United States of America v. Gumbaytay et al

Filing 55

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER denying Defendant Jamarlo Gumbaytay's 8 and 12 MOTIONS to Dismiss. Signed by Hon. Chief Judge Mark E. Fuller on 3/9/2009. (Attachments: # 1 Civil Appeals Checklist)(cc, )

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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT F O R THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF ALABAMA N O R T H E R N DIVISION U N IT E D STATES OF AMERICA, P L A IN T IF F , v. J A M A R L O K. GUMBAYTAY, et al., DEFEN DANTS. ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) C A S E NO. 2:08cv-573-MEF (W O ) M E M O R A N D U M OPINION AND ORDER T his cause is before the Court on Defendant Jamarlo Gumbaytay's Motions to Dismiss (D o c s. # 8 & 12) filed on August 15, 2008 and August 28, 2008. On July 17, 2008, Plaintiff b r o u g h t suit against Defendants pursuant to Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, as a m e n d e d , 42 U.S.C. 3601-3619 ("Fair Housing Act"). Plaintiff filed an Amended C o m p la in t on January 7, 2009, with additional claims pursuant to the Fair Housing Act a g a in s t Defendants. Plaintiff alleges that Jamarlo Gumbaytay ("Gumbaytay") engaged in a p a tte rn of unlawful discrimination on the basis of sex in connection with the rental of D e f e n d a n ts' properties. In particular, Plaintiff alleges that Gumbaytay engaged in d isc rim in a to ry conduct from 2005 through the present. G u m b a yta y seeks dismissal of the claims against him because he contends the a u to m a tic stay provision in Bankruptcy Code, 11 U.S.C. 362(a) ("section 362(a)") applies to him. He argues that he filed a bankruptcy petition in 2003 and that section 362(a) requires th is Court dismiss the case against him. The Court disagrees. B y its own terms, section 362 precludes application of the automatic stay to this a c tio n . First, section 362(c) provides that an automatic stay expires when the bankruptcy c o u rt dismisses the bankruptcy petition. 11 U.S.C. 362(c) (providing that the stay c o n tin u e s until the earliest of (A) the time of the case is closed, (B) the time the case is d ism iss e d , or (C) the time a discharge is granted); U.S. v. White, 466 F.3d 1241, 1244 (11th C ir . 2006) (finding that an automatic stay is lifted at the time of discharge). Here, G u m b a yta y filed for bankruptcy in the Federal Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of A la b a m a on August 27, 2003. In re Jamarlo Gumbaytay, No. 03-32624, (Bankr. M.D. Ala 2 0 0 3 ). On July 25, 2008, the bankruptcy court dismissed Gumbaytay's petition. Id. Any a u to m a tic stay expired, therefore, when the bankruptcy court dismissed the bankruptcy p e titio n on July 25, 2008. Second, pursuant to section 362(a), a bankruptcy petition filing "operates as a stay a p p lic a b le to ... proceedings against the debtor that was or could have been commenced b e f o re the commencement of the case under this title." 11 U.S.C. 362(a)(1). As a result, s e c tio n 362(a) does not apply to conduct that occurs after the filing of a bankruptcy p ro v is io n . Id.; Holland Am. Ins. Co. v. Succession of Roy, 777 F.2d 992, 996 (5th Cir. 1985) (s ta ti n g that section 362(a)'s stay provision "simply does not apply to post-bankruptcy e v e n ts" ). Gumbaytay filed for bankruptcy in August of 2003. The Amended Complaint in th is action alleges discriminatory conduct occurring after 2003. See Doc. #45, 18. Because th e automatic stay does not apply to claims arising after the filing of a bankruptcy petition, 2 a n automatic stay does not apply to this action. F o r the foregoing reasons, it is hereby ORDERED that Defendant Jamarlo G u m b a yta y's Motions to Dismiss (Doc. # 8 & 12) are DENIED. D O N E this the 9th day of March, 2009. /s/ Mark E. Fuller CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 3

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