2014 Judge Kaplan - Opinions

Judge Michael B. Kaplan -- Opinions signed in 2014

In re: Princeton Office Park, Case 08-27149, 1/31/2014

The Reorganized Debtor seeks reconsideration of Plymouth's allowed claim, which claim relates to Plymouth's purchase of a tax sale certificate on property owned by the Reorganized Debtor.  The Court finds that Plymouth knowingly charged the Reorganized Debtor improper amounts, by way of Plymouth’s proofs of claim, in contravention of N.J.S.A. 54:5-63.1.  Accordingly, the tax sale certificate held by Plymouth is subject to forfeiture, and its lien on the Reorganized Debtor’s property is void pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 506(d).



In re: Surma, Case 11-37991, 2/4/2014

Debtor seeks to use Creditor's assignment of rents pursuant to a proposed plan of reorganization. The Court determines that the Debtor may not use or allocate the rents under the proposed plan as proposed and, therefore, denies approval of the Debtor's disclosure statement.


In re: Janas, Case 12-28363, 2/19/2014

The issue before the Court is whether an extension of time to file an objection to discharge, granted in favor of one creditor, extends the time for another creditor, absent an individual motion by the second creditor. The Court determines that one party’s motion to extend the time to file an objection to discharge does not apply to all parties, and the failure to have filed an objection or independently request an extension of time, bars Plaintiff from raising the objection at a later date. Thus, the Court grants Defendant's motion for summary judgment.



In re: McGowan, Case 10-12944, 2/26/2014

Debtor seeks damages stemming from an alleged stay violation by her former spouse pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 362(k). The Court grants Debtor's motion, in part, and awards limited attorneys' fees as damages resulting from defending certain actions taken by Debtor's former spouse in state court.



In re: Blaine, Adv. Pro. 13-01255, 3/26/2014

The Chapter 7 Trustee filed a complaint seeking to revoke the Debtor's discharge, pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 727(d)(1)-(2), for failure to disclose a judgment award granted in the Debtor’s favor. The Court finds that the Debtor's reliance on the advice of counsel is a valid defense and that the Debtor is entitled to retain his discharge.



In re: DeMaria v. Peters - 14-01002, 5/16/2014

Debtor-Defendant filed a motion to dismiss Plaintiff's adversary complaint, which seeks to declare non-dischargeable certain obligations arising from a pre-petition state court judgment. Plaintiff filed his adversary complaint after the bar date, but first raised the issue of non-dischargeability of his debt by way of a motion filed ahead of the bar date. The Court finds that the counts in the adversary complaint may "relate back" to the claims contained in the motion, but that any new counts cannot be sustained. Thus, Defendant's motion is DENIED in part.





In re: Oncology Associates - adv. 14-1094 and 14-1096, 6/10/2014

Defendants General Electric Capital Corporation and the United States of America seek dismissal of the Chapter 11 Trustee's separate adversary complaints, which, inter alia, seek to avoid and recover certain alleged pre- and post-petition transfers.  Due to the comparable and partially overlapping nature of the claims addressed by the parties, as well as the Court’s substantive consolidation of the related bankruptcy cases, the Court issues this joint Memorandum Decision (i) granting the motion of General Electric Capital Corporation in part, and (ii) granting the motion of the United States of America.




In re: Amiel Restaurant Partners, LLC case, Case No. 13-23866, 6/16/2014

Creditor filed a motion seeking: (i) to recover certain insurance proceeds, in the amount of $358,800, which had been escrowed with Debtor’s bankruptcy attorney and derived from Debtor’s personalty destroyed by Superstorm Sandy in Fall 2012 at the restaurant premises which the Debtor leases from Creditor; and (ii) to escrow an additional $724,475 for alleged prepetition defaults and construction costs to rebuild the restaurant.  The Court finds that the property rights created by the underlying lease between the parties demonstrates that the insurance proceeds are not property of the estate, and Creditor is entitled to payment of those proceeds which issued in the amount of $358,800. The Court deferred to a later date on the issue of prepetition defaults and construction costs.




In re: Nassau Tower Realty, LLC, Case 13-24984, 10/27/2014


The Office of the U.S. Trustee seeks an order compelling the Debtor to pay certain quarterly fees based on the UST's interpretation of "disbursements," as that term is used in 28 U.S.C. § 1930(a)(6).  The Court grants the UST's motion, finding that the funds applied to the Debtor's loan balances originated from property of the bankruptcy estate and are therefore subject to quarterly fees under 28 U.S.C. § 1930(a)(6).









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