Dekhtyar v. Chernyavsky (In re Dekhtyar)

Case Type:
Consumer
Case Status:
Affirmed
Citation:
BAP No. CC-18-1203-LSF (9th Circuit, Mar 19,2019) Not Published
Tag(s):
Ruling:
A state court judgment for malicious prosecution was entitled to preclusive effect so that the debtor's state court malicious prosecution judgment was nondischargeable under 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(6). The bankruptcy court did not err in applying issue preclusion to the state court malicious prosecution judgment, even though the state court judgment did not include an explicit finding that the debtor intended to injure the judgment creditor. Instead, the state court judgment supports the conclusion of an implicit finding of an intent to harm, and this is sufficient for issue preclusion.
Procedural context:
The debtor appealed the bankruptcy court's decision granting the creditor's summary judgment motion seeking a determination that a state court judgment for malicious prosecution was nondischargeable under 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(6).
Facts:
In 2009, Michael Dekhtyar signed a promissory note payable to Moysey Chernyavsky. Dekhtyar defaulted. In June 2010, Chernyavsky sued Dekhtyar in Los Angeles Superior Court. Mr. Dekhtyar filed a cross-complaint, which was dismissed with prejudice because Mr. Dekhtyar failed to timely fail an amended cross-complaint. In February 2013, the state court entered judgment in favor of Mr. Chernyavsky for $443,018.49. Mr. Chernyavsky then filed an action for malicious prosecution against Mr. Dekhtyar based on the cross-complaint, and obtained a judgment against Mr. Dekhtyar for $25,500. The California Court of Appeals affirmed the malicious prosecution judgment in May 2018. In May 2017, Mr. Dekhtyar filed a chapter 7 petition. Mr. Chernyavsky filed a complaint seeking a determination that the malicious prosecution judgment was nondischargeable. He filed a renewed motion for summary judgment on his action after the California Court of Appeals affirmed the judgment in May 2018. The bankruptcy court granted Mr. Chernyavsky's motion.
Judge(s):
LAFFERTY, SPRAKER, and FARIS, Bankruptcy Judges

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