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

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.

Movant sold a parcel of land to Debtors through an owner financing agreement which involved a final balloon payment at the end of the one year term. After the balloon payment became due but before payment was made, Debtors filed their Chapter 13 petition. Although Debtors proposed to pay Movant in full over the life of the plan, Movant objected to confirmation. Overruling Movant’s objection, the court held that § 1322(c)(2) allows for the payment of a prepetition matured balloon over the life of the plan.

The court is denying Plaintiff Debtor's motion for summary judgment to discharge tax liabilities for years 1994 and 1995 pursuant to 11 U.S.C. 727 and granting defendant Internal Revenue Services' cross-motion for summary judgment. The debtor reopened bankruptcy case and filed this adversary proceeding to determine tax liabilities for years 1994 and 1995. Because the court found that the IRS timely assessed the debtor's tax liabilities and the bankruptcy case was filed less than 240 days after the IRS tax assessment, the tax liabilities were declared nondischargeable pursuant to sections 11 U.S.C. 523(a)(1)(A) and 507(a)(8)(ii).

Robert F. Hershner, Jr. (Retired)

Debtor served by mail his objection to claim at address provided in corporation's proof of claim. Debtor failed to properly serve corporation as required by Rules 7004 and 9014. Objection must be served to attention of an officer or certain agents of the corporation.

Debtors sought to discharge income tax obligations for taxable years ending more than three years prior to the Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing under 11 U.S.C.A. § 523(a)(1)(A). The Court held that the three-year priority period was equitably tolled during the debtors' prior Chapter 13 cases under 11 U.S.C.A. § 105(a). The Court held that the debtors' obligations for some, but not all, of the tax years in question were dischargeable.

Judge James D. Walker Jr. (Retired)

If unsecured second lienholder can prove collateral's value exceeds first secured creditor's stipulated security interest, difference in collateral's stipulated value and proven value is treated as a secured interest of second lienholder.

Court determined that Chapter 13 Debtor's case was not moot merely because the fee which was the subject of the dispute had been returned to Chapter 13 Trustee based on the fact that Debtor's damages were more than just the fee, and the fee was tendered to an unnamed party, not the Debtor, who was the necessary party to accept the fee as settlement of the case.

Using four-factor approach in determining "good cause" under FRCP 55(c) and discussing creditor's notice requirements for collection of attorney fees under Georgia law.

Using four-factor approach in determining "good cause" under FRCP 55(c) and discussing creditor's notice requirements for collection of attorney fees under Georgia law.

Agreement of IRS is required if Chapter 13 debtor proposes to pay Section 507 priority tax claim held by IRS other than as provided under Section 1322(a)(2).

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