Opinions of the Middle
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The Honorable Chief Judge Mary D. France
The Honorable Judge John J. Thomas
The Honorable Judge Robert N. Opel, II

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Latest Opinions...

00-2788 Sarvey adv opinion.pdf
Margery G. Sarvey, Ch 13, Case No 1-00-bk-02788 MDF    Sarvey v. United States Department of
Education  Adv. # 1-06-ap-00007-MDF     Debtor's complaint is against the United States Department of
Education ("USDE") for alleged violations of the discharge injunction imposed by 524(a)(2).  The
principal question in this case is whether the order confirming Debtor's plan, which included
"discharge by declaration" language, is res judicata on the dischargeability issue.  Judgment in favor
of USDE.

03-406 Bullard opinion adv.pdf
Debtor filed a motion to dismiss adversary complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief
could be granted.  Plaintiff sought revocation of the discharge.  Motion to dismiss Plaintiff's complaint
as to claims for revocation of discharge for fraud asserted under Section 523(a)(2)(A) and 1328(e)
granted.  As to Plaintiff's allegations that the discharge order should be vacated because it was
entered by mistake, Debtor's motion to dismiss denied.

05-3775 05-149 DeSantis adv opinion.pdf
Creditor filed an adversary complaint against debtor to determine the dischargeability of a debt owed
by debtor to plaintiff based on a civil judgment.

06-2119 RHB Charter School stay opinion.pdf
Debtor is a licensed public charter school in Pennsylvania. Harrisburg School District filed motion for
relief from automatic stay.  Bankruptcy Court held that the appeal pending before the Pennsylvania
Commonwealth Court commenced by Debtor's application to renew its charter is not stayed under 11
U.S.C. Section 362(a).  The filing of the bankruptcy petition did not invoke the operation of the
automatic stay under 362(a) because none of these actions were brought by another party against

03-2974 Split Vein 07-6 ap sum judge opinion.pdf
Split Vein Coal Company, Inc., Chapter 11, Case No. 1-03-bk-02974-MDF    Adversary Case No.
1-07-ap-00006   Debtor v. Gilberton Coal Company and SeedCo. NP, LLC    Motion for Summary
Judgment.  Two coal companies dispute their relative rights to certain coal refuse located on land
owned by the defendant.

04-7386 Montesfuco recon opinion.pdf
Case No. 1-04-bk-07386 Donna Montefusco  Adv. No. 1-05-ap-00091, Montefusco v. Chase Manhattan
Mortgage Corp.  Debtor filed motion for reconsideration of the Court's Order of May 12, 2006
granting summary judgment to Chase.  The issue:  Alleged violation of Real Estate Settlement
Procedures Act and of the Unfair Trade Practices & Consumer Protection Law.  Order affirmed in
part, denied in part

05-194 Freeland opinion.pdf
Lorita Y. Freeland, Debtor, v. Pennsylvania Central Federal Credit Union    Chapter 7, Case No.
1-05-bk-00194-MDF  "Dragnet clause" in a loan agreement was effective to secure a debt for credit
card charges made after the loan agreement was executed.

05-3045 Eichhorn fee app opinion.pdf
1-05-bk-03045 - Wade and Jennifer Eichorn  Debtors' counsel filed an interim application for
allowance of compensation and expenses, and creditors filed a "limited" objection opposing payment
from debtors' real estate or the use of the real estate to secure the payment of the fees and expenses.  
Court decided counsel will be required to obtain payment from the trustee pari passu with unsecured
creditors, and the fees and expenses may not be secured by property that was property of the estate
when the petition was filed.

05-5108 05-ap-183 James adv order.pdf
05-5108 05-ap-190 James adv order.pdf
Barry and April James, Chapter 7, Case No. 1-05-bk-05018     Adversary No. 1-05-ap-00183, Trustee v.
Harding County, South Dakota, et al     Adversary No. 1-05-ap-00190, Trustee v. The T.C. Group and
Ron Frithiof    Artisan's liens (dinosaur bones).  Core vs. non-core question.  Motions to abstain

05-6045 Leland plan obj opinion.pdf
Debtor's estranged sister and step sister's objection to confirmation of chapter 13 plan, asserting  plan
filed in bad faith, stems from their displeasure of Debtor's pre-petition management of the assets of
their now-deceased father.  Court held that:  (1) Objectants have no standing as a party in interest to
object to confirmation because they failed to file a proof of claim and therefore do hold an allowed
unsecured claim; (2) Debtors' failure to make a sincere effort to commit all disposable income to
funding the amended plan demonstrates that Debtors are attempting to abuse the spirit of chapter 13.  
Confirmation denied sua sponte.   

05-07880 Schnetzka Opinion.pdf
Case No. 1-06-bk-07880MDF - Schnetzka    Adv. No. 1-06-ap-00067 - Eimerbrink v. Schnetzka
Plaintiffs filed complaint to recover a portion of the proceeds of the sale of real estate sold by the
chapter 7 trustee, prior to distribution to unsecured creditors, alleging the property was subject to a
trust in their favor.  Judgment entered in favor of the trustee.

05-8332 McManus adv opinion.pdf
In re:  Joseph M. McManus dba Mantis Construction, Debtor    No. 1-05-bk-08332
Debtor moved to dismiss pro se complaints filed by two former customers of Debtor for failure to state
a claim upon which relief could be granted.  Debtor's motion granted, unless plaintiffs file amended
complaints within 30 days alleging facts sufficient to prove the elements of an exception to discharge
under Section 523.

05-8565 Reeder Burkholder fee app opinion.pdf
Richard and Doris Reeder, Ch 11, Case No. 1-05-bk-08565    Burkholder & Company, Applicant v.
United States Trustee, Objectant    The UST objected to the accountant's second application for
approval of fees to the extent it requested compensation for services rendered or reimbursement for
expenses incurred in defending the UST's objections to its first application.  Objection sustained, fee
approved in a reduced amount.

06-820 Kiesling adv[1]. opinion.pdf
William Keisling, d/b/a Yardbird Books, Ch 7, Case No. 1-06-bk-00820     Russell Wantz and Schaad
Detective Agency, Inc. v. William Keisling, Adv. No. 1-06-ap-00108     Plaintiffs filed complaint against
Debtor seeking a permanent injunction against Debtor's publication of a book that contains
statements about them that allegedly are defamatory.  Debtor filed a motion to dismiss the adversary,
raising a legal issue under state law - whether a judge may issue an injunction to prevent the
publication of allegedly defamatory statements, without a jury first finding that the statement in
question is defamatory.

06-51 Black Davis adv opinion 2.pdf
Black Davis and Shue Agency, Inc. Chapter 11, Debtor    Case No. 1-06-bk-00051MDF   Adv. No.
1-06-ap-00098     Black Davis and Shue Agency, Inc., v. Eastern Alliance Insurance Group
Violation of the automatic stay, pursuant to 11 U.S.C., Sec. 362(k), and contempt of court, pursuant to
11 U.S.C. Sec. 105(a).  Motion for damages for violation of stay granted, motion for contempt denied.
(Debtor filed motion to extend time for filing appeal.)

06-198 Finnegan opinion.pdf
1-06-bk-00198 - Soverign Bank v. Finnegan     The bank filed an objection to confirmation of the
chapter 13 plan, specifically, to debtor's proposal to cram down its claim to the value of the collateral
(a vehicle).  At issue are the definition of "personal use" as it is used in Sec. 1325(a) and the "hanging
paragraph,"  and the valuation of the collateral.

06-326 Lanier opinion.pdf
Bobby J. Lanier, Debtor, Ch 13, Case No. 1-06-bk-00326-MDF     Americredit Financial Services, Inc., v.
Bobby J. Lanier      Americredit objected to Debtor's proposed modification to his confirmed plan that
provided for surrendering a vehicle that is collateral for its claim.  Creditor asserts that it will be
deprived of a property right without just compensation in violation of the Fifth Amendment of the
United States Constitution if it is not permitted to assert its deficiency claim.

06-497 Reihart opinion.pdf
1-06-bk-00497  - Jessica Linn Reihart
Debtor filed reaffirmation agreement.  Court issued order pursuant to 11 U.S.C. Sec. 524(m)(1)
directing debtor to show case why repayment of the debt should not be presumed to create an undue
hardship.   Court Held that:  debtor may reduce monthly expenses in an amount sufficient to rebut
the undue hardship presumption.  Reaffirmation agreement approved.   Viability of the
"ride-through" option In re Price, 370 F.3d discussed.

06-610 Beamenderfer adv opinion.pdf

06-788 Vaughn opinion.pdf
Michael Bradley and Carol Elizabeth Vaughn, Chapter 13, Case No. 1-06-bk-00788MDF
eCAST Settlement Corp. v. Vaughn    Creditor objected to confirmation of Debtors' proposed plan
arguing that Debtors failed to apply all of their projected disposable income to payments to unsecured
creditors during the applicable commitment period and that disposable income should be determined
by reference to the B22C.

06-875 Mundy opinion.pdf
Melvin G. Mundy, Debtor, Chapter 7, Case No. 1-06-bk-00875-MDF      United States Trustee v. Melvin
G. Mundy    The UST filed motion to dismiss bankruptcy petition invoking 707(b)(2) of the Bankruptcy
Code as amended by the BAPCPA.

06-1457 Price Opinion.pdf
1-06-bk-01457, Amanda and William Price, Jr.     Cififinancial Auto Corp. v. Price
Creditor objected to Debtors' proposal in their chapter 13 plan to surrender a demolished motor
vehicle in full satisfaction of its claim.  Debtors moved for summary judgment arguing that because
they had purchased the vehicle during the 910-day period before they filed their petition, as a matter
of law, Citifinanncial's claim could not be bifurcated under Section 1325.

06-2121 Weiss sum judge opinion.pdf
Marilyn S. Weiss, Debtor, Chapter 13, Case No. 1-06-bk-02121-MDF     Jambeth Investments, LLC v.
Debtor    Jambeth filed motion for summary judgment asserting Debtor's chapter 13 is
non-confirmable as a matter of law because it failed to pay its secured claim in full.  Debtor countered
that the amount of claim is indefinite until value of property is determined.  Court determined that
Schedule A showing value is a judicial admission of its worth.  Motion for summary judgment granted.

06-2287 Krape obj exemp & plan opinion.pdf
1-06-bk-02287 - William and Donna Krape, Krape Trucking Ch 13    Charles Dehart, Trustee v.
Krape    Issue:  Whether debtors may exempt property under 11 U.S.C. Section 522(d)(1) that did not
serve as their residence on the date that they filed their bankruptcy petition.

06-2572 Rajis-Kahn opinion.pdf
Alex Iloka Rajis and Nan Kanh, Case No. 1-06-bk-02572-MDF     vs. Central Lincoln-Mercury, Inc.   
Debtors filed motion to hold creditor in contempt and for damages for misconduct.

07-1336 Bell sale obj opinion.pdf
Debtor:  John W. Bell, f/d/b/a John's Service Center, Chapter 13, Case No. 1-07-bk-01336-MDF
Creditor:  Bayview Loan Servicing LLC    Bayview objected to Debtor's motion to sell commercial
property that was secured by a note held by Bayview.  The (state law) issue is whether Bayview is
entitled to default interest on the note
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