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 Carol A. Doyle

Steven J. Welsch
July 30, 2019

16 B 33498

19 B 03734

Judge Thomas M. Lynch

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.

Chief Judge A. Benjamin Goldgar

In re Judith K. Begoun
August 6, 2019

13 B 27604

Judge Donald R. Cassling

13 B 22702

Judge LaShonda A. Hunt

14bk33271, 14ap00859
Following trial on an adversary complaint objecting to dischargeability under 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(2)(A) and § 523 (a)(6), the court held that the creditor failed to meet its burden of establishing that the defendant/debtor acted with intent to defraud or harm creditors.

Judge Janet S. Baer

13 B 10864, 16 A 00552
Chapter 7 trustee and plaintiff Brenda P. Helms filed an adversary complaint against Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, debtor Michael K. O’Malley, his spouse Tracy Zellmer, and Zellmer’s company TAMO, LLC, seeking: a declaratory judgment that O’Malley’s interest in an excess benefit retirement plan was non-exempt property of the estate (Count I), turnover of the proceeds of the retirement plan (Count II), avoidance and recovery of certain post-petition transfers related to the retirement plan (Counts III and IV), an award of damages for willful violations of the automatic stay (Count V), and disallowance of any claims filed by Zellmer or TAMO (Count VI).  Helms subsequently filed a motion for summary judgment on Counts I–V, and O’Malley filed a cross-motion for summary judgment on all six counts of the complaint.  At the outset, O’Malley argued that the complaint was barred because the Trustee failed to file a timely objection to the exemption of the retirement plan and that the Trustee was judicially estopped from challenging the validity of the exemption.  The Court found that the Trustee had no obligation to file an objection because O’Malley failed to properly claim the exemption in the plan in the first instance.  The Court further found that the Trustee was not judicially estopped from bringing the adversary proceeding because pursuit of the action would not give the Trustee an unfair advantage or impose on O’Malley an unfair detriment and applying judicial estoppel would adversely affect O’Malley’s creditors.  As for the cross-motions for summary judgment, the Court found that there were no genuine issues of material fact in dispute, that the Trustee was entitled to judgment as a matter of law on Counts I–IV, and that O’Malley was entitled to judgment as a matter of law on Count V.  Regarding Counts I–IV, the Court found that: the retirement plan was non-exempt, and the plan and related proceeds constituted property of the estate (Count I); O’Malley’s unauthorized payment election under the plan was an avoidable post-petition transfer which restored the payment election right to the estate (Count III); the Trustee was entitled to both avoidance and recovery post-petition transfers made under the plan (Count IV); and the Trustee was entitled to turnover of those proceeds (Count II).  As to Count V, the Court found as a matter of law that a trustee cannot recover damages under § 362(k) and that the circumstances of the case did not warrant the exercise of the Court’s civil contempt power under § 105(a).  Because neither Zellmer nor TAMO filed any proofs of claim, Count VI was dismissed by the Court sua sponte.

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