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.

Judge James D. Walker Jr. (Retired)

In a Chapter 13 case, the Court found that debtor’s attorney’s request for $1,150 in fees was unreasonably high and not made in good faith when debtor listed two creditors totaling less than $6,000, and the apparent sole purpose of filing was to seek shelter in the automatic stay from an aggressive creditor that posed no real threat to the debtor.

Secondary lien holder filed a complaint against the primary lien holder of land owned by Chapter 7 Debtor alleging that primary lien holder was only allowed to seek reasonable attorney fees in its foreclosure sale of the land under 11 U.S.C. § 506(b) instead of under Ga. Code Ann. § 13-1-11, however Court determined that it lacked jurisdiction to hear the case because Trustee had abandoned the land and Debtor no longer had any remaining interest in the land.

Court found that Chapter 7 Debtor was reckless in his actions but did not intend to deceive creditor and thereby denied creditor’s objection to discharge under 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(2)(A) and 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(2)(B).

Robert F. Hershner, Jr. (Retired)

Wife authorized her husband to sign her name to financial statement. Husband misrepresented wife's income and assets. Creditor contended that wife's debt was nondischargeable under 11 U.S.C.A. § 523(a)(2)(B). The Court held that the wife had not intended to deceive because she had reasonably believed that her husband knew her financial condition and that he would truthfully report that information on the financial statement.

Clinical psychologist provided counseling services to debtor's children and testified at child custody hearing. The Court held that debtor's obligation to pay for the services of the psychologist was a nondischargeable support obligation under 11 U.S.C.A. § 523(a)(5)(B).

The Chapter 7 trustee sought the statutory maximum allowance, $52,591.52, authorized by section 326(a) of the Bankruptcy Code for services of the trustee. The Court noted that all applications for compensation by trustees must be based upon the criteria set forth in section 330 of the Bankruptcy Code and that section 326 simply fixes the maximum compensation that a trustee can recover. The Court awarded the trustee $20,000 in compensation.

In a Complaint to Determine Dischargeability of Debt, Court denied cross-motions for summary judgment filed by Plaintiff and Defendant. The Court held that collateral estoppel did not apply to a state court's default judgment on issue of Defendant's fraud. The Court held that state court's default judgment was entitled to full faith and credit.

Judge John T. Laney, III

In cross motions for summary judgment in a preference action filed by the Chapter 13 Trustee, the court granted Defendant’s motion and denied Trustee’s motion. In a case of first impression under Alabama law, the court held that Defendant did not effectuate a lien release. Therefore, Trustee could not avoid the lien under § 547 or § 544.

Granting Defendant’s motion for summary judgment and denying Plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment in an adversary proceeding to recover post-petition transfers under §§ 549 and 550, the court held that plaintiff would not be allowed to recover post-petition transfers. In a case of first impression, the court held that lottery funds collected by a lottery retailer under the Georgia Lottery for Education Act constitute trust property and therefore, are excluded from property of the bankruptcy estate.

In a motion to compel Debtor to surrender leased premises, the court held that although the bankruptcy court has the authority to enter such an order, relief in favor of Movant is not proper in this case. Movant leased operating premises to the equity owner of Debtor who allowed Debtor to use the leased premises. After the lease was deemed rejected under § 365, Movant obtained relief from the automatic stay. However, Debtor remained in possession of the property at the express permission of the equity owner. Therefore, the court held that Debtor’s right to remain in possession was dependent upon the rights of the equity owner, an issue currently pending in state court.