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 Chapter 7 debtor made an oral request in open court that the United States Bankruptcy Judge recuse himself in the debtor's bankruptcy case. The debtor argued that he could not get a fair non-jury trial, that the judge had a conflict of interest, and that the judge always ruled in the trustee's favor even though the debtor presented evidence of fraud by the trustee. A request for recusal based solely on the party's dissatisfaction with the judge's rulings against him is not a valid basis to disqualify the judge. The court denied the debtor's request for recusal.

The plaintiff requested a jury trial. The court held that the plaintiff had no right to trial by jury because plaintiff was seeking equitable relief through mandatory injunctions and prohibitory injunctions.

The attorney for the Chapter 7 trustee sought interim compensation for professional services provided to the trustee under 11 U.S.C.A. § 330(a). The court applied the six nonexclusive factors listed in section 330(a)(3) to the services described in the application and awarded interim compensation.

The Chapter 11 debtor filed an application asking the court to approve the employment of David Judah as attorney for the debtor under 11 U.S.C. § 327(a). The United States trustee argued that Mr. Judah was not a disinterested person because an attorney in Mr. Judah's law firm was an officer of a corporation that was owned by the debtor. The court held that Mr. Judah was not disqualified from representing the debtor. The court noted that the corporation had a legal existence separate and apart from its officers and shareholders.

The Chapter 7 trustee asked the court to impose sanctions on the debtor under Bankruptcy Rule 9011. The court determined that the debtor has continued to relitigate virtually verbatim contentions of the trustee's fraud long after the court has ruled that the contentions have no merit. The court held that the debtor should be sanctioned under Rule 9011.

Judge James D. Walker, Jr.

State of Georgia's claim for past due unpaid sales tax was disallowed based on the debtor's unrefuted testimony that he did not own or operate a business during the time periods in question.

Incarceration of a Chapter 7 debtor is not a disability for purposes of exemption from the financial management course under 11 U.S.C. § 727(a)(11) and 109(h)(4).).

To be farm debt for purposes of Chapter 12 eligibility, the debt must have some connection to the debtor's farming activity. Using farmland as collateral for a debt that has no other relation to the farming operation is not sufficient.

Court denied defendant's motion to dismiss fraudulent conveyance claim for failure to state a claim. The Court found the fact of debtor's bankruptcy filing provided a sufficient factual basis for purposes of notice pleading for the trustee to allege fraudulent intent and insolvency at the time of transfer.

To prove fiduciary defalcation for purposes of § 523(a)(4), the plaintiff must establish the existence of a technical trust between the parties, including the imposition of trust duties. A statute that establishes a business relationship is insufficient to create such a trust.

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