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Case Summaries

Bankruptcy Law

[06/14] Weil v. Elliott
In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee's adversary proceeding seeking revocation under 11 U.S.C. section 727(d) of a debtor's discharge on the ground that the discharge was obtained by fraud, the bankruptcy court's judgment grant of summary judgment to the trustee, revoking the discharge and dismissing the action is reversed where the one-year filing deadline imposed by section 727(e)(1) is not a jurisdictional constraint, but rather is a statute of limitations.

[06/12] Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v. AMH Roman Two NC, LLC
In a bank-creditor's appeal of a bankruptcy court's order cancelling its deed of trust covering a piece of real property, two years after the court order and several months after the property was sold in foreclosure to a bona fide purchaser for value, the district court's denial of the creditor's motion to set aside the bankruptcy court's order is affirmed where, at every stage of this litigation, the creditor was in the best position to protect its interests, and failed to do so.

[06/06] In Re: Ross
In an appeal by Chapter 13 debtor appealing a broad filing injunction issued against him by the Bankruptcy Court after he and his wife used the bankruptcy process to stave off the sheriff's sale of their home, the filing injunction is affirmed where a bankruptcy court has the authority to issue a filing injunction even in the context of approving a debtor's 11 U.S.C. section 1307(b) voluntary dismissal because nothing in the Bankruptcy Code's express terms says otherwise.

[06/02] Quincy Medical Center v. Gupta
In a Chapter 11 bankruptcy case involving a hospital debtor, the district court's ruling that the bankruptcy court lacked subject matter jurisdiction over former-executive-plaintiffs' post-confirmation claims for severance payments against the purchaser of debtors' assets is affirmed where the bankruptcy court had no jurisdiction.

[06/01] In re: Klaas
In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case presenting two questions of first impression, the district court's decision affirming the bankruptcy court's judgment is affirmed where: 1) bankruptcy courts do have discretion to grant a brief grace period and discharge debtors who cure an arrearage in their payment plan shortly after the expiration of the plan term; and 2) the Bankruptcy Court did not abuse its discretion in granting a grace period here.

[05/26] In re Sunnyslope Housing Ltd. Partnership
In a Chapter 11 bankruptcy case, the district court's decision affirming the Chapter 11 plan of reorganization is affirmed where the bankruptcy court did not err in approving the debtor's plan of reorganization and valuing the collateral assuming its continued use after reorganization as low-income housing.

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Probate Trusts

[06/01] Raymond Loubier Irrevocable Trust v. Noella Loubier
In an inheritance dispute pertaining to the assets of the deceased, as conveyed to various revocable and irrevocable trusts in the deceased's name and that of his wife, the district court's dismissal of the complaint based on lack of subject matter jurisdiction is vacated and remanded where, because the plaintiff trusts are traditional common law fiduciary agreements, and, further, because they are not separate juridical entities under the relevant state law of Florida, the citizenship of their trustees controls a diversity determination.

[05/09] Higgins v. Higgins
In a trust case in which a wife agreed to hold funds in trust for her husband's elderly stepmother, and after her husband's death, the wife changed the form of the accounts and used the funds for her own purpose, the trial court's judgment in favor of wife-defendant under Code of Civil Procedure section 631.8 is reversed where, despite the form of the bank accounts, when clear and convincing evidence shows funds were transferred to an account owner to hold in an irrevocable trust for a third party beneficiary and the trustee repudiates the trust, a constructive trust may be imposed on the funds for the beneficiary's estate to prevent unjust enrichment.

[05/08] US v. Cardaci
In an action involving the Government's attempts to collect unpaid taxes assessed against a homeowner, seeking a judicial sale of the home, the district court's judgment, that a forced sale would be inequitable and order that the homeowner make monthly rent payments to the Government instead, is: 1) affirmed as to the district court?s authority to consider whether the property should be subject to a forced sale; but 2) vacated and remanded for recalculation of the ownership interests in the property and reconsideration of the equitable factors weighing for and against a sale.

[04/20] Bresler v. Wilmington Trust Co.
In a breach of contract action brought by personal representatives of an estate, the district court's judgment that trustee-defendant breached an agreement to lend money for the acquisition, maintenance, and certain investments relating to life insurance policies obtained for plaintiffs, is affirmed over defendant's arguments that the district court erred in admitting testimony from the plaintiffs' expert witness, the jury verdict including the award of damages was not supported by the evidence, and additional terms of the district court's order also were not supported by the evidence.

[04/20] US v. Harris
In a case in which the beneficiary owes restitution ordered following his 1997 conviction, the district court's decision that a writ of continuing garnishment attaches to a beneficiary's interest in discretionary support trusts is affirmed where the beneficiary's interest in the trusts, which were established by his parents for his support, qualifies as 'property' under 28 U.S.C. sections 3002(12), 3205(a) and 18 U.S.C. section 3613(c).

[04/19] Tepper v. Wilkins
In a suit among siblings on behalf of plaintiff's 88-year-old mother, claiming plaintiff's siblings' actions individually and while serving as trustees of mother?s revocable living trust constituted financial abuse of an elder or dependent adult, the trial court's judgment, sustaining defendant's demurrer without leave to amend and dismissing plaintiff's elder abuse action on standing grounds, is affirmed where: 1) the cause of action for elder financial abuse belongs to mother as the real party in interest; and 2) the court did not err in sustaining the demurrer without leave to amend.

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