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The Delaware Bankruptcy Insider is a premier blog designed to bring its readers a comprehensive analysis of the latest Delaware corporate bankruptcy news and rulings.  Brought to you by Ashby & Geddes, P.A.

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Showing posts in Jurisdiction, Stern Issues, Core/Non-Core & Venue

Practice Pointers: Bankruptcy Court Lacks Authority to Transfer Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1631 and A Post-Petition Action Satisfies “Is Commenced” Element for Purposes of Mandatory Abstention

Troisio v. Erickson (In re IMMC Corp.), No. 15-1043 (GMS), 2018 WL 259941 (D. Del. Jan. 2, 2018), aff’d by No. 18-1177, 2018 WL 6259315 (3d Cir. Nov. 28, 2018)

In this Opinion from the Delaware District Court, Judge Sleet affirmed the Bankruptcy Court’s decision denying a liquidating trustee’s motion pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1631 to transfer an adversary proceeding to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Relying on plain statutory language, the District Court found that the Bankruptcy Court lacked transfer authority under 28 U.S.C. § 1631… Read More

Delaware Bankruptcy Court Finds It Has Constitutional Adjudicatory Authority to Enter a Final Confirmation Order Containing Nonconsensual Third Party Releases

In re Millennium Lab Holdings II, LLC, No. 15-12284 (LSS), 2017 WL 4417562 (Bankr. D. Del. Oct. 3, 2017), aff’d by Opt-Out Lenders v. Millennium Lab Holdings II, LLC (In re Millennium Lab Holdings II, LLC), No. 17-1461 (LPS), 2018 WL 4521941 (Bankr. D. Del. Sept. 21, 2018)

Following the United States Supreme Court’s ruling six years ago in Stern v. Marshall, 131 S. Ct. 2594 (2011), the constitutional adjudicatory authority of bankruptcy courts to enter final orders has been challenged in a variety of proceedings, leading to varied interpretations of the reach of the Stern decision.  In Millennium, the Delaware Bankruptcy Court was asked Read More

Stern Requires More Than Subject Matter Jurisdiction, Bankruptcy Court Must Also Have Constitutional Adjudicatory Authority to Approve Nonconsensual Third-Party Releases in a Plan

Opt-Out Lenders v. Millennium Lab Holdings II, LLC, No. 16-110-LPS, — F.Supp.3d —, 2017 WL 1032992 (D. Del. Mar. 17, 2017) corrected and superseded by 2017 WL 1064997 (D. Del. Mar. 20, 2017)

In this Opinion, the United States District Court for the District of Delaware (the “District Court”) examines the bankruptcy court’s authority post-Stern v. Marshall, 131 S. Ct. 2594 (2011), to enter a final order releasing and permanently enjoining a non-debtor’s state law fraud and federal RICO claims against non-debtors absent consent.  Following two recent United States Supreme Court cases—Stern and Wellness Int’l Network, Ltd. v…. Read More

Bankruptcy Court Finds “Close Nexus” Between Adversary Proceeding and Plan Necessary to Exercise Post-Confirmation, “Related to” Jurisdiction

Emerald Capital Advisors Corp. v. Karma Auto. LLC (In re FAH Liquidating Corp.), Adv. No. 16-51528 (KG), 2017 WL 663521 (Bankr. D. Del. Feb. 16, 2017)

In denying the motion to dismiss filed by Wanxiang Clean Energy USA LLC (“Wanxiang”) and Karma Automotive LLC (“Karma” and together with Wanxiang, “Defendants”), the Bankruptcy Court found that it has both “arising in” and “related to” jurisdiction to hear an adversary proceeding filed by the Trustee for the FAH Liquidating Trust (“Trustee”) over two years after confirmation.

A more fulsome history of the bankruptcy cases filed by Fisker Automotive Holdings, Inc. and Fisker… Read More

Motion to Transfer Denied, Bankruptcy Court Stresses Adverse Impact of Transfer and Relative Ease of Appearing in Delaware

In re Restaurants Acquisition I, LLC, Case No. 15-12406 (KG), 2016 WL 855089 (Bankr. D. Del. Mar. 4, 2016)

In this Memorandum Opinion, Judge Gross denied a motion to transfer venue to the Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Texas brought by the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts and the Texas Workforce Commission (the “Movants”).  The Court recognized the strong interest in resolving state tax disputes in a local forum, but explained that the analysis must be viewed from the lens of all interested parties, with the primary focus concerning the economic administration of the estate and the impact… Read More

Non-Consensual Third Party Releases Certified Directly to the Third Circuit

In re Millennium Lab Holdings II, LLC, No. 15-12284 (LSS), 2016 WL 155500 (Bankr. D. Del. Jan. 12, 2016)

The Delaware Bankruptcy Court has granted direct certification of a hot-button issue surrounding confirmation of plans in bankruptcy to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals—namely, whether a bankruptcy court has the authority to release a non-debtor’s direct clams against other non-debtors without the consent of… Read More

No “Related to” Jurisdiction Despite Stipulation and Bankruptcy Court Order Governing the Non-Debtor Parties’ Rights and Responsibilities

Seagate Tech. (US) Holdings, Inc. v. Global Kato HG, LLC (In re Solyndra, LLC), 2015 WL 6125246 (MFW) (Bankr. D. Del. Oct. 16, 2015).

In this Memorandum Opinion, Judge Mary Walrath of Delaware’s Bankruptcy Court granted a motion to dismiss an adversary proceeding between two non-debtor parties based on lack of subject matter jurisdiction, and also remanded similar litigation between the parties back to California state court.  Among other things, the Court concluded that an order issued by the Bankruptcy Court approving a stipulation did not confer subject matter jurisdiction over a proceeding between two non-debtors alleging state… Read More

District Court Denies Motion To Withdraw the Reference In Nortel, May Consider Renewed Motion At A Later Time

SNMP Research Int’l, Inc. v. Nortel Networks, Inc. (In re Nortel Networks, Inc.), No. 15-449 (LPS), 2015 WL 5275966 (D. Del. Sept. 9, 2015)

Chief Judge Stark of the District Court of Delaware recently denied a motion to withdraw the reference of an adversary proceeding in the cross-border bankruptcy case of In re Nortel Networks, Inc.  The Court held that due to the infancy of the proceeding and the Bankruptcy Court’s familiarity with the issues, the Bankruptcy Court would be better suited to preside over the proceeding until, if ever, a jury trial becomes necessary.

SNMP Research Int’l Inc. (“SNMP”), a creditor… Read More

Stern Dissent Takes Majority in Wellness, Holds Parties Can Consent To Bankruptcy Court Final Adjudication of Stern Claims

Wellness Int’l Network, Ltd. v. Sharif, 575 U.S. —- (2015)

On May 26, 2015, the Supreme Court closed the loop on an issue left open by the High Court’s previous decisions in Stern v. Marshall, 564 U.S. ____ (2011) (holding that Article III prevents bankruptcy courts from entering final judgments on Stern claims (i.e., proceedings that are defined as core under 28 U.S.C. § 157(b) but that may not, as a constitutional matter, be adjudicated as such)) and Executive Benefits Insurance Agency v. Arkison, 573 U.S. ___ (2014) (permitting bankruptcy courts to submit proposed findings of fact and conclusions of… Read More

Delaware District Court Transfers Declaratory Relief Action Based on the Anticipatory Filing Exception to the First Filing Rule

Flintkote Co. v. Aviva P.L.C., No. 13-103-LPS, 2015 WL 1405922 (D. Del. Mar. 25, 2015)

This Memorandum Opinion stems from a Third Circuit reversal of a Delaware District Court ruling that granted a motion to compel arbitration and dismissed as moot a motion to dismiss or, in the alternative, to transfer filed by Defendant Aviva P.L.C. (“Aviva”).  Because the Third Circuit vacated the Order denying the motion to transfer as moot, Aviva renewed its motion.  Such renewed motion is the subject of this Memorandum Opinion.  In granting the relief requested, Chief Judge Stark ruled that the anticipatory filing exception… Read More