![if gte IE 9]><![endif]><![if gte IE 9]><![endif]><![if gte IE 9]><![endif]>
Thank You For Submiting Feedback!
United States Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania
October 6, 2021, Decided
Chapter 13, Case No. 5:19-05353-MJC, Adversary Proceeding No. 5:20-00014-MJC
Before the Court are cross motions for summary judgment on Plaintiff's claim for damages relating to Defendants' alleged willful violation of the automatic stay pursuant to 11 U.S.C. §362(k). Plaintiff asserts that upon the filing of his bankruptcy case, Defendants were required to withdraw a pre-petition attachment lien or otherwise release the funds in his bank accounts subject to the attachment. Defendants argue that they took no action post-petition and the mere refusal to withdraw the attachment did not [*2] amount to a violation of the stay. For the reasons that follow, the Court concludes that no stay violation occurred and, accordingly, the Court will enter summary judgment in favor of Defendants.
II. Procedural History
Debtor Anthony Mark Margavitch, Jr. ("Debtor" or "Plaintiff") filed this Chapter 13 bankruptcy case on December 17, 2019. He filed his schedules, statements, and other bankruptcy documents on the same day. On Schedule A/B, Debtor disclosed ownership of certain funds in two (2) Penn East Federal Credit Union accounts ("Penn East Accounts") in the total amount of $1,150.00. See Doc. # 1 at 15. Debtor also listed the Penn East Accounts on his Schedule C; however, the claimed exemption amount for both accounts was $0.00. See id. at 23.
On February 10, 2020, Debtor instituted this adversary proceeding by filing a complaint ("Complaint") against defendants Southlake Holdings, LLC and Auburn Loan Servicing, Inc. (collectively, "Defendants"). The Complaint asserts four (4) counts: Count I - Violation of the Automatic Stay; Count II - Secured Status; Count III - Turnover; and Count IV - Injunctive Relief. Defendants filed an answer on March 19, 2020. Doc. # 7.
Pursuant to the Scheduling [*3] Order, Doc. # 8, as modified by the Order Granting the Motion to Extend Deadlines, Doc. # 11, the parties filed their respective motions for summary judgment (collectively, "Motions") on December 15, 2020. See Doc. #'s 17, 18. In a footnote, Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment ("Plaintiff's Motion") indicates that because Defendants filed a release of the garnishment of the Penn East Accounts, the remaining counts in the Complaint are moot. Pl.'s Mt. at 1 (unpaginated). The Motions, therefore, address only Plaintiff's claim under Count I for violation of the automatic stay. My predecessor, the Honorable Robert N. Opel,1 directed the parties to address the applicability of the recent United States Supreme Court case, City of Chicago, Illinois v. Fulton, 141 S. Ct. 585, 208 L. Ed. 2d 384 (2021), as it relates to the pending motions. See Doc. # 27. Each side submitted a supplemental legal brief on Fulton's applicability, the last of which was filed March 11, 2021. See Doc. #'s 28, 29. The matter is fully briefed and ready for disposition.
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
2021 Bankr. LEXIS 2784 *; 2021 WL 4597760
In re: Anthony Mark Margavitch, Jr., Debtor.Anthony Mark Margavitch, Jr., Plaintiff, v. Southlake Holdings, LLC, Auburn Loan Servicing, Inc., Defendants.
pre-petition, property of the estate, post-petition, attachment, withdraw, automatic stay, state court, status quo, funds, summary judgment motion, bankruptcy case, moving party, summary judgment, material fact, exercise control, garnishment, turnover, commencement of the case, bankruptcy petition, affirmative action, estate property, non-moving, damages, genuine
Bankruptcy Law, Procedural Matters, Adversary Proceedings, Judgments, Civil Procedure, Judgments, Summary Judgment, Entitlement as Matter of Law, Entitlement as Matter of Law, Genuine Disputes, Legal Entitlement, Materiality of Facts, Appropriateness, Burdens of Proof, Burdens of Proof, Nonmovant Persuasion & Proof, Movant Persuasion & Proof, Trials, Judgment as Matter of Law, Directed Verdicts, Motions for Summary Judgment, Cross Motions, Absence of Essential Element, Automatic Stay, Scope of Stay, Claims Against Estate Property, Violations of Stay, Damages, Evidence, Preponderance of Evidence, Remedies, Provisional Remedies, Garnishment, Real Property Law, Liens, Nonmortgage Liens, Judgment Liens, Enforcement & Execution, Writs of Execution, Writs, Ancillary Writs, Individuals With Regular Income, Estate Property, Bankruptcy, Estate Property, Custodial Turnovers, Noncustodial Turnovers, Causes of Action, Liens, Claims Against Debtors, Judgments & Rulings, Enforcements