PNC v. Sturba

(United States Ninth Circuit) – In a creditor’s claim was based on a promissory note on real property in California. The claim would be barred by a four-year California statute of limitations but not by a six-year Ohio statute of limitations, the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel’s reversal of the bankruptcy court’s ruling that a creditor’s claim was timely is reversed where: 1) under federal common law, the contractual choice-of-law provision did not expressly include the statute of limitations and therefore was silent on the issue; 2) under section 142 of the Restatement (Second) of Conflict of Laws, the statute of limitations of the forum state, California, would generally apply; and 3) exceptional circumstances, however, directed the application of the Ohio statute of limitations because the unique strictures of the Bankruptcy Code meant that, through no fault of the creditor, the only forum for its claim was the Northern District of California.

Lex Claims, LLC v. Padilla

(United States First Circuit) – In a second set of bankruptcy appeals involving the automatic stay provision of the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA), 48 U.S.C. sections 2101-2241, which employs language very similar to that of the bankruptcy stay statute, the district court’s decision that four claims included in the plaintiffs’ Second Amended Complaint are not within the scope of PROMESA’s temporary stay is reversed where it erred in this determination.

Dingley v. Yellow Logistics, LLC

(United States Ninth Circuit) – In an Chapter 7 bankruptcy case, the BAP’s decision is affirmed on different grounds where the bankruptcy court erred by sanctioning creditors for violating the automatic stay by pursuing civil contempt proceedings against the debtor based on his failure to pay discovery sanctions in a state court action, because civil contempt proceedings are exempted from the automatic stay under the Bankruptcy Code’s government regulatory exemption, 11 U.S.C. section 362(b)(4), when, as here, the contempt proceedings are intended to effectuate the court’s public policy interest in deterring litigation misconduct.

First Community Bank v. Gaughan

(United States Ninth Circuit) – In an adversary proceeding brought by a creditor against a Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee, seeking a declaration that the creditor had an enforceable judgment lien on real property, thereby granting it priority over the proceeds of the trustee’s sale of the property, the district court’s reversal of the bankruptcy court’s summary judgment in favor of a creditor is reversed where: 1) applying California’s choice-of-law rules, California law, rather than Arizona law, governed; and thus 2) the debtor’s interest in the real property at issue was subject to enforcement of the judgment lien.

Im Re: Linear Electric Co., Inc.

(United States Third Circuit) – In a case concerning the relationship between the New Jersey Construction Lien Law and federal bankruptcy law, presenting the question of whether a supplier can file a construction lien under New Jersey law when the contractor has filed a petition for bankruptcy, which automatically stays any act to create or perfect any lien against the contractor’s property, the district court’s decision affirming the bankruptcy court’s decision that the automatic stay prevented filing the liens is affirmed where: 1) the accounts receivable were part of the bankruptcy estate because they complied with the definition of property of the estate under 11 U.S.C. section 541; and 2) the ability of a supplier to create a construction lien depended on the existence of the bankrupt contractor’s accounts receivable.

LVNV Funding, LLC v. Harling

(United States Fourth Circuit) – In a Chapter 13 bankruptcy appeal of a bankruptcy court order which disallowed its claims as an unsecured creditor in two proceedings, the court order is affirmed over creditor’s claim that the bankruptcy court’s Chapter 13 plan confirmation orders barred the objections to creditor’s claims because those objections were filed after entry of the Confirmation Orders.

Goat Island South Condominium v. IDC Clambakes, Inc.

(United States First Circuit) – In a bankruptcy appeal in a decades-long litigation over the Regatta Club, a lucrative banquet facility which was constructed on a parcel of land at a time when the validity of the development rights to that parcel was in dispute, the district court’s decision, which found clear error in the bankruptcy court’s characterization of the benefit conferred on debtor as merely a ground lease and in its unjust enrichment analysis, is reversed where the bankruptcy court properly decided: 1) to award no equitable relief to the Associations, where no implied-in-fact contract existed between the parties; and 2) as to unjust enrichment, there is nothing in the America opinions to suggest that their holding regarding the Regatta Club’s ownership should bear on the question of whether principles of equity entitle the Associations to even more relief than the Rhode Island Supreme Court already afforded them. Thus there wa no abuse of discretion in the bankruptcy court’s ultimate decision that the Associations failed to meet their burden of showing that inequity would result if debtor did not pay them for the use and occupancy of the Regatta Club during the claim period.

Gugliuzza v. Federal Trade Commission

(United States Ninth Circuit) – In an adversary proceeding brought by the Federal Trade Commission, the district court’s order which reversed in part a bankruptcy court’s grant of summary judgment against a bankruptcy debtor and remanded for further fact-finding, the appeal is dismissed where the court lacks jurisdiction to review the district court’s order.