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.

Chief Judge John T. Laney, III

In this chapter 12 case, the court ruled that the creditor did not carry its burden of proof to establish nondischargeability under § 523(a)(2)(A), (4), or (6) of the Code. The court also ruled that language in a consent order, which allowed Debtor's late-filed answer to the counterclaim, did not entitle the creditor to a default judgment, and that collateral estoppel did not apply to bar Debtor from contesting the nondischargeability complaint.

Section 1322(c)(2) allows certain short-term mortgages, which would otherwise be covered by the section 1322(b)(2) prohibition of modification, to be crammed down to value and paid at a market rate of interest.

During Debtor’s Chapter 13 case, a educational loan creditor’s claim was disallowed to which the creditor did not object. Upon completion of the plan, Debtor received a general discharge. Creditor subsequently intercepted Debtor’s tax refund in payment of the school loan debt. Debtor filed a motion for contempt against the educational loan creditor alleging violation of the discharge injunction. The court held the disallowance of a claim does not necessarily discharge that claim. This is especially true given that educational loans are presumptively nondischargeable under § 523(a)(8) and the discharge order specifically excepted school loans from the discharge.

Judge James D. Walker Jr. (Retired)

Circumstances did not indicate the creation of certain oral partnership contracts between Plaintiff-Debtor and creditor defendants.

Discharge of Debtor's half-million dollar tax liability to the Internal Revenue Service is denied. In refusing to allow an IRS officer to enter his residence to inventory and seize his personal property in satisfaction of Debtor's tax arrearage, Debtor's conduct was an "affirmative act," as contemplated in In re Griffith, 206 F.3d 1389 (11th Cir. 2000) (en banc), resulting in denial of Debtor's discharge pursuant to 11 U.S.C. Section 523(a)(1)(C).

Reaffirming In re Alls, 238 B.R. 914 (Bankr. S.D. Ga. 1999) (Walker, J.), a claim for post-petition interest on unsecured debt must be disallowed, and a Chapter 13 debtor's failure to propose post-petition interest constitutes no grounds for relief from the stay of actions against the codebtor of a Chapter 13 debtor provided by Section 1301(a).

Robert F. Hershner, Jr. (Retired)

Debtors' minor daughter was injured in an automobile accident. Debtors suffered no bodily injury and had no personal injury claim to exempt.

Debtor filed a child custody action against her ex-spouse. Debtor's obligation to pay fees of guardian ad litem were in nature of support and were nondischargeable in bankruptcy. State court appointed a guardian ad litem to protect the interest of two minor children.

Creditor moved for relief from discharge order that it contended was entered in error. Creditor failed to show that it was entitled to relief. Debtor awarded damages for creditor's willful violation of discharge injunction.

Creditor sought relief from automatic stay, alleging that Debtor had failed to make her postpetition mortgage payments. Creditor and its attorneys failed to timely respond to Debtor's request for a copy of her account history. Creditor had misapplied some of Debtor's payments. Creditor and Debtor resolved the matter, but creditor's attorney continued to seek attorney's fees from Debtor. Court ordered creditor's attorney to pay for attorney's fees that Debtor incurred after the matter was resolved.

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