trial.

(c) An attorney shall be deemed to have a conflict if the attorney certifies:

(1) the attorney is lead counsel in two or more of the actions affected; and

(2) the matters cannot be adequately handled, and the client's interest adequately protected, by other counsel for the party in the action or by other attorneys in lead counsel's firm; and

(3) after communication with counsel for the other party or parties and communication with the appropriate courtroom deputy or deputies, the conflict cannot be resolved.

LR 83.5 is applicable to and governs all actions and proceedings in the Bankruptcy Court.

The taking of photographs and operation of tape recorders in the courthouse and radio or television broadcasting from the courthouse during the progress of or in connection with judicial proceedings, including proceedings before a Bankruptcy Judge whether or not Bankruptcy Court is actually in session, is prohibited. A judicial officer may, however, permit: (1) the use of electronic or photographic means for the presentation of evidence or the perpetuation of a record, and (2) the broadcasting, televising, recording, or photographing of investiture, ceremonial, or naturalization proceedings.

Cameras and/or any electronic devices equipped with cameras, including cellular telephones, personal digital assistants and laptop computers, will not be allowed into the courthouses of this district except by court order or by direct escort and supervision of an employee of a federal agency whose offices are located therein.

To facilitate the enforcement of this Rule, no photographic, broadcasting, sound or recording equipment other than the recording equipment of the official court reporters, will be permitted to be operated on the floors of the courthouse occupied by the Bankruptcy Court, except as otherwise permitted by order of the judicial officer before whom the particular case or proceeding is pending.

Portable computers, cellular telephones, pagers and personal communication devices may be transported onto floors occupied by the Bankruptcy Court; however, these devices shall not be operated in any courtroom, nor shall they be operated in any public area, where their operation is disruptive of any court proceeding unless otherwise permitted by order of the Bankruptcy Court. All electronic photographic, broadcasting, sound or recording equipment brought into the courthouses shall be subject to inspection by the United States Marshals’ Service.

In a widely publicized or sensational case, the Bankruptcy Court, on motion of any party or on its own motion, may issue a special order governing such matters as extrajudicial statements by parties and witnesses likely to interfere with the rights of the parties to a fair trial by an impartial jury; the seating and conduct in the courtroom of spectators and news media representatives; the management and sequestration of jurors and witnesses; and any other matters which the Bankruptcy Court may deem appropriate for inclusion in such an order.

(a) By Consent. In accordance with Bankruptcy Rule 6007, upon motion and order consented to in writing by the debtor, the trustee and any entity claiming an interest in the property of the estate, where the equity in the property is shown on the face of the order to be $1,000.00 or less, the Bankruptcy Court may authorize a trustee in an individual's Chapter 7 case to abandon property of the estate, without further notice or service.

(b) By Trustee. In accordance with Bankruptcy Rule 6007, if the § 341 Meeting of Creditors Notice provides therefor, a trustee in the Chapter 7 case of an individual may give oral notice of a proposed abandonment at a Meeting of Creditors held pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 341(a) and no further notice or service shall be required; provided, however, that said oral notice shall be reduced to a writing, stating the grounds therefor, and filed with the Bankruptcy Clerk within 14 days after the Meeting of Creditors. If no objection to the proposed abandonment is filed within 14 days following the filing of the trustee's notice, the property shall be deemed abandoned.

(c) By a Party in Interest. A party in interest filing a motion to abandon property in accordance with Bankruptcy Rule 6007(b) shall perfect service thereof as provided by Bankruptcy Rule 6007(a) and shall also serve the trustee, debtor, and debtor's counsel. Any objection to a proposed abandonment shall state the grounds therefor, shall be filed with the Bankruptcy Clerk and shall be served on the trustee, the debtor in possession and the party serving notice of the proposed abandonment within 14 days from the date of service of the notice.