The District of Northern Illinois offers a database of opinions for the years 1999 to 2013, listed by year and judge. For a more detailed search, enter the keyword or case number in the search box above.

Subscribe to All Opinions

Judge Jacqueline P. Cox

15 B 013904, 15 A 00568
In this case a former spouse has asked that certain debts/obligations of a Chapter 7 Debtor established in a Dissolution of Marriage Judgment be held to be not dischargeable under Sections 523(a)(5) and (a)(15) of the Bankruptcy Code.  The Court found that the Temporary Spousal Support, Health Care, Pension and Real Estate Tax and Assessments obligations are not dischargeable domestic support obligations.  A fine for noncompliance with discovery obligations was held to be not in the nature of support and for that reason is dischargeable.  The state court judgment reserved ruling on attorney's fees.  When that issue gets resolved this Court will determine whether that obligation can be discharged.

09 B 05868, 12 A 00430

Following the Supreme Court’s decision in Wellness International Network v. Sharif, the Seventh Circuit affirmed a 2010 order that this Court entered which found that a Trust that the Debtor (Sharif) administered was the Debtor’s alter-ego and therefore its assets were property of his bankruptcy estate.  Since the 2010 order, the Debtor, the Debtor’s sister, and, most recently, the Debtor’s other sister have made no less than 10 attempts to reclaim the Trust assets.  These attempts have been well documented in over 180 pages of orders and opinions from this Court, all of which have denied their requests.

Despite all of this, two of the Debtor's sisters recently brought motions seeking to recover the Trust assets. This opinion outlines the seven-year history of the parties' efforts to reclaim the Trust assets.  This latest attempt also failed.  This opinion includes an Order to Show Cause why the sisters, and their attorney, Maurice J. Salem, should not be sanctioned under Rule 9011 for bringing improper and frivolous motions.

Judge Timothy A. Barnes

11 B 38307, 14 A 00106
Upon the Chapter 7 Trustee’s adversary complaint under 11 U.S.C. §§ 727(d)(1) and (2), wherein the Chapter 7 Trustee seeks to revoke the debtor’s discharge as a result of, respectively, alleged failures to disclose a prepetition property interest and to disclose and turnover to the Trustee property of the estate acquired by the Debtor postpetition, held: Given the timing of the Complaint, the court lacks subject matter jurisdiction to determine the Chapter 7 Trustee’s 11 U.S.C. § 727(d)(1) prepetition property claim.  As to the 11 U.S.C. § 727(d)(2) postpetition property claim, the debtor acquired property of the estate within the applicable postpetition period but failed to both report and surrender all of that property to the Trustee.  The debtor’s discharge must, therefore, be revoked pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 727(d)(2).

14 B 24420
Upon the third party tax purchaser’s motion for relief from the automatic stay, contending that the Debtors’ default under the provisions of the confirmed plan requiring payment to purchaser in full of its claim by a certain date was cause to lift the automatic stay, and the Debtors’ competing motion to modify the confirmed plan, seeking to extend the date under the plan to pay the tax purchaser, held: (i) the default under the confirmed plan constitutes cause to lift the automatic stay; and (ii) the Debtors’ proposed amendment is infeasible and inequitable. The tax purchaser’s motion for relief from stay is, therefore, granted and the Debtors’ motion to modify plan is denied.

15 B 42427
Upon a creditor’s motion seeking to dismiss a chapter 11 case, wherein the creditor alleged that the debtor filed its bankruptcy petition in bad faith because the case was filed on the eve of foreclosure and without the consent of the creditor, as a voting member of the debtor, held:  The creditor has not proved by a preponderance of the evidence that there is cause under 11 U.S.C. § 1112(b) to dismiss the case.  The amendment to the debtor’s operating agreement that required the creditor’s consent to file bankruptcy was void as against public policy.

Judge Jack B. Schmetterer

14 B 11873

Judge A. Benjamin Goldgar

15 B 23651, 16 A 00014

Judge Janet S. Baer

15 B 35358, 15 A 00876
The Debtor filed an adversary complaint against Walsh Construction Company and the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County, seeking:  (1) a determination that certain funds deposited with the Clerk pursuant to a judgment order entered by the Circuit Court are property of the bankruptcy estate, and (2) turnover of those funds to the Debtor.  Walsh filed a 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss the complaint.  The judgment order awarded Walsh $27,500,000 on its breach of contract claim against the Debtor, awarded the Debtor a total of about $8,300,000 on its breach of contract claim against Walsh and an interpleader claim filed by the Debtor’s subcontractor, and provided that the amounts awarded to the Debtor be set off against the amount awarded to Walsh.  The Court found that the Rooker-Feldman doctrine did not bar its jurisdiction over the adversary proceeding because the Court did not need to overturn the Circuit Court’s decision to determine the interests of the parties.  As to the substantive issue, the Court found that, based on applicable law and the language in the judgment order, the setoff was accomplished pre-petition, through and at the time of the entry of the order; the setoff therefore effectuated a transfer; the deposited funds were thus not property of the Debtor’s bankruptcy estate; and, as a result, the funds could not be turned over to the Debtor.  Accordingly, the Court held that the Debtor failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted and, in fact, could not assert any set of facts establishing its entitlement to the relief it sought.  Therefore, the Court granted Walsh’s motion to dismiss the complaint, and the complaint was dismissed with prejudice.