- Bowman v. Casamatta (In re Bowman), No. 14-6034 (BAP 8th Cir. Mar. 18, 2015)
- BAP affirmed bankruptcy court's denial of motion to reopen chapter 11 case. Original case had been dismissed for cause nearly a decade prior before any plan was confirmed. BAP ruled that 11 USC 350(b) did not authorize reopening case that was dismissed for cause before it was fully administered. BAP ruled that under 11 USC 350(b), bankruptcy court could only reopen case to administer assets, accord relief to debtor, or for other cause, but not case dismissed for cause, and bankruptcy court was not required to hold hearing on motion. BAP noted other factors supported bankruptcy court's conclusion, including ten year gap between dismissal and motion, debtors' failure to demonstrate that reopening their case would not be futile, and debtors' failure to offer legitimate reason for why they could not file a new bankruptcy case. BAP ruled that FRBP 5010 governed motion under 11 USC 350, not FRBP 9014, and FRBP 5010 did not provide opportunity for hearing. Even if FRBP 9014 applied, movant was not entitled to hearing, only "party against whom relief is sought." Bankruptcy court's reference to Rule 60 in its ruling, to the extent bankruptcy court applied it to its ruling, was at most harmless error.
- Procedural context:
- Debtors moved to reopen chapter 11 bankruptcy approximately a decade after it was dismissed for cause. Trustee and creditor objected, and court denied motion to reopen without hearing. Debtors appealed to BAP.
- Debtors moved to reopen chapter 11 bankruptcy approximately a decade after it was dismissed for cause. Original case was dismissed after debtors proposed, but failed to confirm, several plans. Debtors sought to reopen case to "pursue" confirmation of last filed plan. Trustee and creditor objected, and court denied motion to reopen without hearing. Debtors appealed to BAP.
- Kressel, Schermer, Nail
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