Opinions

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.

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Judge Jacqueline P. Cox

The Defendant brought a motion to dismiss Counts I - VII of the Trustee’s First Amended Complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) arguing that the Court lacked subject matter jurisdiction due to the jurisdictional limits imposed on bankruptcy judges by Stern v. Marshall. In support of its argument, the Defendant suggested that even the submission of findings of fact and conclusions of law to the district court would be an impermissible exercise of judicial power reserved to the district court. The Court first noted that the Stern decision does not implicate matters of subject matter jurisdiction, and held that it had related-to jurisdiction over the claims pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 157(c)(1), as each of the claims in Counts I - VII, if successful will bring money into the bankruptcy estate affecting the allocation of estate funds among creditors. Further, the Court declined to read the Stern opinion so expansively as to preclude the submission of proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law for de novo review to the district court. The Defendant also moved to dismiss Count VIII for failure to state a claim pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). The Court dismissed this count which sought disallowance of claims pursuant to sections 502(d) and 502(j), noting that the Defendant had not yet filed a proof of claim in the bankruptcy case.

In this Amended Memorandum Opinion, the Court granted the Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss the Chapter 7 Trustee’s Adversary Proceeding in part. The Trustee alleges in the First Amended Complaint that insiders of the Debtor engaged in a series of complex transactions by which the Debtor was stripped of its real estate, funds and business opportunities. The Court dismissed counts alleging fraudulent transfer claims under Illinois law because the transfers in issue occurred more than four years before the bankruptcy case was filed. Illinois law provides generally for a four-year limitations period for the prosecution of fraudulent transfer claims. 11 U.S.C § 544(b) allows a trustee to avoid any transfer of an interest of a debtor in property that is avoidable under applicable law by a creditor holding an allowable unsecured claim. The trustee can use that creditor's more favorable limitations period. 26 U.S.C. § 6502 allows the IRS 10 years to collect taxes under certain circumstances. Relying on a 7th Circuit ruling in In re Leonard, 125 F.3d 543, 544 (7th Cir. 1997) where that court held that "the trustee can assume the position of any one of them" in referring to 13 filed claims, the Court held that the Trustee cannot rely on 11 U.S.C. § 544(b) to take advantage of the IRS' 10-year limitations period because the IRS had not filed a proof of claim. The Court noted that Federal Rule of Bankruptcy Procedure 3004 allows a trustee or a debtor to file a proof of claim on behalf of a creditor

Judge Jack B. Schmetterer

In re John E. Anderson
October 17, 2011

Judge A. Benjamin Goldgar

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