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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.

(a) Good Faith Effort to Resolve Disputes. Counsel and unrepresented parties have the duty to make a good faith effort to resolve by agreement among themselves any disputes that arise in the course of discovery.

(b) Form of Motion. When, despite their good faith efforts, discovery disputes cannot be resolved without the intervention of the Bankruptcy Court, a party may, subject to subsection (e) below, file a motion to compel discovery in accordance with Rules 26, 33, 34, 36, and 37 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The moving party must attach to the motion a statement certifying that counsel for movant, or the movant, if unrepresented, has in good faith conferred or attempted to confer with the party not making disclosure or discovery in an effort to secure disclosure or discovery by agreement but that such efforts were not successful. The motion must also state the issues that remain to be resolved.

A motion to compel must:

(1) Quote verbatim each interrogatory, request for admission, or request for production to which objection is taken;

(2) State the specific objection;

(3) State the grounds assigned for the objection (if not apparent from the objection); and

(4) Cite authority and include a discussion of the reasons assigned as supporting the motion.

The motion must be arranged so that the objection, grounds, authority, and supporting reasons follow the verbatim statement of each specific interrogatory, request for admission, or request for production to which an objection is raised. If the ground for the motion to compel is the opposing party’s failure to respond, the movant need attach copies of the discovery requests only.

(c) Procedures. Motions to compel and responses thereto are subject to the general motion requirements set forth in BLR 7007-1 and subsection (e) below. A response to a motion to compel must be served within fourteen days after service of the motion.

(d) Time Limitation for Filing. A motion to compel discovery must be filed within the later of (i) the close of discovery or (ii) twenty-one days after the date for responding to the discovery request(s) upon which the motion is based, unless the Bankruptcy Court orders otherwise. The close of discovery is established by the expiration of the original or extended discovery period or by written notice of all counsel, filed with the Bankruptcy Court, indicating that discovery was completed earlier.

(e) Telephonic Conference. A Bankruptcy Judge may require that, prior to filing a motion to compel or for a protective order, the parties participate in a conference with the Court to determine whether the issues can be narrowed or resolved without the filing of pleadings. A party, or the parties jointly, may request such a conference.

(a) Dismissal Authorized. The Bankruptcy Court may, with or without notice to the parties, dismiss an adversary proceeding or contested matter for want of prosecution if:

(1)   A plaintiff or movant willfully fails or refuses to make an adversary proceeding or contested matter ready for placement on the trial calendar;

(2)   A plaintiff or movant, after notice, fails or refuses to appear at the time and place fixed for pretrial or other hearing or trial or fails or refuses to obey a lawful order of the Bankruptcy Court;

(3)   An adversary proceeding or contested matter has been pending in the Bankruptcy Court for more than six months without any substantial proceedings of record having been taken, as shown by the record docket; or

(4)   A complaint or motion scheduled for trial or hearing is removed from the Bankruptcy Court’s calendar at the request of the plaintiff or movant upon the representation that the matter has been resolved, and the plaintiff or movant does not submit a consent order, file a dismissal of the complaint or motion, or otherwise file appropriate papers to effect the resolution of the matter within thirty days of the date the trial or hearing was scheduled.

(b) Adjudication on the Merits. In accordance with the provisions of Rule 41(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a dismissal for want of prosecution operates as an adjudication upon the merits of the action, unless the Bankruptcy Court specifies otherwise in its order of dismissal.

(a) Form of Motion.

(1)   The movant for summary judgment must attach to the motion a separate and concise statement of the material facts, numbered separately, as to which the movant contends no genuine issue exists to be tried. Statements in the form of issues or legal conclusions (rather than material facts) will not be considered by the Bankruptcy Court. Affidavits and the introductory portions of briefs do not constitute a statement of material facts.

(2)   The respondent to a motion for summary judgment must attach to the response a separate and concise statement of material facts, numbered separately, as to which the respondent contends a genuine issue exists to be tried. Response should be made to each of the movant’s numbered material facts. All material facts contained in the moving party’s statement that are not specifically controverted in respondent’s statement are deemed admitted. The response that a party has insufficient knowledge to admit or deny is not an acceptable response unless the party has complied with the provisions of Rule 56(d) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

(3)   All documents and other record materials relied upon by a party moving for or opposing a motion for summary judgment must be clearly identified for the Bankruptcy Court. Where appropriate, dates and specific page numbers must be given.

(b) Time. Motions for summary judgment must be filed as soon as possible, but, unless the Bankruptcy Court orders otherwise, not later than twenty-eight days after the close of discovery.

(c) A motion for summary judgment will be decided without a hearing unless the Bankruptcy Court directs otherwise.

LR 67.1 is applicable in the Bankruptcy Court except that any order of disbursal of registry funds submitted pursuant to LR 67.1(C)(3) must show a combined total for principal and interest.

(a) “Bankruptcy Clerk” means the Bankruptcy Court Clerk and deputy clerks of the Bankruptcy Court.

(b) “Bankruptcy Code” or “Code” means Title 11 of the United States Code.

(c) “Bankruptcy Court” means the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Georgia.

(d) “Bankruptcy Judge” means any United States Bankruptcy Judge exercising jurisdiction with respect to cases or proceedings filed in the Bankruptcy Court.

(e) “Bankruptcy Rules” mean the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure.

(f) “Business Days” means every day, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays.

(g) “District Clerk” means the District Court Clerk and deputy clerks.

(h) “District Court” means the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.

(i) “District Judge” means any United States District Judge exercising jurisdiction with respect to cases or proceedings in the District Court or the Bankruptcy Court.

(j) “CM/ECF Administrative Procedures” means the administrative procedures established by the Bankruptcy Court with regard to the electronic case filing and docketing system used by the Bankruptcy Court as provided in BLR 5005-5(b).

(k) “Electronic Case Filing Program” means the program of the Bankruptcy Court that, in accordance with the provisions of the CM/ECF Administrative Procedures, permits Registered Users to file certain papers in the Bankruptcy Court electronically through internet access and to pay required filing fees in connection therewith.

(l) “Image format” means the format of a document that has been scanned to create a graphics file so that, when the document is electronically filed, a user electronically retrieving the document is able to view an image of the document.

(m) “Registered User” means a person who is registered to participate in the Bankruptcy Court’s Electronic Case Filing program and has been issued a password.

(n) “Text format” means the format of a document initially created using word processing software.

(o) “Verified Paper” means a filing that a person signs and thereby declares under oath or penalty of perjury concerning the truth of matters set forth in that filing. “Verified Paper” does not include a Certificate of Service signed by an attorney admitted to practice in the Bankruptcy Court or a proof of claim. Verified Papers include, without limitation, petitions for relief under the Bankruptcy Code; lists of creditors, and all documents required to be filed under Bankruptcy Rule 1007(b); affidavits; verified applications, motions, complaints, answers, counterclaims, cross claims and replies; and any amendments to any of the foregoing.

Whenever an attorney seeks an immediate order of the Bankruptcy Court, and the case has not yet been assigned to a particular Bankruptcy Judge, the attorney must file the motion and contact the Bankruptcy Clerk for instructions.

Communications to a Bankruptcy Judge regarding a request for relief (including a request for an extension of time) or matter pending before that Bankruptcy Judge must be by written motion, pleading, or other paper, and not by letter or e-mail. Unless the Bankruptcy Judge determines otherwise, a letter or e-mail will not be treated as a motion, will not be considered by the Bankruptcy Court, and will not be docketed in the case.

In adversary proceedings and contested matters wherein a response is required, the time within which a party is required to answer or otherwise respond may be extended once, by consent of all counsel and all the parties, without the necessity of an order of the Bankruptcy Court, for a period not to exceed sixty days, provided that: 1) the stipulation is signed before the expiration of the period originally prescribed and promptly filed with the Bankruptcy Court; and 2) the extension is permitted by law. All motions or requests for an extension of time must set forth the date of the original expiration and any other extensions of time previously granted. Any extension that would require the continuance of a hearing must comply with BLR 5071-1.

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. The motion must set forth in detail the necessity for such expedited procedure and must contain the word “Emergency” or “Expedited” in the title of the motion. A party filing a pleading or motion that requires immediate judicial attention must advise the chambers staff of the Bankruptcy Judge to which the matter is assigned of the filing of the pleading or motion.

Unless the Bankruptcy Court orders otherwise, the Bankruptcy Clerk will serve the following notices:

(a) All notices of dismissal of a case;

(b) Bankruptcy Rule 2002(a)(1): Notice of the meeting of creditors pursuant to § 341 of the Bankruptcy Code in cases under chapter 7 and 11 and notice of the initial meeting of creditors in cases under chapter 12 and 13; see also BLR 2002-1 and 9007-2(d);

(c) Bankruptcy Rule 2002(a)(7): Notice of time for filing claims;

(d) Bankruptcy Rule 2002(b): Notice of initial hearing on confirmation of the plan in chapter 13;

(e) Bankruptcy Rule 3004: Notice of filing of proof of claim by the debtor or trustee;

(f) Bankruptcy Rule 3020(c): Notice of entry of order of plan confirmation;

(g) Bankruptcy Rule 4006: Notice of denial, revocation, or waiver of discharge;

(h) Bankruptcy Rule 8004: Notice of filing of notice of appeal;

(i) Bankruptcy Rule 9014(c): Notice of entry of order regarding applicability of Part VII of Bankruptcy Rules;

(j) Bankruptcy Rule 9020: Notice of hearing on contempt;

(k) Bankruptcy Rule 9022(a): Notice of entry of judgment or order.

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