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

Under Alabama law, the court held that Debtor was allowed to exempt the earned income credit and non-earned income credit portions of her federal income tax refund. Relying on established Eleventh Circuit precedent, the court held that a mere delay in notifying the trustee of a tax refund until the first meeting of creditors did not demonstrate bad faith or prejudice. Therefore, the court overruled Trustee’s objection to Debtor’s claim of exemptions.

Judge James D. Walker Jr. (Retired)

The Court found Debtor failed to propose his plan in good faith based on Debtor’s dishonesty and fraud in his dealing with his creditors, his lack of candor toward the Court during his confirmation hearing, and his insincere motivations for seeking Chapter 13 relief.

The Court decided motions from two defendants to open default arising from violations of the automatic stay and discharge injunction. Court considered four factors. The motion of one defendant was denied because the Court found he was culpable in the default due to his failure to retain counsel despite repeated suggestions by the Court that he do so. The Court granted the motion of the other defendant, finding failure of its explanation to file answer to be sufficient to satisfy good cause requirement.

The Court decided motions from two defendants to open default arising from violations of the automatic stay and discharge injunction. Court considered four factors. The motion of one defendant was denied because the Court found he was culpable in the default due to his failure to retain counsel despite repeated suggestions by the Court that he do so. The Court granted the motion of the other defendant, finding failure of its explanation to file answer to be sufficient to satisfy good cause requirement.

The Court decided motions from two defendants to open default arising from violations of the automatic stay and discharge injunction. Court considered four factors. The motion of one defendant was denied because the Court found he was culpable in the default due to his failure to retain counsel despite repeated suggestions by the Court that he do so. The Court granted the motion of the other defendant, finding failure of its explanation to file answer to be sufficient to satisfy good cause requirement.

Plaintiff, ex-wife of the Chapter 7 debtor, objected to discharge of certain debts payable by debtor to her or for her benefit under a divorce decree. The Court granted plaintiff’s request under Section 523(a)(5) as to house payments because the Court found the payments are in the nature of child support. The Court granted plaintiff’s request under Section 523(a)(15) as to two credit card debts incurred during the marriage because plaintiff met the prima facie case for nondischargeability, and debtor failed to establish either of the two exceptions. In considering an exception to nondischargeability under Section 523(a)(15)(A), the Court adopted a four-factor test to determine that debtor had ability to pay the two debts.

The Court decided motions from two defendants to open default arising from violations of the automatic stay and discharge injunction. Court considered four factors. The motion of one defendant was denied because the Court found he was culpable in the default due to his failure to retain counsel despite repeated suggestions by the Court that he do so. The Court granted the motion of the other defendant, finding failure of its explanation to file answer to be sufficient to satisfy good cause requirement.

In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, plaintiff sought to prevent discharge of a debt that was incurred during her marriage to debtor and that debtor was required to pay under a divorce decree. The Court denied plaintiff’s request under Sections 727(a)(2)(B) and (a)(4)(A) because debtor demonstrated a lack of fraudulent intent in omitting certain assets from the schedules accompanying his bankruptcy petition and later affirming the accuracy of the schedules. The Court denied plaintiff’s request under Section 523(a)(15) because the benefit of discharge to debtor, who struggled to maintain a job and to make utility payments, outweighed the detriment to plaintiff, who showed no similar financial difficulties and was relying on payment of the debt to enable her to satisfy future discretionary expenses.

The Court decided motions from two defendants to open default arising from violations of the automatic stay and discharge injunction. Court considered four factors. The motion of one defendant was denied because the Court found he was culpable in the default due to his failure to retain counsel despite repeated suggestions by the Court that he do so. The Court granted the motion of the other defendant, finding failure of its explanation to file answer to be sufficient to satisfy good cause requirement.

The Court decided motions from two defendants to open default arising from violations of the automatic stay and discharge injunction. Court considered four factors. The motion of one defendant was denied because the Court found he was culpable in the default due to his failure to retain counsel despite repeated suggestions by the Court that he do so. The Court granted the motion of the other defendant, finding failure of its explanation to file answer to be sufficient to satisfy good cause requirement.

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