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Summarizing by Amir Shachmurove

Flanders v. Lawrence (In re Flanders)

Flanders v. Lawrence, et al. (In re Flanders), Case No. CO-14-055 (10th Cir. BAP August 5, 2015). Unpublished.
While the Rooker-Feldman doctrine did not prevent the bankruptcy court from exercising jurisdiction over debtor’s claim against the defendants’ for violation of the discharge injunction since it is an independent cause of action, the principles of issue preclusion did since debtor’s claim depended on facts already adjudicated by the state court.
Procedural context:
Debtor appealed the Colorado bankruptcy court’s entry of summary judgment against him thereby terminating his adversary complaint against defendants. Reviewed de novo.
Debtor filed an individual chapter 11 case in 1998 which was converted to chapter 7 in 1999. In 2000, debtor’s non-debtor spouse filed for divorce. A divorce decree was entered in 2001 but litigation over martial property and debt continued. Debtor received a discharge in 2002. In 2006, the trustee filed his final report showing a $230,000 surplus which was garnished by a post discharge judgment creditor. In 2007, the state court determined that the surplus was marital property and it was deposited into the state court’s registry. In 2009, the state court issued final orders dividing the marital property and debt and entered judgment against the debtor in the amount of $563,000. Debtor appealed and in 2011, the Colorado Court of Appeals affirmed. “Undaunted,” in 2013, debtor brought the adversary proceeding arguing that the state court, at defendants’ invitation, entered final orders in violation of the discharge injunction.
Michael, Karlin, Hall (Michael)

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