In re Robinson

The Court of Appeals affirmed the District Court's reversal of the Bankruptcy Court's refusal to sanction the Debtor's exemption; concluding that the plain language of the Illinois personal property exemption statute allowed the exemption for the Debtor's Book of Mormon.
Procedural context:
Robinson filed a Chapter 7 Petition in the Southern District of Illinois and claimed an exemption for a 1st edition Book of Mormon pursuant to 735 ILCS 5/121001(a), which provides an exemption for a Bible. The Bankruptcy Court denied the exemption. The District Court reversed.
Ms. Robinson (the "Debtor") filed a Chapter 7 Petition in the Southern District of Illinois. Among her scheduled personal property was an “old Mormon Bible” of unknown value. The Debtor sought to exempt the book as a "Bible." The Bankruptcy Trustee inquired about her Book of Mormon at the 341 Meeting, and the Debtor confirmed that it was a rare 1st edition. On that basis the Trustee filed an Objection to the exemption, distinguishing 735 ILCS 5/12-1001(a)3, which provides an exemption for "...necessary wearing apparel, bible, school books, and family pictures of the debtor.” Robinson responded to the Objection and sought a hearing. The Bankruptcy Court ruled for the Trustee. The Debtor appealed to the District Court, which held in her favor. The Trustee timely appealed.
Wood, Easterbrook, and Ripple

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