Gelb v. U.S. Trustee (In re Gelb)

In re Gelb, Case No. 12-1086 (B.A.P. 9th Cir. Mar. 29, 2013) (not for publication)
The B.A.P. affirmed the bankruptcy court's decision. First, the B.A.P. held that neither a parent nor a guardian ad litem may bring an action on behalf of a minor child without retaining a lawyer. Here, the Appellant could only represent herself in the case but not that of her children. Second, the B.A.P. held that the bankruptcy did not abuse its discretion by failing to grant the appellant's relief based on a deficient involuntary petition. Third, the B.A.P. held that the bankruptcy court did not err in dismissing the involuntary petition because it was facially deficient and because the state court had already divided the marital assets.
Procedural context:
Appellant, Julia Gelb, appealed decision of the Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California dimissing the involuntary chapter 7 petition she filed against her ex-husband and alleged debtor, Robert Gelb (the appellee). The appellant also appealed the bankruptcy court's order denying her motion to vacaton the prior order dismissing the involuntary case.
Julia Gelb and Robert Gelb were married and had two minor children. Appellant commenced a divorce action in California state court in 2008. In 2009, the state court awarded spousal support and child support and split the "Cypress Equipment fund" equally. Appellant filed an involuntary chapter 7 petition naming the Appelle as the alleged debtor, and listing the parties' two minor children as co-petitioners. The involuntary petition was not signed and the Appellant listed her name next to the space for the co-petitioning creditors.
Pappas, Kirscher, and Taylor, Bankruptcy Judges

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