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: John A Smiley

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 debtor’s case was not filed until two years after he had initially retained UpRight. Additionally, although the debtor’s only source of income at the time was filing was unemployment compensation, and therefore qualified him for a waiver of the filing fee, no waived was submitted by UpRight on his behalf. 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.

20-60035 View
10/30/2020

In re: Thomas Paul & Christy Kaye Schnack

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 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 over two years after they had first retained UpRight. A civil suit in state court was filed against the debtors during the course of their representation by UpRight, and for reasons unknown, the debtors were owed a refund by UpRight. These concerns led the U.S. Trustee to file Motions for 2004 Examinations of the debtors and their 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.

19-40714 View
10/30/2020

In re: Terry W Dedmon and Khristie Rae Gable

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 over six months after first retaining UpRight. 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.

19-30087 View
10/30/2020

In re: Rachael M Hohensee

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 during the time period the debtor was making payments to UpRight, a creditor repossessed her vehicle and took a state court judgment against her prior to filing for bankruptcy. These concerns led the U.S. Trustee to file Motions for 2004 Examinations of the debtor and her 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.

19-31537 View
10/30/2020

In re: Ariel Victoria Mounce

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 although the debtor, a single mother of four, qualified for a waiver of the filing fee, UpRight did not file 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. 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

19-30856 View
10/30/2020

In re: Brandi S Hill

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 although the debtor qualified for a waiver of the filing fee, no waiver was submitted by UpRight 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. 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.

20-40166 View
10/30/2020

In re: Annette F and Charles L Crow

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 more filing as a partner for UpRight than he typically does when filing under his own practice. Further review showed that debtors income was comprised solely of social security and SNAP benefits, qualifying them for a waiver of the filing fee. However, no waiver was filed on their behalf by UpRight. 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.

20-40187 View
10/30/2020

In re: Chelsea Lynne Potter

Summary: In each of the thirty-five cases before the Court, debtors were represented by local attorneys of UpRight Law, LLC (“UpRight”). In reviewing the debtors’ bankruptcy schedules, the Court noticed the local attorneys were charging significantly more when filing cases under the UpRight name than when they were filing under their own practice. Further review showed several significant areas of concern, including lengthy delays in filing during which many debtors were subjected to garnishments, state court actions, repossessions and other collection efforts. These concerns led the U.S. Trustee to file Motions for 2004 Examinations to further investigate UpRight’s pattern of practice. Despite the ongoing Rule 2004 Examinations, UpRight filed Motions to Close in each of the cases, arguing that the Court was required to close the cases 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 cases 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 cases were capable of being closed, the pending matters before the Court supported its decision to keep the cases open.

19-60216 View
10/30/2020

In re: Peggy A Chapman

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, in that year prior to filing, three creditors had collection suits pending against the debtor, and two of the actions resulted in a judgment against her. These concerns led the U.S. Trustee to file Motions for 2004 Examinations of the debtor and her 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.

20-30177 View
10/30/2020

In re: Megan Nicole Beckemeyer

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. Due to these concerns, the Court conducted a status hearing on the Disclosure of Attorney Compensation where it directed the local attorney to file an itemized fee statement. The fee statement showed significant gaps in the debtor’s representation by UpRight. 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. At the hearing on the Motions to Close, the Court denied the Motions based on the U.S. Trustee’s request to take 2004 Examinations of the debtor and her attorney, along with the Court’s concerns regarding the fee statement provided by UpRight. 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.

19-31273 View

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