Opinions

The Middle District of Georgia offers opinions in PDF format, listed by year and judge. For a more detailed search, enter the keyword or case number in the search box above.

Please note: These opinions are not a complete inventory of all judges' decisions and are not documents of record. Official court records are available at the clerk's office.

Robert F. Hershner, Jr. (Retired)

The Settlement Agreement in a divorce proceeding required the debtor to pay certain credit card debts. The Court held that the former spouses were dividing the marital obligations rather than providing alimony or support. The Court held that the debtor's obligation was dischargeable.

Debtor moved to amend her confirmed Chapter 13 plan after confirmation. The Court held that Debtor could surrender the collateral (a truck) to secured creditor and then reclassify the unpaid balance of the claim as unsecured.

Debtors contended liens were nonpurchase money security interests which could be avoided. The security agreements contained dragnet clauses. The Court allowed Debtors to avoid the lien on a tractor, but not on a trailer.

Debtor failed to appear at state court divorce hearing. State court awarded ex-spouse $652,000 as maintenance in gross. The bankruptcy court held that this debt was in the nature of support and nondischargeable in bankruptcy.

Confirmed Chapter 13 plan provided that the debtors would make payments on their leased truck outside of the plan. The Court held that the debtors had not assumed the lease. The debtors could modify their confirmed plan to surrender the truck and treat the deficiency under the lease as a general unsecured claim

Debtor's obligation to hold former spouse harmless on certain credit card debts was nondischargeable under 11 U.S.C.A. § 523(a)(15).

Creditor filed, after the bar date, a motion to amend its complaint objecting to discharge and to determine dischargeability of debt. The Court allowed the creditor to assert additional factual allegations in support of the same causes of action asserted in the original complaint. The Court did not allow the creditor to add a new cause of action by asserting additional facts not set forth in the original complaint.

Chief Judge John T. Laney, III

The court grants Trustee relief from his stipulation, and from an order incorporating that stipulation, under Rule 60(b)(5) and under Eleventh Circuit case law. It would work an injustice if Trustee were held to his stipulation now that the order upon which the stipulation was based has been reversed.

Judge James D. Walker, Jr.

Question as to whether Debtor "knowingly or fraudulently" omitted items from his schedules, and is thus subject to having his discharge denied for making a false oath pursuant to Section 727(a)(4)(A) for making a false oath or account, is ultimately turns on the credibility of the Debtor, and is accordingly a question for the finder of fact; value of property that Debtor alleges is irrelevant to determination of the property's materiality to the estate for purposes of denying discharge pursuant to Section 727(a)(4)(A).

Though 11 U.S.C. § 502(b)(3) limits the amount of an ad valorem tax claimant's claim to the value of the estate's interest in the property against which the ad valorem tax was assessed, Trustee may not use Section 502(b)(3) to avoid the tax claimant's security interest created by a tax lien perfected more than 90 days prior to Debtor's petition.

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