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Ebersold v. Delaughter

(Judge Dreher) (before Chief Judge Koger, Hill, and Dreher) (3:0)


Appellate court affirmed bankruptcy court's decision to impose sanctions of attorney fees and expenses pursuant to Fed. R. Bankr. P. 9011 against debtor's attorney. Debtor's filed a chapter 13 plan separating classifying the claim of his ex wife and attempting to resolve his marital obligations in bankruptcy court rather than the state divorce court. Chapter 13 trustee objected, the objection was sustained, and then the debtor's attorney filed the same plan again. This time the trustee and the appellee/ex-wife both objected for the same reason as before. At the hearing the debtor's attorney orally moved to withdraw the plan and convert the case to chapter 7. Appellee filed a motion for sanctions alleging that the debtor's positions were legally unsupportable, and court awarded sanctions in the amount of $1,575. The case was reviewed for abuse of discretion and whether there was an erroneous view of the law of a clearly erroneous assessment of the evidence. The appellate court held that the bankruptcy court correctly found that appellant had file the pleadings to needlessly delay the state court action, increase the costs of litigation, and providing debtor leverage in the dissolution case. Appellant had done no research and had no reasonable basis to assert that the bankruptcy court had jurisdiction over the matters.

Koehler v. Grant, No. 97-6053 (B.A.P. 8th Cir. 1997)

(Judge Kressel) (before Kressel, Schermer and Scott)


Bankruptcy court had authority to find debtor's counsel in contempt and impose sanctions of $15,802. The order disqualifying counsel was not ambiguous, and the claim of gender bias was completely unsupported by the record.



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