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United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
August 29, 1994, Decided
[*1036] KING, Circuit Judge:
Appellants, the debtors in a consolidated bankruptcy proceeding, appeal from the district court's order affirming the bankruptcy court's confirmation of the principal creditor's proposed plan of reorganization. By way of cross-appeal, the creditors request that we dismiss the appeal as moot. On the basis of the facts before us, we agree with the creditors and, upon finding the issues presented to be moot, dismiss the appeal.
Appellant Duval County Ranch Company (the "Ranch Company") owned the surface estate of a 99,000-acre ranch in Duval County, Texas. Appellant Man-Gas Transmission Company ("Man-Gas") owned the mineral rights under the ranch property. Both of these companies were wholly owned by the individual debtor and appellant, Clinton Manges ("Manges"). 2 The ranch was undisputedly and by far the largest asset of the Manges debtors. Seattle First National Bank ("Seattle") made a loan to the Ranch Company in 1980, [**2] which was secured by a mortgage on the ranch surface estate and personally guaranteed by Manges.
A. The Agreed Judgment and Foreclosure
The loan went into default, and Seattle filed suit against the Ranch Company and Manges in the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas, San Antonio Division, to recover the sums owed. Eventually, in August of 1988, the parties entered into an agreed judgment pursuant to which the Ranch Company and Manges would make periodic payments on the loan.
After the Ranch Company and Manges subsequently failed to make one of the scheduled payments under the agreed judgment, the Ranch Company filed a voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition to prevent foreclosure under the agreed judgment. Soon after, Manges and Man-Gas also entered Chapter 11 proceedings.
Seattle requested relief from stay, but agreed to abandon that request temporarily if certain conditions were met. The court signed an "Agreed [**3] Order On Motion For Relief From Stay" on September 5, 1990. Pursuant to that order, the Manges debtors were to obtain insurance coverage for improvements to the ranch within ten days of the order's entry. When the Ranch Company failed to obtain the requisite binder for coverage within the agreed time-period, Seattle gave notice of default. After the Ranch Company received the notice and failed to cure the default, the automatic stay was lifted, and the San Antonio court entered an order of sale of the ranch property on October 30, 1990. Although this order was stayed temporarily, the ranch was eventually sold at auction by federal marshals on January 16, 1991 (the "January 16 foreclosure"), and was purchased by SeaFirst American Corporation ("SeaFirst"), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Seattle. The San Antonio court confirmed the sale on January 17, 1991, and [*1037] the Manges debtors appealed both the order of sale and confirmation of sale to this court. 3
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29 F.3d 1034 *; 1994 U.S. App. LEXIS 23591 **; Bankr. L. Rep. (CCH) P76,072; 31 Collier Bankr. Cas. 2d (MB) 1247; 25 Bankr. Ct. Dec. 1684
In the Matter of Clinton MANGES, Debtor. Clinton MANGES, Duval County Ranch C and Man-Gas Transmission, Appellants-Cross Appellees, v. SEATTLE-FIRST NATIONAL BANK and SeaFirst American Corporation, Appellees-Cross Appellants. In the Matter of DUVAL COUNTY RANCH C, Debtor. Clinton MANGES, Duval County Ranch C and Man-Gas Transmission, Appellants-Cross Appellees, v. SEATTLE-FIRST NATIONAL BANK and SeaFirst American Corporation, Appellees-Cross Appellants (Two Cases). In the Matter of MAN-GAS TRANSMISSION, Debtor.
Subsequent History: [**1] As Corrected. Petition for Rehearing Denied September 27, 1994, Reported at: 1994 U.S. App. LEXIS 28433. Certiorari Denied February 21, 1995, Reported at: 1995 U.S. LEXIS 1078.
Prior History: Appeals from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas.
mootness, ranch, confirmation, consummation, district court, bankruptcy court, parties, merits, reorganization plan, third party, lease, pending appeal, foreclosure, mineral, notice, reviewing court, ranch property, claimants, equitable, purchaser, grounds, courts, taxes
Civil Procedure, Justiciability, Mootness, General Overview, Constitutional Law, Case or Controversy, Case & Controversy Requirements, The Judiciary, Bankruptcy Law, Procedural Matters, Adversary Proceedings, Real Controversy Requirement, Judicial Review, Plans, Postconfirmation Effects, Revocation of Confirmation, Appeals, Reviewability of Lower Court Decisions, Preservation for Review, Criminal Law & Procedure, Sentencing, Stays, Administrative Powers, Automatic Stay, Judicial Review, Contracts Law, Personal Property, Bona Fide Purchasers, Estate Property Lease, Sale & Use, Modification & Reversal, Adverse Determinations, Reorganizations, Plan Modification, Energy & Utilities Law, Federal Oil & Gas Leases, Lease Terms, Assignments & Transfers