Opinions

Effective January 1, 2017, Orders in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Georgia designated by the Court as "opinions" will be transmitted to the Government Publishing Office (GPO) and made available to the public at no cost.  To view these opinions, click HERE to be transferred to GPO site.

Orders designated as Opinions and issued between January 1, 2004 and December 31, 2016 are maintained on this website. Many of these Opinions are not intended for publication and are so designated. Each entry includes the style of the matter, the case number, the date entered on the docket, and a short parenthetical expression of the issue(s) raised. The most recent opinions appear first.

You can narrow your search by judge and/or year below.  You can also use the search feature above to search by name, word, or phrase. The single opinions are in PDF text format and may be searched for word, phrase, or date by using “Control F,” the Windows search function available in any Windows application.

Honorable James R. Sacca

The Court granted the trustee’s objection to confirmation and held that the chapter 13 debtors were ineligible to be chapter 13 debtors in a joint case because their aggregate unsecured debts exceeded the limit set forth in § 109(e). Although each debtor’s separate unsecured debts did not exceed the debt limit and each debtor was individually eligible to be a chapter 13 debtor because their aggregate unsecured debts exceeded the limit they were ineligible to be joint debtors. Relying on the plain meaning of the statute, and particularly the placing of the word “aggregate” in connection with the unsecured debt limit, the Court concluded that in chapter 13 cases a debtor who files an individual case and debtors who file a joint case are subject to the same unsecured debt limits under § 109(e).
INTENDED FOR PUBLICATION

Honorable W. H. Drake Jr.

The Court granted default judgment to Department of Human Services (DHS), finding that DHS's allegation that the debtor had lied on her application for food-stamp benefits constituted a false representation within the meaning oif section 523(a)(2)(A).

The Court granted the debtor's motion to dismiss adversary proceeding as the plaintiff's complaint to determine dischargeability was time barred pursuant to section 523(c) and Federal Rule of Bankruptcy Procedure 4007(c).

The Court granted the secured creditor's motion for adequate protection.  The creditor held a pre-petition blanket lien on all of the debtor's property, and claimed all of the debtor-restaurant's revenue as cash collateral.  The Court held that because a restaurant is service based, a portion of its revenue is received in return for the services provided, a portion of the revenue is received as payment for the food itself (the inventory), and it is only that portion received in exchange for the inventory that constitutes proceeds of that inventory (and thus cash collateral).  Consequently, the Court granted the creditor adequate protection in the form of a replacement lien only on the debtor's post-petition inventory.

The Court denied creditor's motion for default judgment for failure to plead sufficient facts.  The plaintiff-creditor had filed a complaint objecting to the debtors' discharge pursuant to section 727, and sought a determination that the debt owed to her was exempt from discharge pursuant to either section 523(a)(6) or (a)(2).  The creditor was the debtors' former landlord, who had obtained a judgment against the debtors for damage done to the rental property.  Because the creditor had not plead sufficient facts to support a claim under any of those three causes of action, the Court denied the motion for default judgment.

Finding that the Chatper 7 Trustee's objection to the Debtor's exemption of an inherited pension plan was moot because the Debtor's interest in the pension plan was excluded from property of the bankruptcy estate by section 541(c)(2).  The Debtor's interest in the pension plan constituted a beneficial interest in a trust that contained transfer restrictions enforceable under applicable nonbankruptcy law.

The Court granted the Trustee's motion for sanctions against the defendants due to the defendants' violation of the Court's discovery order.  Hoping to enter a sanction that would both punish the defendants and deter others from doing the same, while still allowing the case to move forward, the Court identified certain facts as established pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 37(b)(2)(A)(i), and proscribed the defendants from introducing evidence as to other facts pursuant to Rule 37(b)(2)(A)(ii).

Honorable Mary Grace Diehl

Order denying Plaintiff’s motion for entry of default judgment. Because Plaintiff failed to file a proper certificate of service, the Court was unable to determine whether Debtor was properly served. Additionally, the Court observed that the Clerk had not entered default and that without proof of service of the summons and complaint, the Clerk could not enter default.

Honorable Barbara Ellis-Monro

Movants filed a motion to extend the time to file a complaint objecting to discharge under § 727 and to determine dischargeability of a debt under § 523. The motion was filed on the day the deadline expired. The Court denied the motion because Movants lacked diligence in investigating their potential claims despite having possession of relevant documents for more than two months and having ample opportunity to seek additional information from the debtor.
NOT INTENDED FOR PUBLICATION

Honorable Paul W. Bonapfel

NOT INTENDED FOR PUBLICATION.  
Order denying motion for disqualification pursuant to 28 USC 455(a)

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