Now Updating

Summarizing by Amir Shachmurove

In re Christopher Boisaubin

Case Type:
Case Status:
19-6040 (8th Circuit, May 14,2020) Published
Even though the debtor had no memory of the facts that gave rise to a cause of action that would have been an asset in his first bankruptcy case until after he had received a discharge in his second bankruptcy case and his second bankruptcy case had been closed, the cause of action/asset had never been administered and was subject to administration in bankruptcy. The report of no-distribution in the first bankruptcy case allowed the asset to pass into the hands of the second bankruptcy trustee to administer.
Procedural context:
The debtor appealed orders of the bankruptcy court (i) overruling his objection to a settlement between the chapter 7 trustee and the defendant in a sexual assault case and (ii) motions to seal documents that the debtor contended related to his damages from alleged sexual assault.
Christopher L. Boisaubin (Boisaubin) and his then-wife filed a chapter 7 petition in March 1990 in the Northern District of Illinois. Boisaubin received a discharge in August 1990, and the case was closed in October 1990. Boisaubin filed a second chapter 7 case in the Eastern District of Missouri in January 2009. The originally chapter 7 trustee filed a no-distribution report in February 2009, and Boisaubin received a discharge in April 2009. Boisaubin filed an action for sexual assault that allegedly occurred in the early 1970s, when he was in high school, in April 2014 in state court in Missouri. Boisaubin claimed that the statute of limitations had not run due to repressed memories of the assault. Apparently due to the repressed memories, Boisaubin did not report the sexual assault claim as an asset in either of his chapter 7 cases, but did report the bankruptcy cases in the state court action. The defendant in the state court action moved for summary judgment against Boisaubin, arguing that he lacked standing. Boisaubin moved to reopen his chapter 7 bankruptcy cases in 2017 to disclose the assault claim. The Missouri case (which is the subject of this appeal) was reopened and a new trustee was appointed. The Illinois bankruptcy case also was reopened, a trustee was appointed, and the Illinois trustee filed a no-distribution report. The Missouri chapter 7 trustee then sought to settle the assault claim in the Missouri bankruptcy case, and Boisaubin objected. Boisaubin argued that the assault claim was not property of the Missouri bankruptcy estate. Boisaubin and the assault defendant each moved to filed documents under seal that they asserted were related to damages for the alleged sexual assault. The bankruptcy court approved the settlement and denied the motions to file under seal. In its denial of the motions to file under seal, the bankruptcy court found that the motions were overbroad, procedurally defective, and that most of the documents were in the public record or had been previously filed with the court.

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