Showing 27 posts by Laura J. (Garlinghouse) Genovich.
In re Casey Marie Anthony, Bankr. M.D. Fla., Case No. 8:13-bk-00922-KRM
Although this blog typically focuses on Michigan bankruptcy cases, last week’s Chapter 7 filing by Casey Anthony raises interesting questions about the impact of bankruptcy on public figures.
Casey Anthony held the national spotlight for nearly three years after being charged with murdering her two-year-old daughter, Caylee. Anthony initially alleged that Caylee was kidnapped by her nanny, then claimed that Caylee accidentally drowned in the family pool. After a jury found her not guilty on all charges except some misdemeanors, Anthony faced a barrage of lawsuits, including claims for defamation and for reimbursement by private investigators who searched for Caylee in the months before her remains were found.
Those lawsuits ground to a halt when Anthony filed a voluntary Chapter 7 petition in the Middle District of Florida on January 25, 2013. In her bankruptcy papers, Anthony lists few assets (comprised mostly of household goods) but discloses unsecured debts of nearly $800,000, plus numerous debts of unknown amounts. The debts include the pending lawsuits against her and $500,000 in legal fees owed to her criminal defense attorney. Read More ›
Categories: Chapter 7
Auday v. Wet Seal Retail, Inc., Case No. 12-5057 (6th Cir., Oct. 25, 2012) (recommended for full-text publication).
As most bankruptcy practitioners know, a debtor’s pre-petition cause of action – whether for personal injury, breach of contract, or other claim – is property of the bankruptcy estate. Now, the Sixth Circuit has clarified that only the trustee can file suit in connection with a Chapter 7 debtor’s pre-petition cause of action, unless the action is abandoned. Read More ›
Moyer v Koster et al (In re Przybysz), Adv. Pro. Case No. 12-80174 (Hon. Scott W. Dales, Sept. 25, 2012).
A recent decision from the Bankruptcy Court of the Western District of Michigan serves as a lesson and reminder to attorneys that complaints must do more than recite legal conclusions – they also must allege sufficient facts to put defendants on notice of the claims and of possible defenses. Read More ›
The local rules for the Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Michigan have been amended, effective August 1, 2012. The new rules can be found here in their entirety.
Among other changes, practitioners should review the following amendments: Read More ›
Categories: Western District of Michigan
This blog entry includes material originally prepared by the author for the 2012 FBA Bankruptcy Seminar.
The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Stern v. Marshall, 131 S. Ct. 2594 (2011), immediately cast a shadow of uncertainty on bankruptcy courts’ constitutional authority to enter final orders. But Stern leaves many questions unanswered, and the bankruptcy judges within the Western District of Michigan have differed as to whether the case should be interpreted narrowly or broadly. As a result, depending on the presiding judge in a particular case, Stern may be critically important or unworthy of mentioning. The following is a brief review of cases in this district that address the scope of Stern. Read More ›
In re Hopkins, Bankr. W.D. Mich., Case No. 10-13592, Hon. Scott W. Dales (Feb. 2, 2012).
When the sole member of a limited liability company files Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the membership interest is property of the bankruptcy estate that the trustee may liquidate, subject to claimed exemptions and liens. But if the LLC owns property, can the trustee also liquidate that property for the benefit of the sole member's creditors? Read More ›
In re Pellegrini, Bankr. W.D. Mich., Case No. 09-90464, Hon. James D. Gregg (Jan. 17, 2012).
When Congress adopted BAPCPA, it added an exemption for "[r]etirement funds to the extent that those funds are in a fund or account that is exempt from taxation" under certain provisions of the Internal Revenue Code. 11 U.S.C. § 522(d)(12). Although broader than the exemption previously available for retirement funds, § 522(d)(12) is not limitless – as the Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Michigan recently emphasized. Read More ›
Richardson v. Citimortgage, Inc. (In re Emerson), unpublished opinion, BAP No. 11-8015 (Oct. 7, 2011).
The Bankruptcy Appellate Panel of the Sixth Circuit ("BAP") has rejected a trustee's efforts to avoid a mortgage that was mistakenly discharged because the discharge was rescinded before the debtor's bankruptcy filing. Read More ›
Many are familiar with Anna Nicole Smith, the late television personality who married an elderly oil tycoon shortly before his death and later became embroiled in a legal battle over his estate. Recently, the bankruptcy case of Vickie Lynn Marshall – Anna Nicole Smith's legal name – made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court and resulted in an opinion that limits the authority of bankruptcy courts to enter final orders in common law actions.
Vickie married J. Howard Marshall approximately a year before his death, and although he gave her many gifts, he did not leave her anything in his will. Before J. Howard passed away, Vickie sued his son, Pierce, in state probate court for tortious interference with J. Howard's will. Vickie then filed bankruptcy. Pierce filed a nondischargeability action and a proof of claim in Vickie's bankruptcy case, asserting that Vickie had defamed him. Vickie filed a counterclaim against Pierce, essentially restating the tort allegations from her state probate court action. Read More ›
Categories: U.S. Supreme Court
In re Rahim, E.D. Mich., May 23, 2011 (Case No. 10-15123, Hon. Sean F. Cox).
Previously on this blog, we discussed In re Rahim, a case in which Judge Rhodes dismissed the Chapter 7 case of debtors with primarily non-consumer debts "for cause" under 11 U.S.C. § 707(a) because the case was not filed in good faith. The debtors, both practicing physicians, brought home an annual income of more than $500,000 and had multiple homes and luxury vehicles. Read More ›