You are here

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) Chapter 7 Cases. In chapter 7 cases, all notices required by Bankruptcy Rule 2002(a), except clause 4 thereof, which are mailed after the expiration of the time for the filing of proofs of claim pursuant to Bankruptcy Rule 3002(c) may, unless the Bankruptcy Court orders otherwise, be mailed only to: (1) creditors whose claims have been filed; (2) creditors, if any, who are still permitted to file claims by reason of an extension granted under Bankruptcy Rule 3002(c)(6); and (3) any entities which have requested notice.

(b) Change of Address. Any party in interest that desires that its address for notices or payment be changed from the address shown on any proof of claim or paper previously filed by such party must file a request in the case. Changes of address must be filed in each adversary proceeding in addition to the main case. A party that fails to comply with this rule is not entitled to notice at the new address.

Any attorney who is admitted to the bar of the District Court pursuant to LR 83.1A is admitted to the bar of the Bankruptcy Court.

A non-resident attorney who is not an active member in good standing of the State Bar of Georgia, but who is a member in good standing of the bar of any United States Court or of the highest court of any State, may apply in writing for permission to appear pro hac vice.

(a) Applications for admission pro hac vice with proposed orders may be obtained from the Bankruptcy Clerk. The applicant must state under penalty of perjury the: (1) applicant’s state of residence; (2) the applicant’s office address and telephone number; (3) the courts to which the applicant is admitted to practice and the date of admission; and (4) a statement that the applicant is in good standing and eligible to practice in all courts to which admitted. An attorney applying to appear pro hac vice must also designate a local member of the bar of the Bankruptcy Court with whom the opposing counsel and the Bankruptcy Court may readily communicate regarding the conduct of the case and upon whom papers may be served. The address, telephone number, and written consent of the designated local counsel must be filed with the attorney’s pro hac vice application. Applications for admission pro hac vice must be accompanied by a receipt from the District Court showing payment of the required filing fee and a proposed order to be signed by the Bankruptcy Judge and must be presented to the Bankruptcy Clerk. Proposed orders may be submitted through the Electronic Case Filing Program. The nonresident attorney may be permitted to appear pro hac vice in the discretion of the Bankruptcy Court.

(b) If the non-resident attorney fails to respond to any order of the Bankruptcy Court for appearance or otherwise, the designated local attorney has the responsibility and full authority to act for and on behalf of the client in all proceedings in connection with the matter.

(c) The filing of a proof of claim or a notice of appearance does not require permission to appear pro hac vice.

LR 83.1C and LR 83.1F apply in all actions and proceedings in the Bankruptcy Court.

(a) The filing of a pleading or paper signed by an attorney in a case or adversary proceeding constitutes that attorney’s appearance as attorney of record for the party on whose behalf the pleading is filed. An attorney in a different firm who files a subsequent pleading or paper on behalf of that same party must also file a notice of appearance with the Bankruptcy Clerk. An attorney who fails to make a proper appearance in a case or proceeding may, at the discretion of the Bankruptcy Court, be barred from representing the party at trial or in any other proceeding. An attorney who files a petition initiating a case on behalf of a debtor, or who appears for a debtor in a case other than as special counsel for a debtor for limited purposes, represents the debtor in all matters in the case, including contested matters and adversary proceedings, unless the Bankruptcy Court permits the attorney to withdraw in accordance with BLR 9010-5 or special or other counsel represents the debtor for a specific purpose.

(b) Pro Se Appearance Limitation. A party represented by an attorney may not appear or act in the party’s own behalf in the case or proceeding or take any step therein unless the party has first given notice to the attorney of record and to the opposing party that the party intends to act pro se. Nonetheless, the Bankruptcy Court may, in its discretion, hear a party in open court even though the party has previously appeared, or is represented by, an attorney.

(c) Duty to Supplement. Counsel and parties appearing pro se have an affirmative duty in all cases and proceedings to file with the Bankruptcy Clerk a notice of any change in name, address, telephone number, or e-mail address.

(a) Withdrawal Policy. An attorney who has appeared in a case or adversary proceeding, other than for the limited purpose of receiving notices, must obtain permission from the Bankruptcy Court to withdraw as counsel, unless substitute counsel has made an appearance for that party. Counsel may make a fee arrangement limiting the services to be performed without the payment of additional fees, but the failure of the client, including a debtor, to comply with the fee arrangement is merely a ground to seek withdrawal and not a basis on which the attorney may refuse to render services. Counsel will not ordinarily be allowed to withdraw if withdrawal would delay the progress of an adversary proceeding or contested matter.

(b) Withdrawal Procedure. An attorney desiring to withdraw as counsel must comply with the following procedure:

(1) The attorney must give fourteen days’ notice to the client of the attorney’s intention to request permission to withdraw. Such notice must be served on the client personally or by U.S. Mail at the client’s last known address and must contain at least the following:

(A) That the attorney wishes to withdraw and intends to file a motion to withdraw;

(B) The style of the case(s), adversary proceeding(s), and contested matter(s) in which counsel seeks to withdraw; for each, the name(s) address(es), telephone number(s), and e-mail address of opposing counsel; and the address and telephone number of the Bankruptcy Clerk.

(C) That the Bankruptcy Court retains jurisdiction of the matters;

(D) That, if the attorney’s withdrawal is permitted:

(1) The client will have the obligation to promptly file with the Bankruptcy Court, and mail to all adverse parties or their counsel, a written statement showing (A) the names of the parties and the number of each case, adversary proceeding, or contested matter in which the client is a party and (B) the client’s current name, telephone number, mailing address, and e-mail address, and that the statement must be amended promptly if the client’s name, telephone number, mailing address, or e-mail address changes;

(2) The client will have the obligation to respond to any discovery or motions, to take other actions as are appropriate or required, and to prepare for any trial or hearing that may be scheduled in any matter, or to hire other counsel to do so;

(3) The failure or refusal of the client to meet these obligations may result in adverse consequences;

(4) Service of notices, pleadings, and other papers may be made upon the client at the client’s last known address; and

(5) If the client is a corporation or other artificial entity, such entity may only be represented in the Bankruptcy Court by an attorney, an attorney must sign all pleadings submitted to the Bankruptcy Court, an officer may not represent the entity in the Bankruptcy Court unless that officer is also an attorney, and failure to comply with this rule could result in adverse consequences to the entity;

(E) The dates of any hearings or trials that have been scheduled and any applicable deadlines (such as deadlines for responding to discovery or motions or for filing pleadings, motions, or other papers), and that the holding of such hearings or trials and any deadlines will not be affected by the withdrawal of counsel; and

(F) Unless the withdrawal is with the client’s consent, that the client has fourteen days from the date of service of the notice to contact the attorney and state any objections to the attorney’s withdrawal.

(2) The attorney must file a motion with the Bankruptcy Clerk requesting permission to withdraw. The motion must include the attorney’s certification that the attorney has given the client fourteen days’ prior written notice of the attorney’s intention to request permission to withdraw in accordance with the provisions of BLR 9010-5(b)(1) by the method described in the motion and must state, to the best of the attorney’s knowledge, the last known name, address, telephone number, and e-mail address for the client. A copy of the notice must be attached to the motion. The motion must be accompanied by a notice to the client that any objection to the motion must be filed within fourteen days after its service and the address of the Bankruptcy Clerk’s office where the objection may be filed.

(3) Fourteen days after service of the motion, the Bankruptcy Clerk will submit the motion and any responses to the Bankruptcy Judge for action thereon.

(c) Certificate of Consent to Withdrawal. An attorney wishing to withdraw may be relieved from the requirement to send a notice of intent to withdraw and to file a motion to withdraw by instead filing a Certificate of Consent with the Bankruptcy Clerk that has been signed by the client, the withdrawing attorney, and the substituting attorney, if one has been selected by the client. If the client has not retained substitute counsel, the Certificate of Consent must include notice to the client of the matters set forth in subparagraph (b)(1) above.

(d) Responsibilities of a Party No Longer Represented. A party no longer represented by an attorney must promptly file with the Bankruptcy Clerk, and mail to all adverse parties or their counsel, a written statement showing (1) the caption and number of each case, adversary proceeding, or contested matter in which such party is involved and (2) such party’s current name, telephone number, mailing address, and e-mail address. That statement must be amended promptly if the party’s name, telephone number, mailing address, or e-mail address changes. An unrepresented party’s mailing address of record constitutes the address at which such party may be served with subsequent papers in that matter, and failure to comply with these responsibilities may result in adverse consequences to such party.

(e) Leave of Absence.

(1) An attorney may seek a leave of absence by requesting that the Bankruptcy Court not place on a calendar on specified dates any matter involving that attorney’s client. A separate request must be made for each case or adversary proceeding in which the attorney has appeared.

(2) An attorney may request a leave of absence for fewer than twenty-one consecutive days by letter addressed to the Bankruptcy Judge’s courtroom deputy, with a copy to opposing counsel (or to opposing parties if unrepresented). The request is deemed granted when the letter is docketed by the courtroom deputy. A motion must be filed to request leave in excess of twenty-one consecutive days.

(3) A leave of absence neither extends previously set filing deadlines nor releases counsel from complying with other deadlines previously set by the Bankruptcy Court or by applicable law.

(4) An attorney may not request a leave of absence for a date upon which a matter has already been calendared. For that, BLR 5071-1 applies.

Motions filed in the main case pursuant to Bankruptcy Rules 9013 and 9014 do not require briefs or memoranda of law, but parties may file such where they would materially assist the Bankruptcy Court in the determination of the issues. Unless the Bankruptcy Court directs otherwise, the form of such briefs and memoranda of law must conform with BLR 7007-1. If allegations of fact not otherwise in the record are relied upon, supporting affidavits may be attached to the motion or memorandum of law.

(a) All proposed orders (including findings of fact and conclusions of law or other rulings verbally 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) must: (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 must 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 verbal 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, must be signed by each attorney or party preparing, submitting, or consenting to the proposed order and must 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 must be accompanied by a distribution list containing the names and addresses of the attorneys and parties to be served. If the proposed order seeks to have the Bankruptcy Clerk serve all parties in the case, the distribution list shall state “All parties on the Mailing Matrix.”

(c) Format Requirements of Proposed Electronic Orders. All proposed orders submitted electronically (E-Orders) must leave a four inch margin at the top of the first page to allow space for the signature of the Bankruptcy Judge and the date of the signature of the order. Additionally, the phrase “END OF DOCUMENT” must be placed after the end of the text of the proposed order. For further format and filing requirements of proposed electronic orders, see the official website of the Bankruptcy Court.

(a) For orders and notices that the Bankruptcy Clerk does not serve, the serving party must file a Certificate of Service including a list of the complete names and mailing addresses of the parties and attorneys served, the dates of service, and the manner of service. If service is being made by electronic transmission, service must comply with BLR 5005-8. If service is being made in a chapter 13 case, see the General Order on Requirement of Local Form for Chapter 13 Plans and Related Procedures.

(b) When service is permitted by facsimile, service of an order or notice may be made by transmitting it by facsimile to the attorney’s or party’s office with a cover sheet containing the sender’s name, firm, address, telephone number, facsimile number, e-mail address, and the number of pages transmitted.

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.