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Seminole Tribe of Florida v. Florida, 517 U.S. 44 (1996)


(Chief Justice Rehnquist)

Celotex Corp. v. Edwards, 115 S.Ct. 286 (1995).


(Justice Rehnquist) (7:2)

certiorari to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit

Execising its equitable powers pursuant to 11 U.S.C. 105(a), the Bankruptcy Court issued an injunction, which, in pertinent part, prohibited judgment creditors from proceeding against sureties without the Bankruptcy Court's permission. Respondents thereafter filed a motion pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 65.1 in the Northern District of Texas seeking permission to execute against an insurance company on the bond. The District Court granted the motion. The Fifth Circuit affirmed and later denied Celotex' petition for rehearing, rejecting the argument that its decision allowed a collateral attack on the Bankruptcy Court order. The Supreme Court held that the respondents must obey the Bankruptcy Court's injunctions.

Northern Pipeline Construction Co. v. Marathon Pipeline Co., 458 U.S. 50, 102 S.Ct. 2858, 73 L.Ed.2d 598 (1982) (Justice Brennan) (4:2:3)


Appeal from the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota

Jurisdiction and authority of bankruptcy courts. Chapter 11 debtor brought suit in bankruptcy court against defendant for breach of contract and warranty, and for alleged misrepresentation, coercion and duress, and defendant sought dismissal of suit because bankruptcy code unconstitutionally conferred Article III judicial power upon bankruptcy judges who lacked life tenure and protection against salary diminution. The Bankruptcy Court denied the motion to dismiss, but on appeal the United States Supreme Court affirmed the District Court which granted the motion to dismiss. The Court held that 28 U.S.C. 1471 is unconstitutional because while public rights may be heard by non-Article III courts, private rights, that is the right to sue another individual under the law, is at the core of Article III powers. Congress may not assign the right to determine rights not created by Congress to bankruptcy courts.

Brown v. Ramsay, 3 F.3d 1174 (8th Cir. 1993)

A bankruptcy court's order holding an attorney in criminal contempt, and providing by its own terms that if the attorney filed objections within ten days the orders would be reviewed de novo by the district court, was authorized by 11 U.S.C. 105(a). Moreover, the order did not violate Art. III of the Federal Constitution, since the bankruptcy court was not exercising the criminal contempt power directly, but as proposed findings of act and conclusions of law in a non-core proceeding. The bankruptcy court may recommend to district courts that persons violating orders of disqualification be held in criminal contempt.

Hubbard v. Fleet Mortgage Co., 810 F.2d 778 (8th Cir. 1987)

Penalty imposed on mortgagee for violating bankruptcy court's orders was not abuse of discretion, though district court not only released trust lien, but imposed $7,649 fine. District court's judgment did not deprive mortgagee of property without due process.


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