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Chief Judge A. Benjamin Goldgar

In re Bruno L. Garzon
December 3, 2018

18 B 26026

In re William A. Moss
October 23, 2018

18 B 2581

In re Aurora Memory Care, LLC
September 27, 2018

18 B 11289

Judge Donald R. Cassling

18 B 05186

17 B 36365, 18 A 00189

Judge Janet S. Baer

12 B 17133, 18 A 00021
Plaintiffs Richard and Elizabeth Reuland (the “Reulands”) filed an adversary complaint against the Internal Revenue Service (the “IRS”), seeking (1) a determination that the IRS had violated the discharge injunction by attempting to collect certain tax debt that had been discharged through their chapter 13 bankruptcy case, (2) a permanent injunction against the IRS barring future attempts to collect that debt, and (3) attorney’s fees and costs.  The IRS moved to dismiss the complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted because the tax debt at issue is not dischargeable pursuant to 11 U.S.C. §§ 1328(a)(2) and 523(a)(1)(B)(ii) (excepting from discharge debts for tax returns filed both late and less than two years before bankruptcy).  The Reulands conceded that the tax debt was nondischargeable pursuant to those provisions.  They argued, however, that under United Student Aid Funds, Inc. v. Espinosa, 559 U.S. 260 (2010), the tax debt at issue was discharged because their plan provided for the debt and the IRS failed to object to or appeal confirmation.  In response, the IRS argued that Espinosa was inapplicable because the Reulands’ plan did not contain any specific language purporting to discharge the tax debt.  After distinguishing Espinosa from the Reulands’ case and considering other cases with similar facts, the Court held that the tax debt at issue had not been discharged because it is nondischargeable under §§ 1328(a)(2) and 523(a)(1)(B) and the Reulands’ plan did not contain specific language that provided for the discharge of the debt.  Thus, the Court granted the IRS’s motion, and dismissed the Reulands’ complaint with prejudice because, as a matter of law, it failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.

15 B 26538, 15 A 00771
Raymond Michael Chuipek filed an adversary complaint against his former employer Scott C. Gilmore, seeking a determination that a debt owed to him by Gilmore by virtue of a state court judgment entered on a jury verdict was not dischargeable pursuant to § 523(a)(2)(6). Chuipek subsequently filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that the questions answered by the jury were sufficient to meet the willful and malicious standard of § 523(a)(2)(6) and that, thus, Gilmore was precluded from re-litigating the factual issues decided in the state court under the doctrine of collateral estoppel. Gilmore contended that although the jury found in Chuipek’s favor, there was no finding of subjective intent to willfully and maliciously injure Chuipek. Therefore, Gilmore asserted, collateral estoppel could not be applied. Based on a close inspection of the entire state court record, the Court found that the facts necessarily implied by the jury’s verdict established that Gilmore’s conduct was willful and malicious and that it caused injury to Chuipek for purposes of § 523(a)(6). Accordingly, the Court concluded that the prior case presented the same issues and that collateral estoppel applied to the factual record in the nondischargeability action, thus barring Gilmore from relitigating the underlying facts decided in the state court case. As such, the Court granted Chuipek’s motion and entered judgment in his favor.

Judge Timothy A. Barnes

Upon the Motion for Entry of an Order (I) Enforcing Confirmation Order; (II) Awarding Damages; and (III) Granting Related Relief, brought by assignee of personal property administered by the liquidating trust in the above-captioned bankruptcy cases, held: The movant has established that it is a party protected by the release in the confirmation order entered in the case and that the claims brought in the state court actions are attempts by the surety to recapture losses stemming from the debtors’ released liability.  The motion is, therefore, GRANTED in part, as set forth in the attached Memorandum Decision.  A separate hearing on damages will follow.

16bk01335, 16ap00141
On cross motions for summary judgment concerning the validity as a matter of law of the debtor/defendant’s lack of authority defense, wherein the debtor/defendant alleged that the plaintiff LLC lacked standing as the authority of the plaintiff’s lender to manage and thus cause the plaintiff to file its complaint had expired under the applicable statute of limitations, held: Statutes of limitations bar specific legal remedies by creating an affirmative defense to a time-barred action, but statutes of limitation are neither self-executing nor dispositive of the parties’ underlying rights.
Further, a security agreement or mortgage is incident to the underlying debt for limitations purposes and the security remains enforceable so long as the debt remains unpaid and enforceable. As such, the lender’s authority to manage the LLC was unaffected and the debtor/defendant’s affirmative defense fails as a matter of law. The debtor/defendant’s motion is, therefore, DENIED and the plaintiff’s motion is GRANTED.

Judge Deborah L. Thorne