Foster v. Holder (In the Matter of Foster)

Case No. 15-10778; Case No. 10278 - NOT FOR PUBLICATION
Appeals DISMISSED as frivolous, but no damages awarded. First, the debtor's children (appellants) failed to present transcripts to the District and Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to demonstrate any errors in the bankruptcy court's findings of fact and conclusions of law. Thus, the Court of Appeals dismissed the appeal of the order disallowing the children's claims. Second, because the children did not hold a claim against the estate, neither they nor their debtor mother were "aggrieved" by the bankruptcy court's order denying a motion to remove the trustee under section 324(a) of the Bankruptcy Code. And, even if they did have such standing, they failed to demonstrate that the bankruptcy court applied the wrong standard in declining to remove the trustee.
Procedural context:
Appeals from two separate orders of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas. After both appeals were dismissed by the District Court, the appellants filed appeals to the Fifth Circuit.
The debtor filed a proof of claim on behalf of her children for property taxes she believed were due on a piece of property she held in trust for her three children. The trustee objected, and the bankruptcy court sustained the objection, concluding that the debtor had fulfilled her fiduciary duties and, thus, was not liable to her children for taxes based on any breaches of fiduciary duty under Texas law. The debtor and children then sought to remove the trustee, but the bankruptcy court denied that request as well. Because the children failed to present a transcript to the District Court, the District Court dismissed the first appeal as frivolous. Because dismissal of the first appeal meant the children were not creditors, and because the estate was not solvent, the District Court dismissed the second appeal, because neither the debtor nor her children were "persons aggrieved" by the bankruptcy court orders. They appealed both orders.
Per Curiam (Higginbotham, Elrod, Southwick)

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