Judge Thomas M. Lynch - Opinions

Judge Thomas M. Lynch

18-82365, 19-96005
In adversary proceeding brought following Plaintiff’s ouster from retail joint venture, judgment entered in favor of Debtor following trial on objections to discharge under § 523(a)(2)(A) and § 523(a)(6) after finding, among other things, that (1) Plaintiff did not establish a debt owed to her by Debtor individually, as opposed to a potential claim against the limited liability company established by Debtor; (2) Plaintiff did not show either justifiable reliance on any alleged misrepresentation made by the Debtor or actual fraud with respect to their business venture; and (3) Plaintiff failed to demonstrate a willful and malicious injury attributable to the Debtor.

In re Donna J. Neely
September 30, 2019

Debtor’s objection to a claim alleging breach of fiduciary duty with respect to various family trusts was sustained in part and overruled in part following trial, finding that Claimants: (1) had standing as contingent trust beneficiaries to bring their claim; (2) failed to meet their burden pursuant to nonbankruptcy substantive law to show that certain of the challenged actions of the Debtor were contrary to the terms of the trust and partnership instruments; and (3) made a sufficient evidentiary showing to maintain a portion of their contingent claim relating to Debtor’s pre-petition transfer of partnership interests to herself for no consideration. Based on the evidence submitted, the court then determined the value of the disputed partnership interests. The Claimants’ post-trial request for leave to conduct third-party discovery and amend their claim was denied.

In re Thomas G. Gialamas
September 3, 2019

18-13341 (Western District of Wisconsin)
Creditor’s motion for relief from the automatic stay and to abandon property is denied because Creditor failed to show that he held a lien against property of the bankruptcy estate on the basis of a state court order for supplementary proceedings under chapter 816 of the Wisconsin Code.

In re Samuel T. Rowell
August 29, 2019

Debtor’s objection to claim asserted by former tenants sustained in part and overruled in part. Claim for unjust enrichment based on Claimants’ contribution to purchase of property allowed; remainder of claim barred by the statute of frauds or the terms of the lease agreement and disallowed.

18-80357, 18-96014
Judgment entered in favor of Debtor on objection to discharge under § 523(a)(6) after finding that Plaintiff did not meet his burden of proving that the Debtor was liable for a debt for willful and malicious injury arising out of a motorcycle accident.

18-13341 (Western District of Wisconsin)
Debtor’s opposed first motion under section 1121 to extend the exclusivity periods to file and obtain acceptance of a chapter 11 plan of reorganization granted based in part on pending cross-motions for summary judgment in a preference action asserted to be fundamental to the Debtor’s formulation of a plan. Rejecting suggestion that litigation must be resolved before a plan can be proposed or creditors provided adequate information to decide whether to accept or reject it, here the litigation may have a drastic impact on assets available to fund reorganization and on the allocation of payments to creditors. Finding further that objector failed to show that the extension request was made for dilatory purposes or to obtain undue leverage or that creditors’ interests are not adequately protected.

11-81785, 14-96129
The court relinquished jurisdiction and dismissed without prejudice the Debtor’s adversary complaint challenging the validity of CitiMortgage, Inc.’s asserted lien in the Debtor’s residence. Because the bankruptcy case had closed, the plan had completed, and the residence was not property of the estate, the court determined that all that remained was a two-party dispute under state law which did not implicate bankruptcy rights.

Final applications for approval of fees and expenses of Debtors’ counsel granted in part and denied in part. Based on objections by the Chapter 12 Trustee, the court disallowed certain entries due to excessive time billed, duplication of services, unnecessary proceedings, and travel time billed at full hourly rate.

USDA’s motion in chapter 13 case for relief from the automatic stay to pursue a foreclosure against Debtors’ residence granted after finding that Debtors were in default on the terms of the confirmed plan without justification or a request for modification and the determination of whether the original loan agreement was modified or novated by a subsequent assistance agreement was best left to the state court.

18-80357, 18-96014
Plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment on determination of nondischargeability under § 523(a)(6) was denied after finding default judgment in state court not entitled to collateral estoppel.