- Case Type:
- Case Status:
- United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit Case No. 16-1073; (D.C. No. 2-14-cv-05267) (3rd Circuit, Apr 14,2017) Not Published
- The plaintiff's appeal to the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit was dismissed where the E.D.Pa. District Court's order vacating the Bankruptcy Court’s summary judgment decision and remand of the case for further proceedings before the Bankruptcy Court was not a final, appealable order under 28 U.S.C. § 158. The District Court’s order did not fully and finally resolve AAF’s adversary proceeding against Mr. Feldman. The District Court’s remand to the Bankruptcy Court demands significantly more of the Bankruptcy Court than executing a judgment or completing ministerial tasks.
- Procedural context:
- The Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania granted summary judgment on the plaintiff's objection to the discharge of debt under 11 U.S.C. § 523. The District Court, on review, vacated the Bankruptcy Court’s decision and remanded the case for further proceedings. The Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit dismissed the appeal for lack of appellate jurisdiction. The opinion is not an opinion of the full Court and, pursuant to I.O.P. 5.7, does not constitute binding precedent.
- Appellee-Debtor Lawrence E. Feldman and his wife Robyn Feldman filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in February 2013 in United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The Feldmans listed in their bankruptcy petition a debt of $407,433.76 owed to Appellant-Creditor American Asset Finance, LLC (“AAF”). This debt represented a judgment obtained by AAF against Mr. Feldman in 2012 in New Jersey state court. In May 2013, AAF filed an adversary complaint with the Bankruptcy Court, objecting to the discharge of the debt under 11 U.S.C. § 523. After the Bankruptcy Court dismissed AAF’s original complaint without prejudice, AAF filed an amended adversary complaint in November 2013, again objecting to the discharge of the debt under 11 U.S.C. § 523. Mr. Feldman answered the complaint, and AAF filed a motion for summary judgment. The Bankruptcy Court granted summary judgment for AAF in July 2014, finding that the New Jersey judgment collaterally estopped Mr. Feldman from arguing that his debt to AAF was non-dischargeable under 11 U.S.C. § 523. Mr. Feldman appealed the Bankruptcy Court’s decision to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The District Court, in July 2015, found that collateral estoppel did not apply to the New Jersey judgment, vacated the Bankruptcy Court’s summary judgment opinion, and remanded the case to the Bankruptcy Court for further proceedings. AAF appealed the District Court’s order to the Circuit Court in January 2016, contending that the District Court incorrectly decided the collateral estoppel issue.
- AMBRO, VANASKIE, and RESTREPO, Circuit Judges
3491 in the system
5 Being Processed