Lane v. Barney (In re Lane)

Lane v. Barney (In re Lane), BAP No. WY-14-053 & 14-054 (BAP 10th Cir. Mar. 20, 2015)
BAP for 10th Circuit dismissed appeal as moot after debtor appealed bankruptcy court (D. Wy.) striking debtor's objection to chapter 7 trustee's motion to sell property of estate. Because debtor appellant had not obtained stay, sale of coins had occurred in the interim, mooting appeal. BAP declined to reach equitable mootness issue, concluding that appeal was moot under 11 USC 363(m), which required stay pending appeal. Debtor did not seek stay, and did not argue that purchaser was not a good faith purchaser.
Procedural context:
Chapter 7 trustee moved for authority to sell assets, debtor objected, and bankruptcy court struck appeal based on debtor's lack of standing. Debtor appealed to BAP.
Debtor, who owned significant amount of collectibles and memorabilia, in addition to interests in multiple entities and real estate, commenced individual chapter 7 in 2011, triggering a series of battles with trustee over asset sales, unscheduled and undisclosed property, and lawsuits by the trustee against debtor, his family members, and family controlled entities to revoke debtor's discharge and recover assets for benefit of the estate. The parties reached a ceasefire in June 2013, when the bankruptcy court approved two global settlement agreements: one between the trustee and debtor's family members and family-controlled entities, and one between the trustee and debtor. In the debtor settlement, debtor was allowed to keep many assets, including certain "numismatic" coins, while providing that "bullion" coins would be property of the estate. The debtor also waived standing to object to all future asset sales by the trustee. Subsequently, the trustee moved to sell "bullion" coins. Debtor objected that the "bullion" coins were in fact "numismatic" coins, and thus belonged to him under the debtor settlement. The bankruptcy court granted trustee's motion to strike debtor's objection, and denied debtor's motion for clarification. Debtor appealed, but did not seek stay. Trustee completed sale to third party entity for $115,282.50.
Thurman, Michael, Karlin

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