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Opinions

The Middle District of Louisiana offers a database of opinions for the years 2002 to the present, listed by year. For a more detailed search, enter the keyword or case number in the search box above.

The following synopses are provided for the benefit and assistance of parties and attorneys who appear and practice in this Court. The synopses are brief and general in nature and may not be cited as authority in and of themselves. They are not intended to be a substitute for a review of the opinions in their entirety.

Judge Douglas D. Dodd

  • Case No.   17-10822 (In re Catherine S. Edwards)
  • Adv. No.     17-1053 (America’s Home Place, Inc. v. Edwards)

Issues:  Should the debtor be denied discharge under 11 U.S.C. § 727(a)(4)(A)?  Should the debtor’s debt to the plaintiff be nondischargeable under 11 U.S.C. §523(a)(2)(A) and (a)(2)(B)?

Ruling: The debtor is denied discharge under 11 U.S.C. § 727(a)(4)(A).  The plaintiff did not meet its burden of proof under 11 U.S.C. §523(a)(2)(A) and (a)(2)(B).

  • Case No.   20-10163

Issue: Christopher Dwyer filed a motion to dismiss debtor’s case under 11 U.S.C. § 707(a) or (b).

Ruling: The motion to dismiss was denied. 
 

  • Case No.   19-10547

Issue: Was the surety bond program an executory contract? And if so, was it assumed by the confirmed chapter 11 plan?

Ruling: The surety bond program is not an executory contract. If it was an executory contract, it was a financial accommodation that was not assumable under 11 U.S.C. § 365(c)(2).

  • Case no.: 17-10579
  • Adv. no.: 18-1025

Issue: Defendant Jesse Daigle moved to dismiss count I of the complaint and count II of the complaint.

Proposed Conclusion: The District Court should dismiss count I and II of the complaint.

  • Case no.: 17-10579
  • Adv. no.: 18-1025

Issue: Defendants Matthew Skellan and Skellan Medical, LLC moved to dismiss count II of the complaint pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 9(b).

Proposed Conclusion: The District Court should dismiss Count II of the complaint.

  • Case no.: 17-10579
  • Adv. no.: 18-1025

Issue: Defendants Ryan Forsthoff, Mickey Guidry, RC Consulting, L.L.C. and Executive Development Advisors L.L.C. moved to dismiss count II of the complaint pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 8, 9(b) and 12.

Proposed Conclusion: The District Court should dismiss Count II of the complaint.

  • Case no.: 17-10579
  • Adv. no.: 18-1025

Issue: Defendants Shelley S. Massengale and C-Squared Management, L.L.C. moved to dismiss count II of the complaint pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 9(b) and 12(b)(6).

Proposed Conclusion: The District Court should dismiss Count II of the complaint.

  • Case No.  18-10136

Issue: The debtors and their counsel sought to remove the chapter 7 trustee claiming an appearance of bias.

Ruling: There is no cause to remove the chapter 7 trustee under 11 U.S.C. § 324(a).

  • Case No.   19-11185
  • Adv. No.     19-1041

Issues: Is the debtor’s debt to Choice Credit, LLC nondischargeable under 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(2)(B)?

Ruling: The debtor’s debt to Choice Credit, LLC is nondischargeable under 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(2)(B).
 

  • Case No.   19-11303

Issue: Can the court approve a stipulation after discharge is entered?

Ruling:  Because the stipulation as to dischargeability was filed into the record prior to discharge, it was treated as an objection to dischargeability and the stipulation can be approved post-discharge.
 

  • Case No.   19-10734

Issue: Chapter 13 trustee moved to dismiss for failure to make plan payments.

Ruling: Trustee’s motion to dismiss was granted.
 

  • Case No.   19-10400

Issue: Chapter 13 trustee moved to dismiss debtor’s case for failure to make plan payments.

Ruling: Trustee’s motion to dismiss was granted.

  • Case No.   19-10150

Issue: Chapter 13 trustee moved to dismiss for failure to make plan payments.

Ruling: Trustee’s motion to dismiss was granted.

  • Case No.   19-11435

Issue: The chapter 13 trustee objected to confirmation of the debtor’s chapter 13 plan.

Ruling: Despite several attempts, the debtor would not communicate with his counsel; therefore, confirmation was denied.
 

  • Case No.   19-11325

Issue: The debtors moved for reconsideration of dismissal of their chapter 13 case.

Ruling: The debtors’ motion to reconsider was denied.

  • Case No.   20-10024

Issue: The debtor moved to reconsider dismissal of his case.

Ruling:  The debtor’s motion to reconsider was denied.
 

  • Case No.   16-11147

Issue: The debtor moved to convert to chapter 7 in response to the chapter 13 trustee’s motion to dismiss her case for failure to make payments and turn over tax refund.

Ruling: The court granted the debtor’s motion to convert and denied the chapter 13 trustee’s motion to dismiss case.

  • Case No.   20-10165

Issue: The debtor moved for a second time to reconsider dismissal of his case due to failure to receive credit counseling prior to filing.

Ruling: The motion to reconsider was denied.  

  • Case No. 19-10488

Issue:  Did the debtor owe a debt to the creditor who had contracted with the debtor’s company?

Ruling:  The debtor was not personally liable for the debts of the company.  The court sustained the debtor’s objection to the proof of claim.

  • Case No. 13-10837

Issue:  Is a debtor who failed to disclose any immovable property or claim a homestead exemption on his schedules eligible to avoid judicial liens?

Ruling:  The debtor is ineligible for relief under 11 U.S.C. 522(f), but may have a remedy under Louisiana State law.

  • Case No.   01-52173 (MSSD)
  • Adv. No.     19-1003

Defendant Trinity Industries removed plaintiff’s state law mesothelioma action to bankruptcy court arguing protection under a 2003 confirmation order in a Southern District of Mississippi bankruptcy case. Plaintiff moved for mandatory abstention and remand.

Issue: Did the plaintiff carry his burden to require the bankruptcy court’s abstention under 28 U.S.C. 1334(c)(2)?

Ruling: Plaintiff failed to establish the requirements for mandatory abstention; however, the court found grounds to permissively abstain under 28 U.S.C. 1334(c)(1) and remanded the case to state court.

  • Case No.   18-10469
  • Adv. No.     18-1035

ISSUE: Did lender reasonably rely on loan applications that contained material misstatements?

RULING: Because minimal investigation would have revealed the inaccuracy of the loan applications, the lender failed to carry its burden to prove that the debt should be nondischargeable under 11 U.S.C. 523(a)(2)(B).

  • Case No.   18-10559
  • Adv. No.     18-1039

ISSUES: (A) Was the information the debtor supplied to lender about having a roommate materially false?  If so, (2) did the debtor intend to deceive lender and (3) did lender reasonably rely on the false statements?

RULING: (A) The debtor’s withholding from the lender that she did not have a roommate and paid more than half of her net monthly income in rent was a materially false statement because of the impact it had on assets available to pay the loan she sought. (B) The debtor had motive to misrepresent her financial condition and this, coupled with her implausible trial testimony, supports a finding that the debtor recklessly disregarded the truth and intended to deceive the lender.  (C)  Because minimal investigation by the lender would have revealed the falsity of the debtor’s representations, lender failed to carry its burden to show it reasonably relied on the debtor’s misrepresentation.
 

  • Case No.   13-10302

Issue: By submitting Affidavits of Small Succession with their application for unclaimed funds, did heirs prove their right to claim funds held by the court for a deceased debtor?

Ruling: The affidavits did not comply with the requirements of La. Code of Civ. Proc. Art. 3432 and therefore the applicants failed to establish their entitlement to the funds.

  • Case No.   18-10443

Issue: (A) Does the Rooker-Feldman Doctrine bar the debtor from challenging a proof of claim based on a state court judgment the debtor maintains was taken in violation of his discharge injunction? (B) If the debtor unsuccessfully raised the discharge injunction violation in the state court action, does issue preclusion bar him from raising it in his claim objection?

Ruling: (A) The Rooker-Feldman Doctrine does not apply when the discharge injunction has been violated.  (B)  Because the state court did not have jurisdiction to determine whether the discharge injunction was violated, issue preclusion does not bar the debtor from raising the violation in his claim objection.

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