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In re Edwin Earl Elliott

Summarizing by Bradley Pearce

In re Donald and Jane Nichols

Summarizing by Lars Fuller

Zeppinick v. Ramirez (In re Zeppinick)

Case Type:
Case Status:
CC-16-1293-LKuF (9th Circuit, Apr 24,2017) Not Published
Bankruptcy court did not err in applying issue preclusion to Labor Commissioner's findings or in finding that debt owed to debtor's former employee pursuant to resulting judgment was nondischargeable under § 523(a)(6).
Procedural context:
Appeal from the bankruptcy court for the Central District of California; reviewed de novo.
Debtor, a licensed general contractor in California, asked creditor to work for him. Debtor paid creditor in cash, did not pay or withhold employee-related taxes, and did not obtain workers' compensation insurance. A home that debtor and creditor were working on was damaged after a storm blew off plastic sheeting that creditor had used to cover a damaged roof. Debtor subsequently withheld funds owed to creditor because creditor's work had resulted in the property damage. Creditor subsequently filed a claim with the California Labor Commissioner. After a hearing at which both parties attended, the Labor Commissioner issued a decision in favor of creditor and awarded creditor damages. The Commissioner's order advised the parties of their right to appeal the decision. After debtor failed to appeal or send payment, a judgment was entered against him. Debtor filed a chapter 7 bankruptcy, and creditor commenced an adversary proceeding seeking a declaration of nondischargeability for the amount he was owed under § 523(a)(6). At trial, the bankruptcy court gave issue preclusive effect to the Labor Commissioner's findings and found in favor of creditor. Debtor timely appealed.
Lafferty, Kurtz, Faris

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