Opinions

The Southern District of Illinois offers a database of opinions. These opinions were entered between the period of 2/1987 and the present. To conduct a detailed search, enter a keyword or case number in the search box to the right.

 

Opinions can also be viewed via the U.S. GPO's Federal Digital System

Date Filedsort ascending Summary Case Number PDF
10/30/2020

In re: Jason T Turner

Summary: Debtor is represented by a local attorney of UpRight Law, LLC (“UpRight”). In reviewing the debtor’s schedules, the Court noticed that the local attorney was charging significantly more filing as a partner for UpRight than he typically does when filing under his own practice. Further review showed that the debtor paid UpRight attorney’s fees over the course of 16 months, and during the time that he was represented by UpRight, he was subjected to small claims lawsuits filed by two creditors who both obtained judgments against the debtor. These concerns led the U.S. Trustee to file Motions for 2004 Examinations of the debtor and his attorney, which were granted. In the meantime, UpRight filed Motions to Close the case, arguing that the Court was required to close the case pursuant to 11 U.S.C. §350. In denying the Motions to Close, the Court held that not only was it not required to close the case at that time, but the Court has an independent statutory duty to review attorneys’ fees pursuant to 11 U.S.C. §329 and Federal Rule of Bankruptcy Procedure 2017. Although administratively the case was capable of being closed, the pending matters before the Court supported its decision to keep the case open.

19-30993 View
10/30/2020

In re: Cullen J Bond

Summary: Debtor is represented by a local attorney of UpRight Law, LLC (“UpRight”). In reviewing the debtor’s schedules, the Court noticed that the local attorney was charging more filing as a partner for UpRight than he typically does when filing under his own practice. Further review showed that although the debtor was unemployed, and therefore qualified for a waiver of the filing fee, no waiver was submitted by UpRight on his behalf. Additionally, the debtor’s car was repossessed after having paid UpRight’s attorney’s fees in full. These concerns led the U.S. Trustee to file Motions for 2004 Examinations of the debtor and his attorney, which were granted. Subsequently, UpRight filed Motions to Close the case, arguing that the Court was required to close the case pursuant to 11 U.S.C. §350. In denying the Motions to Close, the Court held that not only was it not required to close the case at that time, but the Court has an independent statutory duty to review attorneys’ fees pursuant to 11 U.S.C. §329 and Federal Rule of Bankruptcy Procedure 2017. Although administratively the case was capable of being closed, the pending matters before the Court supported its decision to keep the case open.

20-40199 View
10/30/2020

In re: Sandra K Dennis

Summary: Debtor is represented by a local attorney of UpRight Law, LLC (“UpRight”). In reviewing the debtor’s schedules, the Court noticed that the local attorney was charging significantly more filing as a partner for UpRight than he typically does when filing under his own practice. Further review showed that the debtor’s case was not filed until over two years after she first retained UpRight. The debtor qualified for a waiver of the filing fee, as her only income was from social security and SNAP benefits, but UpRight did not request a waiver on her behalf. These concerns led the U.S. Trustee to file Motions for 2004 Examinations of the debtor and her attorney, which were granted. Although the Examination of the debtor had not yet taken place, UpRight filed Motions to Close the case, arguing that the Court was required to close the case pursuant to 11 U.S.C. §350. In denying the Motions to Close, the Court held that not only was it not required to close the case at that time, but the Court has an independent statutory duty to review attorneys’ fees pursuant to 11 U.S.C. §329 and Federal Rule of Bankruptcy Procedure 2017. Although administratively the case was capable of being closed, the pending matters before the Court supported its decision to keep the case open.

19-40180 View
10/30/2020

In re: Shaune K and Micah T Scruggs

Summary: Debtors are represented by a local attorney of UpRight Law, LLC (“UpRight”). In reviewing the debtors’ schedules, the Court noticed that the local attorney was charging significantly more filing as a partner for UpRight than he typically does when filing under his own practice. Further review showed that the debtors’ case was not filed until ten months after first retaining UpRight. Additionally, the itemized fee statement provided by UpRight showed a lack of communication between the debtors and their attorney. These concerns led the U.S. Trustee to file Motions for 2004 Examinations of the debtors and their attorney, which were granted. Although the Examinations had not yet taken place, UpRight filed Motions to Close the case, arguing that the Court was required to close the case pursuant to 11 U.S.C. §350. In denying the Motions to Close, the Court held that not only was it not required to close the case at that time, but the Court has an independent statutory duty to review attorneys’ fees pursuant to 11 U.S.C. §329 and Federal Rule of Bankruptcy Procedure 2017. Although administratively the case was capable of being closed, the pending matters before the Court supported its decision to keep the case open.

20-30203 View
10/30/2020

In re: Arnold T and Tracy D Edwards

Summary: Debtors are represented by a local attorney of UpRight Law, LLC (“UpRight”). In reviewing the debtors’ schedules, the Court noticed that the local attorney was charging significantly more filing as a partner for UpRight than he typically does when filing under his own practice. Further review showed that although the debtors qualified for waiver of the filing fee, no waiver was submitted by UpRight on their behalf. Additionally, the itemized fee statement filed by UpRight showed that non-attorney staff was advising the debtors regarding creditor garnishment efforts. These concerns led the U.S. Trustee to file Motions for 2004 Examinations of the debtors and their attorney, which were granted. Although the Examinations had not yet taken place, UpRight filed Motions to Close the case, arguing that the Court was required to close the case pursuant to 11 U.S.C. §350. In denying the Motions to Close, the Court held that not only was it not required to close the case at that time, but the Court has an independent statutory duty to review attorneys’ fees pursuant to 11 U.S.C. §329 and Federal Rule of Bankruptcy Procedure 2017. Although administratively the case was capable of being closed, the pending matters before the Court supported its decision to keep the case open.

19-31476 View
10/30/2020

In re: Marc J and Kelly Jo Clark

Summary: Debtors are represented by a local attorney of UpRight Law, LLC (“UpRight”). In reviewing the debtors’ schedules, the Court noticed that the local attorney was charging significantly more filing as a partner for UpRight than he typically does when filing under his own practice. Further review showed that although the debtors qualified for a waiver of the filing fee, UpRight did not submit a waiver on their behalf. These concerns led the U.S. Trustee to file Motions for 2004 Examinations of the debtors and their attorney, which were granted. Even though the Examinations had not yet taken place, UpRight filed Motions to Close the case, arguing that the Court was required to close the case pursuant to 11 U.S.C. §350. In denying the Motions to Close, the Court held that not only was it not required to close the case at that time, but the Court has an independent statutory duty to review attorneys’ fees pursuant to 11 U.S.C. §329 and Federal Rule of Bankruptcy Procedure 2017. Although administratively the case was capable of being closed, the pending matters before the Court supported its decision to keep the case open.

19-30720 View
10/30/2020

In re: Betty A Corey

Summary:  Debtor is represented by a local attorney of UpRight Law, LLC (“UpRight”). In reviewing the debtor’s schedules, the Court noticed that the local attorney was charging more filing as a partner for UpRight than he typically does when filing under his own practice. Further review showed that the case was not filed until nearly one year after the debtor had first retained UpRight, and in the year prior to filing, the debtor had two lawsuits pending against her, even though the itemized fee statement submitted by UpRight showed no assistance in regards to the lawsuits. These concerns led the U.S. Trustee to file Motions for 2004 Examinations of the debtor and her attorney, which were granted. Subsequently, UpRight filed Motions to Close the case, arguing that the Court was required to close the case pursuant to 11 U.S.C. §350. In denying the Motions to Close, the Court held that not only was it not required to close the case at that time, but the Court has an independent statutory duty to review attorneys’ fees pursuant to 11 U.S.C. §329 and Federal Rule of Bankruptcy Procedure 2017. Although administratively the case was capable of being closed, the pending matters before the Court supported its decision to keep the case open.

20-40036 View
10/30/2020

In re: George H Wise

Summary: Debtor is represented by a local attorney of UpRight Law, LLC (“UpRight”). In reviewing the debtor’s schedules, the Court noticed that the local attorney was charging significantly more filing as a partner for UpRight than he typically does when filing under his own practice. Further review showed that the debtor’s case was not filed until 17 months after paying UpRight attorney’s fees in full, and although the debtor qualified for waiver of the filing fee, no waiver was submitted by UpRight on his behalf. Additionally, after the debtor had completed his payments to UpRight and was waiting for his bankruptcy to be filed, he was the subject of two creditor collection suits. One lawsuit concluded in a judgment against him, and the other was still pending at the time of the bankruptcy filing. These concerns led the U.S. Trustee to file Motions for 2004 Examinations of the debtor and his attorney. Before the Motions for 2004 Examinations were ruled upon, UpRight filed Motions to Close the case, arguing that the Court was required to close the case pursuant to 11 U.S.C. §350. At the hearing on the Motions to Close, the Court denied the Motions based on its concerns with the debtor’s representation by UpRight and the fact that the Motions for 2004 Examinations had not been rule upon. In the Court’s written Opinion denying the Motions to Close, the Court held that not only was it not required to close the case at that time, but the Court has an independent statutory duty to review attorneys’ fees pursuant to 11 U.S.C. §329 and Federal Rule of Bankruptcy Procedure 2017. Although administratively the case was capable of being closed, the pending matters before the Court supported its decision to keep the case open.

20-30346 View
10/30/2020

In re: Albert Dean Johnson, II

Summary: Debtor is represented by a local attorney of UpRight Law, LLC (“UpRight”). In reviewing the debtor’s schedules, the Court noticed that the local attorney was charging significantly more filing as a partner for UpRight than he typically does when filing under his own practice. Further review showed that the debtor’s case was not filed until one year after first retaining UpRight, and although he qualified for waiver of the filing fee, no waiver was submitted on his behalf by UpRight. Additionally, during the time the debtor was represented by UpRight, he was subjected to two creditor lawsuits in state court. One of the creditors obtained a judgment against the debtor and garnished his wages, while the other was pursuing a foreclosure action. These concerns led the U.S. Trustee to file Motions for 2004 Examinations of the debtor and his attorney, which were granted. Subsequently, UpRight filed Motions to Close the case, arguing that the Court was required to close the case pursuant to 11 U.S.C. §350. In denying the Motions to Close, the Court held that not only was it not required to close the case at that time, but the Court has an independent statutory duty to review attorneys’ fees pursuant to 11 U.S.C. §329 and Federal Rule of Bankruptcy Procedure 2017. Although administratively the case was capable of being closed, the pending matters before the Court supported its decision to keep the case open.

19-60320 View
10/30/2020

In re: Donald G Lankford

Summary: Debtor is represented by a local attorney of UpRight Law, LLC (“UpRight”). In reviewing the debtor’s schedules, the Court noticed that the local attorney was charging significantly more filing as a partner for UpRight than he typically does when filing under his own practice. Further review showed that the debtor’s case was not filed until one year after first retaining UpRight. Additionally, while the debtor waited for his bankruptcy to be filed, he was subjected to three creditor lawsuits. One of those actions resulted in a judgment against him, and two of the suits were still pending at the time of the bankruptcy filing. These concerns led the U.S. Trustee to file Motions for 2004 Examinations of the debtor and his attorney, which were granted. Although the Examinations had not yet taken place, UpRight filed Motions to Close the case, arguing that the Court was required to close the case pursuant to 11 U.S.C. §350. In denying the Motions to Close, the Court held that not only was it not required to close the case at that time, but the Court has an independent statutory duty to review attorneys’ fees pursuant to 11 U.S.C. §329 and Federal Rule of Bankruptcy Procedure 2017. Although administratively the case was capable of being closed, the pending matters before the Court supported its decision to keep the case open.

19-31097 View

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