In re Shmuel Erde

Case Type:
Case Status:
BAP No. CC-19-1023-STaL (9th Circuit, Nov 12,2019) Not Published
BAP for 9th Cir. affirmed ruling of bankruptcy court (CD Cal.) denying vexatious litigant's motion to vacate dismissal of bankruptcy 35 years prior. Bankruptcy court properly rejected debtor's argument that he had failed to receive notice of dismissal based on debtor's lack of credibility, plus prior ruling on notice issue six years prior. Debtor failed to demonstrate prejudice from lack of notice and how notice would have altered dismissal.
Procedural context:
Chapter 11 debtor moved to vacate dismissal of partnership's bankruptcy 35 years prior. Bankruptcy court (CD Cal.) denied motion. Debtor appealed to BAP for 9th Cir.
In 1983, debtor (Erde) formed a partnership with Bodnar to redevelop an apartment building in Los Angeles. Each held their 50% partnership interest through a wholly owned corporation. In 1984, when the partnership’s real estate redevelopment project failed, the partnership was put into and shortly thereafter dismissed from bankruptcy, allegedly without notice to Erde. A creditor subsequently foreclosed upon the real estate. Roughly 15 years later, beginning in 2001, Erde commenced a litigation campaign seeking to undo the loss of the partnership property and seeking damages from Bodnar and others. Erde filed at least six lawsuits in state and federal court, multiple bankruptcy cases, and at least nineteen adversary proceedings in the bankruptcy court. He collected some money in two settlements but otherwise was unsuccessful. All of his lawsuits were dismissed with prejudice. He also filed numerous motions for post-judgment relief which similarly were denied. His appeals in those actions failed. He was declared a vexatious litigant in state court, federal district court, and in the bankruptcy court. Erde filed an individual chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2018 and moved to vacate the dismissal of the 1984 partnership case under FRCP 60(b), seeking to substantively consolidate the partnership's assets--including the real property subsequent lost to foreclosure--with his individual case.
Spraker, Taylor, Lafferty

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