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Opinions

The Northern District of West Virginia offers a database of opinions beginning in 2006, listed by year and judge.

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Honorable Becker McKay Wyckoff Mignault

Johns v. Mannington Home Center, Inc. (In re Armstead), 1:22-ap-00004 (Bankr. N.D.W. Va. August 22, 2022) (Judge Mignault)
Date: 08/22/2022

In denying Mannington’s motion to dismiss and granting the Chapter 7 trustee’s motion for summary judgment, the court found that the viability of Mannington’s judgment lien was not extended beyond the initial 10-year period such that the Chapter 7 trustee can avoid the purported lien.  In that regard, the court was unpersuaded by Mannington’s argument that the debtor’s several bankruptcy cases extended the effective period of its lien by more than 1,300 days.  Notably, no automatic stay existed in December 2018 when Mannington’s lien was set to expire.

 

 

Fitzgerald v. Tucker (In re Tucker), 19-ap-12 (Bankr. N.D.W. Va. June 9, 2022)
Date: 06/09/2022

The court grants a creditor summary judgment and denies the Chapter 7 debtor’s anticipated discharge under § 727(a)(5) of the Bankruptcy Code.  Specifically, the could found as unsatisfactory the debtor’s uncorroborated explanation of his expenditure of over $1,000,000 in the few years before seeking Chapter 7 relief.

The Truth Tellers, LLC v. Levine (In re Levine), Adv. Proc. No. 20-ap-36 (Bankr. N.D. W. Va. March 31, 2022)
Date: 03/31/2022

The Court denied an exception to discharge complaint under 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(4) that alleged defalcation or fraud with acting in a fiduciary capacity or, in the alternative, embezzlement.

Sheehan v. Levine (In re Geostellar, Inc.), Adv. Proc no. 19-ap-24 (Bankr. N.D.W. Va. March 21, 2022).pdf
Date: 03/21/2022

The trustee alleged that the defendant, a member of the debtor’s board of directors, created a direct competitor to the debtor and took other actions for his personal gain to the detriment of the debtor. The defendant asserted that an arbitration clause in his employment contract should be enforced to adjudicate the trustee’s claims. The Court, however, found that the causes of action for breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, constructive fraud and/or negligent misrepresentation of facts, and a violation of the Uniform Trade Secrets Act, were not subject to the employment agreement’s arbitration clause. Additionally, the Court determined that the trustee’s causes of action survived challenges based on the “gist of the action” and the “economic loss” doctrine.

Honorable David L. Bissett

WVNB New Memorandum Opinion: McAuliffe v. IRS (In re McAuliffe), Adv. Proc. No. 20-44 (Bankr. N.DW. Va. May 26, 2022)
Date: 05/26/2022

The Court found the IRS in contempt of the Debtor’s discharge order and awarded $498.21 in damages. Attorney’s fees were denied on the basis that the attorney was representing his spouse without a fee agreement and there were no out of pocket legal expenses that could be recovered under 26 U.S.C. § 7430.

A.M. v. Randlett (In re Randlett), Adv. Proc. No. 21-ap-25 (Bankr. N.D.W. Va. Feb. 25, 2022)
Date: 02/25/2022

The Court denied entry of summary judgment in a 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(6) exception to discharge case that was filed after entry of a state court civil default judgment awarding damages against the debtor for sexual crimes that were committed by non-debtors who were present at the debtor’s home.

 

Honorable Paul M. Black

Comm 2013 CCRE12 Crossings Mall Road, LLC v. Tara Retail Group, LLC (In re Tara Retail Group, LLC), Adv. Proc No. 21-1 (Bankr. N.D.W. Va. April 20, 2022)
Date: 04/20/2022

The Court denied a motion to stay pending appeal regarding the Court’s Order on Summary Judgment and Order on Confirmation. The Court denied the stay, among other reasons, because the Appellants failed to show that they were likely to succeed on the merits of the appeal.

Comm 2013 CCRE Crossings Mall Road, LLC v. Tara Retail Group, LLC (In re Tara Retail Group, LLC), Adv. Proc. No. 21-ap-1 (Bankr. N.D.W. Va. Jan. 6, 2022) (Judge Black)
Date: 01/06/2022

On summary judgment, the Court addressed a dispute over the meaning of certain language in the debtor’s confirmed Chapter 11 plan, and addressed other related issues.