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Schnitzel, Inc. v. Sorensen

Summarizing by Bradley Pearce

Dorsey v. U.S. Department of Education (In the Matter of Dorsey)

Case Type:
Consumer
Case Status:
Affirmed
Citation:
16-31085 (5th Circuit, Sep 01,2017) Published
Tag(s):
Ruling:
1) The deadline in Bankruptcy Rule 8002 is jurisdictional. The failure to timely file a notice of appeal deprives the district court or BAP, and the Court of Appeals, of jurisdiction. (2) Filing a notice of appeal in the main bankruptcy case does not serve as a notice of appeal in a related adversary proceeding. (3) Amending the statement of the issues on appeal and designation of record on appeal does not result in an appeal of the adversary proceeding order. (4) The bankruptcy court did not err by reopening the case or allowing creditors to file otherwise untimely claims for student debt.
Procedural context:
Pro se debtor, Dorsey, filed two (interlocutory) appeals during an adversary proceeding that he commenced to determine that student loan debt was dischargeable under § 523(a)(8). Dorsey also appealed the bankruptcy court's order reopening his Chapter 7 case and allowing holders of student debt to file proofs of claim. Dorsey, however, failed to appeal the bankruptcy court's judgment that the student loan debt was nondischargeable. The district court ruled that (a) it did not have jurisdiction to consider the appeal related to the adversary proceeding because Dorsey failed to timely file a notice of appeal and (b) the bankruptcy court did not abuse its discretion in reopening Dorsey's Chapter 7 case and allowing the filing of proofs of claim related to the student loan debt.
Facts:
Pro se debtor, Dorsey, filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case to discharge his student loan debt on the assertion that he had a mental health issue that did not allow him to work consistently. Before receiving his discharge, Dorsey filed an adversary proceeding against the Department of Education (DOE) and United Student Aid Funds, Inc. for discharge under § 523(a)(8). Appellee Educational Credit Management Corporation (ECMC) appeared in the adversary proceeding. Before the a/p trial, the DOE and ECMC moved to reopen Dorsey's Chapter 7 case to file proofs of claim. The bankruptcy court granted this motion. Dorsey appealed this order. Dorsey also filed two appeals during and in the a/p, but did not appeal the judgment against him. Dorsey moved to amend his statement of issues and record on appeal for the appeal in the main bankruptcy case to add issues related to the adversary proceeding. The district court ruled that it did not have jurisdiction to consider issues from the adversary proceeding because Dorsey did not file a notice of appeal after judgment was entered. The district court also ruled that the bankruptcy court did not abuse its discretion by allowing the bankruptcy case to be reopened so that DOE and ECMC could file proofs of claim.
Judge(s):
SMITH, OWEN, HIGGINSON

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