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Educational Financial Service v. Stephanie Henry (In re Henry)

Summarizing by Bradley Pearce

Combs v. The Cordish Companies, Inc.

Case Type:
Case Status:
Affirmed in part and Reversed in part
15-3265 (8th Circuit, Jul 05,2017) Published
Claims based on events that occur after the filing of a voluntary Chapter 7 petition are not subject to judicial estoppel if the debtor fails to disclose and schedule such claims. The Court of Appeals refused to reverse summary judgment with respect to two of the incidents, and reversed and remanded with respect to one claim, against one defendant, that arose post-petition and as to which the district court had ruled that there was sufficient evidence to go to trial but for judicial estoppel.
Procedural context:
The debtor and his wife filed a Chapter 7 petition in April 2011. In March 2014, the debtor filed a federal civil rights action based on incidents that occurred in an "entertainment district" before and after the petition date. The defendants filed a motion for summary judgment and also argued that the debtor's claims were judicially estopped based on the debtor's failure to schedule the civil rights claims. The debtor then petitioned the bankruptcy court to reopen his Chapter 7 case so that he could amend Schedule B. Before the bankruptcy court could rule on the motion to reopen, the district court granted summary judgment to all defendants. The district court found that a post-petition claim against one defendant was barred by judicial estoppel. The following day the bankruptcy court granted the debtor's petition to reopen his Chapter 7 case and to amend his Schedule B to include the civil rights claims. The district court nonetheless denied the debtor's motion to amend or alter the judgment.
The debtor, an African-American male, enjoyed his nights out at various clubs in the "LiveBlock" area in the "District" in Kansas City, Missouri. On three occasions in 2010 and 2011, the debtor encountered what was asserted to be behavior targeted to exclude African Americans from the nightclubs in the LiveBlock area. Nearly three years after the last incident and the Chapter 7 filing (the opinion does not even provide a hint whether the bankruptcy and clubbing were correlated or coincidental), the debtor filed the civil rights complaint after hearing news reports of racially motivated exclusionary practices at LiveBlock.

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