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Judge Carol A. Doyle

Shuntavia D Wigfall
October 29, 2019

19 B 20319

Judge Timothy A. Barnes

On a motion for relief from the order approving the sale of the debtor’s real property, including a church, filed by the parishioners of the church, held:  The court concludes that the movants have failed to establish the requirements to vacate the sale order under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 60.  While the movants have limited standing to challenge the debtor’s lack of authority, such challenge rests on ecclesiastical and not secular rules.  Such a challenge must be brought in the appropriate, church forum.  As the movants have suffered no harm cognizable under secular law and have failed to show that the entry of the sale order was in error in any other way, for the reasons set forth in the Memorandum Decision, the motion must be denied.

19bk06272, 19ap00587
On a motion for a preliminary injunction by the plaintiff, a former franchisor of a business owned and operated by the debtor-defendant, to prohibit the debtor-defendant from operating such business in alleged violation of a covenant not to compete entered into in connection with the now-terminated franchise, where the covenant not to compete provides for liquidated damages designed to fully compensate the plaintiff as an alternative remedy to injunctive relief, held:  The plaintiff’s rights under the covenant not to compete, including to injunctive relief, constitute a “claim” within the meaning of 11 U.S.C. § 101(5), which claim will be treated in accordance with bankruptcy law.  The plaintiff is therefore unlikely to succeed on the merits of its claims for a permanent injunction, the only relief sought in the adversary proceeding, and the preliminary injunction motion is therefore not well taken.

In re LLC 1 07CH12487
September 30, 2019

Upon the chapter 7 debtor’s motion to dismiss its bankruptcy case, which was remanded to this court for further findings that would permit dismissal or further proceedings in the case following an uncontested appeal by a creditor opposing dismissal, the court having entered an order to show cause calling for all interested parties to appear and be heard with respect to whether any cause to dismiss the case under 11 U.S.C. § 707 currently existed, held:  In light of the compelling observations of the United States Trustee and the failure of the debtor to prosecute the motion following the district court’s remand, there exists a limited bankruptcy purpose to allowing the debtor’s case to continue provided that proper safeguards and limitations are maintained.  The debtor’s motion is, therefore, DENIED without prejudice.

Judge Jack B. Schmetterer

In re Jose Zuniga
October 2, 2019

19 B 19410

Judge Thomas M. Lynch

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.

Judge Deborah L. Thorne

19-22878 (jointly administered)

Judge Jacqueline P. Cox

19 B 07692
The court converted the Chapter 11 case filed by Debtor Royalty Properties, LLC to Chapter 7, finding that it was filed in bad faith as a litigation tactic to delay a mortgage foreclosure case filed 10 years ago.  The debt was incurred in 2006 to purchase its main asset, a 400-acre horse farm.  No payments were ever made on the debt. The court also found that the Debtor was using its creditors’ collateral to farm and sell hemp/hemp seeds, a new business for which it had no experience, not to reorganize an existing business. The Debtor and its principals unsuccessfully sued its creditors, including the Forest Preserve District of Cook County, Illinois, in state and federal courts many times before it filed for bankruptcy protection.  After the foreclosure case neared conclusion, two more lawsuits were filed against its creditors this year.