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Showing 5 posts in Subject Matter Jurisdiction.

Stern Requires More Than Subject Matter Jurisdiction, Bankruptcy Court Must Also Have Constitutional Adjudicatory Authority to Approve Nonconsensual Third-Party Releases in a Plan

Opt-Out Lenders v. Millennium Lab Holdings II, LLC, No. 16-110-LPS, --- F.Supp.3d ----, 2017 WL 1032992 (D. Del. Mar. 17, 2017) corrected and superseded by 2017 WL 1064997 (D. Del. Mar. 20, 2017)

In this Opinion, the United States District Court for the District of Delaware (the “District Court”) examines the bankruptcy court’s authority post-Stern v. Marshall, 131 S. Ct. 2594 (2011), to enter a final order releasing and permanently enjoining a non-debtor’s state law fraud and federal RICO claims against non-debtors absent consent.  Following two recent United States Supreme Court cases—Stern and Wellness Int’l Network, Ltd. v. Sharif, 135 S. Ct. 1932 (2015)—it is clear that parties have a constitutional right to have state law claims adjudicated by an Article III court.  “Despite the District Court’s general referral of bankruptcy matters to the Bankruptcy Court, the extent of the Bankruptcy Court’s adjudicatory authority depends on the type of proceeding before it and is subject to the bounds of [these] constitutional limitations . . . .”  Op. at 3.  For core proceedings (i.e., those that “arise under title 11” or “arise in a case” under title 11), bankruptcy judges can enter final orders.  When a matter is non-core (i.e., “related to” the bankruptcy case), however, absent consent of the parties, bankruptcy judges have authority only to hear the matter and submit proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law to the district court. Read More ›

Bankruptcy Court Finds “Close Nexus” Between Adversary Proceeding and Plan Necessary to Exercise Post-Confirmation, “Related to” Jurisdiction

Emerald Capital Advisors Corp. v. Karma Auto. LLC (In re FAH Liquidating Corp.), Adv. No. 16-51528 (KG), 2017 WL 663521 (Bankr. D. Del. Feb. 16, 2017)

In denying the motion to dismiss filed by Wanxiang Clean Energy USA LLC (“Wanxiang”) and Karma Automotive LLC (“Karma” and together with Wanxiang, “Defendants”), the Bankruptcy Court found that it has both “arising in” and “related to” jurisdiction to hear an adversary proceeding filed by the Trustee for the FAH Liquidating Trust (“Trustee”) over two years after confirmation. Read More ›

No “Related to” Jurisdiction Despite Stipulation and Bankruptcy Court Order Governing the Non-Debtor Parties’ Rights and Responsibilities

Seagate Tech. (US) Holdings, Inc. v. Global Kato HG, LLC (In re Solyndra, LLC), 2015 WL 6125246 (MFW) (Bankr. D. Del. Oct. 16, 2015).

In this Memorandum Opinion, Judge Mary Walrath of Delaware’s Bankruptcy Court granted a motion to dismiss an adversary proceeding between two non-debtor parties based on lack of subject matter jurisdiction, and also remanded similar litigation between the parties back to California state court.  Among other things, the Court concluded that an order issued by the Bankruptcy Court approving a stipulation did not confer subject matter jurisdiction over a proceeding between two non-debtors alleging state law claims, where a state court could easily interpret and give effect to it. Read More ›

Plaintiff Successfully Obtains Venue Transfer Given Change in Circumstances; District Court Sua Sponte Transfers Venue of Related Cases

Zazzali v. Wavetronix LLC (In re DBSI, Inc.), No. 12-cv-1211 (GMS), et al. (D. Del. Sept. 25, 2014)

This Memorandum Opinion issued by Judge Sleet of the Delaware District Court relates to multiple bankruptcy and securities proceedings pending in Delaware stemming from the alleged Ponzi scheme perpetrated by directors of the DBSI entities.  The bankruptcy actions (collectively, the “Bankruptcy Cases”) at issue are: (i) a declaratory action commenced by several parties, including Wavetronix LLC, (collectively, the “Moving Parties”) related to investments, promissory notes and membership interests in or made by a DBSI debtor; and (ii) an adversary proceeding commenced by the DBSI post-confirmation liquidating trustees against Wavetronix seeking to enforce certain promissory notes.  While the Moving Parties initially chose to file the declaratory action in Delaware, Wavetronix allegedly discovered several affirmative defenses implicating the federal RICO statute while preparing its answer to the liquidating trustees’ complaint.  The Moving Parties then sought to withdraw the reference and transfer both Bankruptcy Cases to the District of Idaho.  Ultimately, the District Court granted their requests.  In doing so, the Court also sua sponte transferred related actions commenced in the District Court by the liquidating trustee against hundreds of defendants, alleging violations of the Securities Exchange Act, breaches of contract, common law fraud, negligence, and breach of fiduciary duties (the “Securities Cases”). Read More ›

Pro Se Plaintiff's Adversary Complaint Dismissed For Lack of Subject Matter Jurisdiction

Carr v. JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A. (In re New Century TRS Holdings, Inc.), Adv. No. 13-51058 (KJC), 2014 WL 392848 (Bankr. D. Del. Feb. 3, 2014)

In this Memorandum, Judge Carey dismissed a pro se plaintiff's adversary complaint because the plaintiff lacked standing to pursue certain claims, and the Court lacked subject matter jurisdiction to consider the remaining. Read More ›