10th Circuit

Willful Breach of Contract Doesn’t Result in Section 523(a)(6) Nondischargeability

Without allegations of an intentional tort, a willful breach of contract can’t be nondischargeable as a ‘willful and malicious’ injury.

Tenth Circuit BAP Disagrees with the Fourth Circuit on Inapplicability of Article III

The split deepens on whether the jurisdiction of bankruptcy courts is limited by Article ‘case or controversy’ requirements.

Properly Written, a Divorce Decree Doesn’t Create a Debtor/Creditor Relationship

A properly written divorce decree can create a separate property interest that won’t be part of the bankruptcy estate of a bankrupt spouse.

Labor Union Beats Back a Motion to Transfer Venue to the Bankruptcy Court

A district judge, who had been a bankruptcy and BAP judge, narrowly interpreted 28 U.S.C. § 1412 as being inapplicable to pending suits only “related to” the bankruptcy.

The Standard for Enlarging the Time to File a Subchapter V Plan

Judge Jacobvitz of New Mexico follows Judge Harner of Maryland in developing a standard for deciding whether a Subchapter V debtor may extend the time for filing a plan.

State Court Is the ‘More Appropriate Forum’ to Divide Marital Property

The bankruptcy court can divide marital property, but just because it can doesn’t mean it should, Judge Thuma says.

A Bankruptcy Petition Automatically Stays the Filing of an Appeal or a Cross Appeal

When the debtor files bankruptcy before the time has elapsed for a creditor to file a cross appeal, the cross appeal is deemed timely when filed within 30 days after the stay terminated, the Tenth Circuit held.

IRS Has No Sovereign Immunity to Bar a Fraudulent Transfer Suit Under Section 544(b)

The circuits are now split 3/1, with the majority finding a waiver of sovereign immunity under Section 544(b)(1) for lawsuits by a trustee based on claims that an actual creditor could not have brought outside of bankruptcy.

Accumulated, Identifiable Wages Were Held Exempt, Regardless of the Total Amount

Colorado allows the ‘stacking’ of exemptions, given the mandate to interpret exemptions liberally in favor of debtors.

Denial of Withdrawal of the Reference Isn’t a Final, Appealable Order, Circuit Says

An appeal from an interlocutory order can’t be made final by the district court’s entry of judgment on the first appeal.