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In re: DIANN MARIE CATES

Summarizing by Lars Fuller

Lampe v. Kash

Citation:
Case No. 12-4487 (6th Cir. 2013)
Tag(s):
Ruling:
Creditor's claim is not discharged where notice was mailed to attorney who stopped representing creditor more than 8 years earlier.
Procedural context:
After debtor received a discharge, creditor commenced collection actions in federal district court. District court held that debt had been discharged. Creditor appealed. The Sixth Circuit reversed the district court, holding that notice to creditor's prior counsel was not sufficient for due process purposes to constitiute "notice".
Facts:
Creditor obtained judgment against debtor in 2004. Eight years later, with the judgment still outstanding, debtor filed bankruptcy. Debtor scheduled creditor's debt but did not use creditor's address. Instead, debtor used address of attorney who prosecuted original collectino action but who ceased representing creditor in 2004. Creditor did not receive notice of the bankruptcy prior to entry of discharge. When creditor undertook to renew judgment, debtor objected, contending that the debt had been discharged. The district court agreed and rejected creditor's attempt to renew the judgment. On appea, the Sixth Circuit held that due process notice that is reasonably calculated to reach the creditor. While notice to creditor's counsel is adequate for ongoing litigation, notice sent to attorney who stopped representing creditor 8 years earlier was too attenuated to constitute notice for purposes of discharge. Debtor's dicahrge did not prevent creditor from renewing the judgment.
Judge(s):
Sutton, Keithledge and Dow (sitting by designation)

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