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Thelma McCoy v. USA

Summarizing by Craig Geno

Puerto Rico, LLC v. Empresas Martinez Valentin Cor

Case Type:
Business
Case Status:
Affirmed
Citation:
18-2103 (1st Circuit, Jan 28,2020) Published
Tag(s):
Ruling:
For the foregoing reasons, we dismiss the appeal of the April 4 damages award, and we affirm the amount of attorneys' fees imposed.
Procedural context:
This appeal turns primarily on a rule of appellate practice. The Supreme Court has twice explained that the time limit within which an appeal of a final judgment need be made starts running even if the lower court still has before it a request for attorneys' fees or costs incurred in litigating the case. Debtor EMPRESAS MARTÍNEZ VALENTÍN CORP, sought damages for a willful violation of the automatic stay. The bankruptcy court held a six day trial and entered an opinion and order granting damages under §105, leaving only the determination of attorney fees and costs. PC Puerto Rico did not appeal from that order until much, much later - about 237 days, which was after the attorney fees and costs were decided. The district court affirmed. On appeal to the circuit, that court dismissed the appeal of the original judgment because it was untimely, but affirmed the attorney fees and costs award.
Facts:
EMV, its president Angel Martínez Valentín, and PCPR tussled over their respective rights under a lease and sublease to a commercial property located in Sabana Grande, Puerto Rico. After EMV filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, PCPR continued to pursue claims asserted by it against Mr. Martínez in a separate, previously filed action in the United States District Court for the District of Puerto Rico, eventually seizing and disposing of personal property owned by EMV located on the commercial property.
Judge(s):
Torruella, Thompson, and Kanatta (author)

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