2017 Judge Meisel - Opinions

Judge Stacey L. Meisel -- Opinions signed in 2017




In re: Arcola -  Case 14-1010 Final Opinion on Motion for Summary Judgement, 1/5/2017

Before the Court is the Chapter 7 Trustee’s Motion for Summary Judgment on Counts One and Seven of the Complaint and Striking Defendant’s Affirmative Defenses.  After hearing oral arguments and considering the pleadings submitted by the parties on this matter, this Court concludes that the Trustee’s Summary Judgment Motion should be (1) denied as to Count One and Count Seven of the Complaint because the Trustee’s claims are time-barred; and (2) granted in part and denied in part as to the Trustee’s request to have the Defendant’s affirmative defenses stricken.



In re: Roper and Twardowsky (15-32878) - Trustee's Retention Application Opinion, 2/14/2017

The Chapter 7 Trustee filed an application for retention of special counsel.  The principals of proposed special counsel are, among other things, also principals of the debtor, creditors of the debtor, co-counsel for the debtor, co-counsel for themselves, individually, and potential defendants should the Trustee decide to bring certain causes of actions.  The Court denied the Trustee's application for retention, finding that the principals of proposed special counsel held interests, positions and roles in the case that precluded retention.  Specifically, the Court found that the proposed retention: 1) would violate New Jersey Rules of Professional Conduct 1.7(a) and 3.7 because the principals of proposed special counsel held interests that conflict with the interests of the estate and were likely to be fact witnesses in the case; 2) was not for a special purpose as required under Section 327(e) of the Bankruptcy Code; 3) was not in the best interest of the estate under Section 327(e) of the Bankruptcy Code; and 4) was impermissible under Section 327(a) of the Bankruptcy Code because, as the Trustee admitted, proposed special counsel was not disinterested.




In re: Dominic-James Porcoro (15-24387) - opinion on Debtor's Stay Violation Motion, 3/28/2017

The debtor filed a motion seeking sanctions against the creditor for alleged violation of the automatic stay based on the creditor's reporting of the debtor's outstanding pre-petition balance to a credit reporting agency post-petition but pre-discharge.  The debtor conceded that the information the creditor reported was truthful.  The Court denied the debtor's motion, finding that: 1) that the mere act of reporting a debtor’s truthful credit information post-petition—but pre-discharge—without further evidence that the creditor is attempting to collect the debt, is not a violation of the automatic stay; and 2) the debtor failed to show that the creditor's truthful reporting was connected to an attempt to collect a debt.



In Joseph T. Guarracino and Yvette L. Guarracino (14-30441) - opinion on Creditor's Motion to Reconsider, 4/12/2017

On a creditor's motion to reconsider, the Court analyzed whether assets of a corporation owned by an individual co-debtor, but whose charter was revoked, should be distributed to corporate creditors or to the co-debtor's creditors under N.J.S.A. § 14A:12-9 and N.J.S.A. § 14A:12-16. The Court granted reconsideration in part and denied it in part.




In re G-I Holdings Inc., Case No. 01-30135 - opinion on Reorganized Debtors' Motion to Enforce Plan Injunction In Joseph T. Guarracino and Yvette L. Guarracino (14-30441) - opinion on Creditor's Motion to Reconsider, 5/1/2017

Certain entities sought indemnification from the reorganized debtors in state court for costs and expenses related to remediation of a Superfund site. The reorganized debtors removed the indemnification action to the bankruptcy court. The Court subsequently remanded the adversary proceeding over the reorganized debtor's objections, including that the confirmed plan's discharge injunction barred the state court plaintiffs' claims. The reorganized debtors appealed the remand order. Pending appeal, the reorganized debtors moved for an order enforcing the discharge injunction against the state court plaintiffs. The Court denied the reorganized debtors' motion for lack of jurisdiction, concluding that exercising jurisdiction over the motion would interfere with the appeal of the remand order in the adversary proceeding under the divestiture rule.




In re Alliance Shippers v Guarracino, Case No. 14-3044, ADV. 14-02069, 10/16/2017




In re Smiley, Case 16-12375, 07/12/2017








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