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.

(a) All proposed orders (including findings of fact and conclusions of law or other rulings orally announced by the Bankruptcy Judge and orders submitted following the call of a matter at a scheduled hearing as to which there is no opposition) shall: (1) be prepared in writing and signed by the attorney for the prevailing party, unless the Bankruptcy Court directs otherwise; (2) include the scheduled hearing date, if applicable; and (3) be submitted to the Bankruptcy Judge within seven days from the date of pronouncement or scheduled hearing, if applicable. A copy shall be provided to each party. An attorney's signature as preparer of a proposed order constitutes a certification that the contents of the proposed order accurately reflect the Bankruptcy Judge's oral ruling or the proceedings at the call of the matter, as applicable.

(b) Identification of Counsel and Parties to be Served. Every proposed order, including a consent order, shall be signed by each attorney or party preparing, submitting, or consenting to the proposed order and shall provide an identification of each attorney and the name of the represented party in accordance with BLR 5005-1(e). If the Bankruptcy Clerk is to serve the order, the order shall be accompanied by a distribution list containing the names and addresses of the attorneys and parties to be served.

(c) If a Bankruptcy Judge authorizes an attorney to submit a proposed order to chambers by electronic means, Rule 5005-7 applies to such submission and to the required signatures on the electronically filed document.

For orders and notices that the Bankruptcy Clerk does not serve, the serving party shall file a Certificate of Service including a list of the complete names and addresses of the parties and attorneys served, the dates of service, and the manner of service.

Upon written motion and for good cause shown, the Bankruptcy Court may shorten the time for notice and hearing with regard to an emergency matter requiring immediate attention or a matter requiring expedited consideration. The motion shall set forth in detail the necessity for such expedited procedure and shall contain the word “Emergency” or “Expedited” in the title of the motion. A party filing a pleading or motion that requires immediate judicial attention shall advise the chambers staff of the Bankruptcy Judge to which the matter is assigned of the filing of the pleading or motion.

The person serving process in an adversary proceeding or serving a motion initiating a contested matter or notice with regard to which the Bankruptcy Rules require service on an opposing party shall make proof of service thereof promptly to the Bankruptcy Court in accordance with the Bankruptcy Rules. The Certificate of Service must include the name and address of all parties and attorneys served, the dates of service, and the manner of service.

(a) In a case under Chapter 7 or 13, a response or objection to a motion or a notice with regard to proposed actions or requests for relief of the type set forth in (d) is required if the party filing the motion or notice provides notice that substantially complies with Local Form 9014-2 and that contains the following:

(1) an adequate description of the proposed action or relief requested and summary of the grounds for the proposed action or relief requested with regard to which an order is sought or, if the motion or notice is served on all parties entitled to notice, a description of the motion or notice;

(2) notice that this Rule requires the timely filing of a written response or objection to the proposed action or relief requested and service by mailing or delivering of a copy to the moving party or the moving party’s attorney;

(3) the time within which the Bankruptcy Rules and this Rule require a response or objection to be filed and served and that the response or objection must be actually received by the Bankruptcy Clerk within the required time. If the Bankruptcy Rules do not specify the number of days’ notice that must be given, the time for the filing of the required response or objection shall be 21 days from the date of service of the motion or notice. The notice may provide for a longer period of time for a response or objection to be filed and served than specified by the Bankruptcy Rules. In all matters, three days shall be added to the prescribed notice period to account for service of the notice by mail. The date by which a required response or objection must be filed shall be computed in accordance with the Bankruptcy Rules;

(4) the date on which the notice is served;

(5) the mailing address of the Bankruptcy Clerk for the division in which the case is pending where the response or objection must be filed;

(6) the name and mailing address of the moving party or attorney to whom the response or objection must be served;

(7) notice that, if no response or objection is timely filed and served as required, the Bankruptcy Court may grant the relief requested or authorize the proposed action without further notice and without a hearing;

(8) notice that, if an objection or response is timely filed and served as required, a hearing will be held and that a party filing an objection or response must appear at the hearing to advocate the response or objection; and

(9) notice of the date, time, and place of the hearing, which shall be scheduled in accordance with procedures determined by the Bankruptcy Judge to whom the case is assigned.

(b) If this Rule requires a response or objection and if no response or objection is timely filed, the Bankruptcy Court may grant the relief requested or authorize the proposed action without further notice and without a hearing.

(c) The person serving the notice shall promptly file proof of service of notice pursuant to this Rule in accordance with the Bankruptcy Rules. The Certificate of Service must be signed by the person making service and must include the name and address of all parties and attorneys served, the dates of service, and the manner of service.

(d) This Rule applies to:

(1) Motions and notices with regard to the use, sale, or lease of property pursuant to Bankruptcy Rule 6004;

(2) Motions and notices with regard to the abandonment or disposition of property pursuant to Bankruptcy Rule 6007;

(3) Motions and notices with regard to proposed compromises or settlements pursuant to Bankruptcy Rule 9019;

(4) Motions to extend the time to object to the list of property a debtor claims as exempt pursuant to Bankruptcy Rule 4002(b);

(5) Motions to extend the time to object to the discharge of a debtor pursuant to Bankruptcy Rule 4004(a) or to file a complaint objecting to the dischargeability of a debt under 11 U.S.C. § 523(c) pursuant to Bankruptcy Rule 4007(c);

(6) Motions to extend the time to file a motion to dismiss for substantial abuse under 11 U.S.C. § 707(b) pursuant to Bankruptcy Rule 1017(e);

(7) Motions by a chapter 13 debtor to suspend plan payments or to incur debt; and

(8) Modifications of a chapter 13 plan under 11 U.S.C. § 1329.

(e) Responses to motions to avoid liens or to redeem property are governed by BLR 6008-2. Responses to objections to proofs of claim are governed by BLR 3007-1.

(f) Upon request of any party in interest or on its own motion, the Bankruptcy Judge to whom a case or proceeding is assigned may order that this Rule apply in a case under Chapter 11 or 12 or to motions and notices not otherwise subject to this Rule, order that notice be given other than as provided in this Rule, order that a response not be required, or order that an answer, response, or objection be filed with regard to any application, motion, notice, or order not otherwise subject to this Rule.

(a) Demand. Any party may demand a trial by jury of any issue triable of right by jury by: (1) serving upon the other parties a demand therefor in writing at any time after the commencement of the action and not later than 14 days after the service of the last pleading directed to such issue, and (2) filing the demand as required by Bankruptcy Rule 7005, incorporating Fed. R. Civ. P. 5(d). Such demand must be made by separate pleading captioned "Jury Demand."

(b) Specification of Issues. In the demand a party may specify the issues which the party wishes so tried; otherwise the party shall be deemed to have demanded trial by jury for all the issues so triable. If the party has demanded trial by jury for only some of the issues, any other party may, within 14 days after service of the demand or such lesser time as the Bankruptcy Court may order, serve a demand for trial by jury of any other or all of the issues of fact in the action.

(c) Waiver. The failure of a party to serve and file a demand as required by this Rule constitutes a waiver by the party of trial by jury. A demand for trial by jury made as herein provided may not be withdrawn without consent of all the parties to the proceeding to be tried and leave of the District Court or Bankruptcy Court as appropriate.

(d) Determination of Right. If a jury demand is made, the Bankruptcy Judge shall determine whether the party has a right to trial by jury and if the demand is properly made.

(e) Size of Jury. All adversary proceedings in which a jury trial has been requested shall be tried before a jury of not less than six members, unless the parties stipulate otherwise.

If a trial by jury is properly demanded pursuant to BLR 9015-1 above, the Bankruptcy Clerk shall notify plaintiff or plaintiffs and defendant or defendants of the right to expressly consent to a trial by jury in the Bankruptcy Court. The parties shall have 30 days after the date of said notice in which to execute and file a joint pleading consenting to the Bankruptcy Court presiding over the jury trial.

Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 47, 48, 49, 50 and 51 are applicable to trials in adversary proceedings upon consent before a Bankruptcy Judge or before a District Judge.

(a) Transfer to District Court. If the parties do not consent to jury trial in Bankruptcy Court and if a timely demand has been made in a case triable by jury, the Bankruptcy Judge shall transfer the adversary proceeding to the District Court when the Bankruptcy Judge determines that the case is ready for trial. Prior to transferring the case, the Bankruptcy Judge shall Rule on all discovery motions, other pretrial motions, and summary judgment motions, as provided by law, and shall enter the pretrial order.

(b) Remand Upon Withdrawal of Jury Demand. When an adversary proceeding is transferred to the District Court pursuant to BLR 9015-3(a), and the parties then withdraw the jury demand, the adversary proceeding will be returned to the Bankruptcy Court for a bench trial, unless the District Judge orders otherwise.

(a) Marking, Listing, and Exchanging of Exhibits Prior to Hearing or Trial. A party expecting to offer exhibits into evidence at a hearing or trial shall (1) sequentially number the exhibits prior to the hearing or trial and mark each exhibit with such number and the name of the introducing party or other appropriate identification (e.g., plaintiff, defendant, movant, respondent, debtor, creditor, trustee, etc.); (2) provide a list of such exhibits that the party may use as part of its case in chief to opposing counsel, to any unrepresented party and to the Bankruptcy Court not later than the commencement of the hearing or trial if there are more than five exhibits; and (3) provide a copy of any exhibit for inspection and use by opposing counsel or unrepresented parties at the time it is first used at a hearing or trial. The provisions of this Rule do not supersede the requirements of a pretrial order, scheduling order, or any applicable Local Rule or Bankruptcy Rule that requires the production or listing of documents at an earlier time.

(b) Custody of Exhibits Presented at Hearing or Trial. Unless otherwise ordered by the Bankruptcy Court, the Courtroom Deputy shall retain custody of exhibits offered into evidence at any hearing or trial until 30 days after the date on which the order, judgment, or recommendation, entered in the proceeding in which the exhibits were introduced, has become final and is not subject to further appeal, review, or consideration by the District Court, the Court of Appeals, or the Supreme Court. Within 30 days thereafter, the attorney for the introducing party or an unrepresented introducing party shall retrieve from the courtroom deputy all exhibits offered by such party that are in the custody of the courtroom deputy. Exhibits that are not timely removed in accordance with this Rule may be destroyed or otherwise disposed of by the Bankruptcy Clerk.

Motions for reconsideration shall not be filed as a matter of routine practice. Whenever a party or attorney for a party believes it is absolutely necessary to file a motion to reconsider an order or judgment, the motion shall be filed with the Bankruptcy Clerk within 14 days after entry of the order or judgment. Responses shall be filed not later than 14 days after service of the motion. Parties and attorneys for the parties shall not file motions to reconsider the Bankruptcy Court's denial of a prior motion for reconsideration.

Pages