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

09 B 05868, 20 A 00399
This adversary proceeding is Debtor Richard Sharif’s latest attempt to undo a default judgment he caused to be entered in 2010 denying him a discharge and declaring a trust to be his alter ego, making it property of the bankruptcy estate.
He alleges that the Chapter 7 Trustee Horace Fox Jr., his attorneys, a child representative in his divorce case, his estranged wife and her former attorney are civilly liable to him for violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, conspiracy, breach of fiduciary duty and negligence for taking his trust and other property even though the interests in issue were declared to be property of the bankruptcy estate pursuant to a default judgment entered as a sanction for his failure to comply with his discovery obligations.
The case was filed in the District Court; it was transferred to this court.
The Amended Complaint has been dismissed with prejudice.

In re Jessie M. Knight
March 29, 2021

16 B 32994
The Debtor’s attorney has been ordered to submit an accounting of $8,300 received in settlement of a Motion for Sanctions.  A creditor refused to release title/lien on a vehicle where the underlying debt had been discharged in a completed chapter 13 case.  Because the Debtor’s attorney (or his firm) had entered into the Court-Approved Retention Agreement to represent the Debtor for a flat $4,000 fee, the attorney is not entitled to receive additional legal fees absent an application to the court for such.  No one has sought additional fees.

Judge Timothy A. Barnes

20bk18167
Upon the Foreign Representatives’ Motion for Order Granting Full Force and Effect to German Confirmation Order Pursuant to 11 U.S.C. §§ 105(a), 1521(a), 1525(a), and 1527 and Granting Related Relief and upon the pro se objection raised by a creditor of the debtor in this chapter 15 case, held: The relief requested by the foreign representatives is both common and authorized by chapter 15 of the Bankruptcy Code. The relief is necessary to effectuate the purpose of chapter 15 and to protect the assets of the debtor or the interests of the creditors, is consistent with the principles of comity and will reasonably assure the protections afforded by 11 U.S.C. § 1507(b), is in the spirit of cooperation with the Frankfurt am Main County Court, Insolvency Court and is an appropriate means of cooperation regarding the administration and supervision of the debtor’s assets and affairs. The relief is also within the power of the court under 11 U.S.C. § 105(a) to issue any order, process, or judgment that is necessary or appropriate to carry out the provisions of this title. While the recoveries to United States creditors under the debtor’s foreign plan are low, that is not the measure of determining the appropriateness of the request. The court is satisfied that United States prepetition creditors were afforded treatment no different than that afforded prepetition creditors of the debtor as a whole, that creditors had a reasonable opportunity to be heard in the foreign proceeding and that the German insolvency proceeding has been otherwise conducted in a manner consistent with the spirt and goals of chapter 15 of the Bankruptcy Code. As a result, the motion will be GRANTED.

19bk31162, 20ap00074
Upon the debtor-defendant’s default in this nondischargeability adversary proceeding, held: the plaintiff has established by a preponderance of the evidence that the debtor made certain misrepresentations. While those misrepresentations are generally not actionable as mere broken promises to pay, on default, the well pled allegations of liability are taken as true and the plaintiff has therefore shown that the debtor made a specific representation knowing it was false or with reckless disregard for the truth. The plaintiff has only shown, however, that he justifiably relied on the debtor’s false representations until December 1, 2016, when by his own admission to the debtor further work on the matter was ill-advised; his reliance after that date was not justified. Accordingly, the reasonable fees and expenses charged by the plaintiff prior to December 1, 2016, not to exceed $15,759.97, are nondischargeable under section 523(a)(2)(A). The remaining balance billed to the debtor by the plaintiff is dischargeable.

18bk32437, 20ap00010
Upon the crossing motions for summary judgment brought by the Internal Revenue Service and the Illinois Department of Revenue to determine priority of liens under section 506, the IRS and IDOR each assert that no genuine issue of material fact exists necessitating a trial on the complaint. The trustee, as plaintiff in the matter, concurs and, but for the existence of an undetermined motion to vacate a previous court order upon which this issue turns, the court agrees...

Judge David D. Cleary

14 B 34232, 16 A 691
Defendants asked the court to compel Plaintiff to produce documents identified as privileged, asserting that Plaintiff placed the documents “at issue” and waived privilege.  Held: under federal law, at-issue waiver occurs when a party affirmatively puts at issue the specific communication to which the privilege attaches.  Since Plaintiff did not assert a claim or defense that put any specific communications at issue, he did not waive the privilege.

14 B 34232
Applicant requested allowance and payment of administrative expense claim as a “substantial contribution” to the case pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 503(b)(3)(D).  Held: Section 503(b)(3)(D) does not support the allowance of an administrative expense claim in a case under chapter 7.

Judge LaShonda A. Hunt

13bk04868
Debtors reopened their chapter 7 case and moved for a finding of civil contempt against the Illinois Department of Revenue for collecting state tax debts they contend were discharged.  The motion will be denied, as the court finds the tax liability, interest, and four of the five assessed penalties nondischargeable pursuant to 11 U.S.C. §§ 523(a)(1)(B)(i) and 523(a)(7)(B).  Regarding the one discharged penalty, IDOR’s collection efforts were objectively reasonable and for such an inconsequential amount that neither a finding of contempt nor the imposition of sanctions is warranted.

 

Judge Deborah L. Thorne

Judge Jack B. Schmetterer

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