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Pioneer Inv. Servs. v. Brunswick Assocs. Ltd. P'ship

Supreme Court of the United States

November 30, 1992, Argued ; March 24, 1993, Decided

No. 91-1695

Opinion

 [*382]  [***81]  [**1491]    JUSTICE WHITE delivered the opinion of the Court.

 Rule 3003(c) of the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure sets out the requirements for filing proofs of claim in Chapter 9 Municipality and Chapter 11 Reorganization cases. 1 [****7]  Rule 3003(c)(3) provides that the "court shall fix and for cause shown may extend the time within which proofs of claim or interest may be filed." Rule 9006 is a general rule governing the computation, enlargement, and reduction of periods of time prescribed in other bankruptcy rules. Rule 9006(b)(1) empowers a bankruptcy court to permit a late filing if the movant's failure to comply with an earlier deadline "was the result of excusable neglect." 2  [**1492]  In this case,  [****6]  we are  [*383]  called upon to decide whether an attorney's inadvertent failure to file a proof of claim within  [***82]  the deadline set by the court can constitute "excusable neglect" within the meaning of the Rule. Finding that it can, we affirm.

 [****8]   I

On April 12, 1989, petitioner filed a voluntary petition for bankruptcy in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee. The petition sought relief under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code. Petitioner also filed a list of its 20 largest unsecured creditors, including all but one of respondents here. The following month, after obtaining extensions of time from the Bankruptcy Court, petitioner filed a statement of financial affairs and schedules of its assets and liabilities. The schedules, as amended, listed all of the respondents except Ft. Oglethorpe Associates Limited Partnership as creditors holding contingent, unliquidated, or disputed claims; the Ft. Oglethorpe partnership was not listed at all. Under § 1111 of the Bankruptcy Code, 11 U.S.C. § 1111(a), and Bankruptcy Rule 3003(c)(2), all such creditors are required to file a proof of claim with the bankruptcy court before the deadline, or "bar date," established by the court.

On April 13, 1989, the day after petitioner filed its Chapter 11 petition, the Bankruptcy Court mailed a "Notice for Meeting of Creditors" to petitioner's creditors. Along with the announcement of [****9]  a May 5 meeting was the following passage:

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507 U.S. 380 *; 113 S. Ct. 1489 **; 123 L. Ed. 2d 74 ***; 1993 U.S. LEXIS 2402 ****; 61 U.S.L.W. 4263; 93 Cal. Daily Op. Service 2096; 28 Collier Bankr. Cas. 2d (MB) 267; 24 Bankr. Ct. Dec. 63; Bankr. L. Rep. (CCH) P75,157; 93 Daily Journal DAR 3705; 25 Fed. R. Serv. 3d (Callaghan) 401; 7 Fla. L. Weekly Fed. S 101

PIONEER INVESTMENT SERVICES COMPANY, PETITIONER v. BRUNSWICK ASSOCIATES LIMITED PARTNERSHIP ET AL.

Prior History:  [****1]  ON WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE SIXTH CIRCUIT.

Disposition: 943 F.2d 673, affirmed.

CORE TERMS

excusable neglect, notice, Appeals, neglect, bankruptcy court, deadline, respondents', late filing, circumstances, movant's, omission, courts, cases, filing proof, of Rule, enlarge, result of excusable neglect, proof of claim, inadvertence, equitable, indifference, failure to act, culpability, factors, district court, good faith, reasons, failure to comply, proceedings, untimely

Bankruptcy Law, Claims, Proof of Claim, Effects & Procedures, Governments, Legislation, Interpretation, Civil Procedure, Pleadings, Time Limitations, General Overview, Crossclaims, Counterclaims, Relief From Judgments, Excusable Mistakes & Neglect, Judgments, Excusable Neglect, Inadvertence, Mistake, Surprise, Pretrial Matters, Conferences, Pretrial Conferences