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 descending Summary Case Number PDF
07/02/2014

In re: Johnson

Summary:  The trustee moved for turnover of all indicia of debtor Jerry Johnson’s fractional “working interest” in an oil well, and of all revenue received by Jerry Johnson from that oil well since the commencement of the chapter 7 case.    The trustee argued that, under Illinois law, the “working interest” was an interest in realty and that the revenue earned from sale of the oil were proceeds of that freehold estate.  The debtors opposed the motion on the basis that Jerry Johnson had only a contractual right to payment under the oil and gas assignment, with the result that the revenue was excluded from the bankruptcy estate as income.  The Court concluded that the “working interest” was not an interest in real estate but was a personal property interest that included both the oil extracted pre-petition and Jerry Johnson’s contractual rights to profits earned post-petition.  The Court also held that because the revenue did not arise from personal services performed by the debtors post-petition, it was not excluded from the bankruptcy estate   under § 541(a)(6). 

The trustee also moved for turnover of a trust of which Jerry Johnson was the settlor, the trustee and a beneficiary with retained powers to amend or revoke the trust and to use the profits and/or principal of the trust without restriction.  The Court held that the trustee assumed these powers upon commencement of the case and could use them for the benefit of the bankruptcy estate.  The Court held further that the trust corpus was not excluded from property of the estate under § 541(b)(1) because Jerry Johnson’s powers under the trust were not for the exclusive benefit of a non-debtor.  The Court also rejected the debtors’ argument that equitable considerations should prevail in deciding the issues raised.

13-40605 View
07/16/2014

In re: Downer

Summary:  Debtor objected to a claim filed by his ex-spouse, alleging that the debt at issue was based on debt allocation in the Dissolution Judgment and was not in the nature of alimony, maintenance, or support (and therefore the claim should be allowed only as a general unsecured non-priority claim). In the same vein, the ex-spouse objected to the debtor’s proposed first amended plan because it did not provide for payment of her priority claim of $1,758.26.  She alleged that the claim was for medical expenses and additional healthcare costs of the parties’ child, and that debtor was previously ordered to pay these costs.  She argued that the claim was entitled to priority treatment under § 507(a)(1)(A) as a domestic support obligation.

The Court held that the obligation of the debtor to pay these medical and health care costs was in the nature of child support and therefore constituted a domestic support obligation as defined by 101(14A).  As such, the claim filed by debtor’s ex-spouse was entitled to priority treatment.  The Court overruled the debtor’s objection to claim and sustained the objection to confirmation filed by the debtor’s ex-spouse.

13-40939 View

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