In re Collins (Ch 13 Case No. 21-40436)

Vacating and withdrawing the opinion and order entered July 13, 2022, as well as its order sustaining Debtor’s objection to Movant’s claim, the Court reexamined the Movant’s due process and priority arguments.  First, the Court vacated its order sustaining Debtor’s objection to Claim no. 2.  The Court found that Movant’s active litigation of his claim’s priority status, through his motion to reconsider, oral argument, and brief, adequately preserved his position.  The Court then reexamined Movant’s argument that he was denied due process.  The Court found that because Movant received no notice beyond mere existence of the case, he was deprived notice and opportunity to be heard as to the chapter 13 plan and confirmation hearing.  Accordingly, Movant was not bound by the terms of the confirmed chapter 13 plan.  Finally, the Court evaluated the merits of Movant’s contention that his claim, arising from attorney’s fees which accrued during his representation of Debtor, qualify as a domestic support obligation.  Although Movant represented Debtor in a domestic proceeding, Debtor is the beneficiary of a domestic support obligation owed to her by her ex-spouse.  Thus, the Court held that the debt owed by Debtor to Movant is not a domestic support obligation.  Because Movant’s claim is not a domestic support obligation, the Court found it is not entitled to first priority status.


Tuesday, December 20, 2022