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Chief Judge Phyllis M. Jones

Hill and Hill’s motion for summary judgment was denied as to its contemporaneous exchange for new value defense under Section 547(c)(1) (which the parties referred to as the Veldedefense). Notices did not strictly comply with the Food Security Act and therefore the Debtor purchased grain free of the Bank’s security interest, even though the Bank held an otherwise properly perfected security interest under Arkansas law. Summary judgment was granted as to the first element of Hill and Hill’s ordinary course of business defense under Section 547(c)(2), but denied as to the remaining elements under either Section 547(c)(2)(A) or (B). Summary judgment was also granted in part and denied in part as to Hill and Hill’s subsequent new value defense under Section 547(c)(4).

Debtors’ discharge denied pursuant to Sections 727(a)(2)(A), (a)(3), and (a)(4). Debtors concealed the purchase and transfer of a vehicle with intent to defraud the trustee and creditors, failed to keep and preserve records from which their financial condition could be ascertained, and knowingly and fraudulently made material false oaths in connection with the bankruptcy case.

Transfer found to be preferential transfer pursuant to Section 547(b). Court found in favor of Trustee on all affirmative defenses raised by Defendant.

The FDA did not violate the automatic stay by filing suit in District Court against the Debtor or by issuing a Press Release.  Court used its power under Section 105(a) to impose a temporary stay on the issuance of any future press releases or alerts by the FDA, subject to numerous conditions, but would not impose a stay of the District Court action.

Judge Ben T. Barry

The Court enforced the parties’ agreement to arbitrate and held the adversary proceeding in abeyance. The Court found that the parties’ agreement to arbitrate did not inherently conflict with or jeopardize the objectives of the bankruptcy code.

The Court denied the trustee’s motion for turnover of a post-petition bonus payment the debtor acquired approximately one month after filing a voluntary chapter 7 petition. The Court found that the expectation of a bonus was not enough to bring the post-petition bonus into the debtor’s estate under § 541(a)(1) because the debtor’s employer retained the discretion to pay the bonus up to the time the bonus was paid.

The Court denied the debtor’s motion to reopen his chapter 7 bankruptcy case for the purpose of scheduling an omitted creditor. The Court found that the dischargeability of a debt under § 523(a)(3) is not affected by the debtor’s subsequent listing of the debt on his schedules; reopening the case to schedule the debt is a “useless gesture.”

In this order, the third in this case, the Court granted the creditors’ motion to strike the debtor’s second motion for contempt based on the doctrine of res judicata.  The Court found that the debtor’s second motion for contempt was substantially the same as his first motion with the exception of the named defendants–the debtor now named the principals as defendants rather than the agents.  All three elements of res judicata were met precluding the Court from hearing the debtor’s “second bite at the apple.”

The debtor filed an adversary proceeding objecting to the creditor’s secured status and alleging violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act [FDCPA]. The Court granted the creditor’s motion to dismiss the adversary proceeding, finding that the Court lacked subject matter jurisdiction following the debtors’s voluntarily dismissal of their bankruptcy case.

The Court overruled the chapter 7 trustee’s objection to the debtor’s amended claim of exemptions, finding that the Supreme Court’s statement in Law v. Siegal that denial of an exemption can only be based on a ground specified in the code effectively overruled the Eighth Circuit’s prior holding in In re Kaelin that a bankruptcy court could deny a debtor’s amended exemption for bad faith or if prejudice to creditors was found. Affirmed on appeal.