SE Property Holdings, LLC v. Sandy Creek II, LLC et al
Order re: 57 Notice filed by George W. Skipper, III, which the Court construes as a motion to refer the claims relating to Skipper in this action to the bankruptcy court. It is ordered that the claims relating to Skipper in this action are REFERRED to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Alabama (Case No. 12-3491-MAM) for appropriate disposition. Signed by Judge Kristi K. DuBose on 1/29/2013. (Bankruptcy copied) (cmj)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
SE PROPERTY HOLDINGS, LLC,
SANDY CREEK II, LLC, et al.,
CIVIL ACTION NO. 12-00303-KD-M
This action is before the Court on the “Notice of Removal\Referral as to George W.
Skipper, III” (Doc. 57) filed by Defendant George W. Skipper, III (“Skipper”), which the
Court construes as a motion to refer the claims relating to Skipper in this action to the
bankruptcy court of this district pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 157 (see Doc. 58). The Plaintiff has
filed an Order of the bankruptcy court finding that Skipper’s removal of the claims against
him in this action was ineffective (Doc. 67-1). The Plaintiff “submits that this Court should
retain jurisdiction over its claims against Skipper.” (Doc. 67, ¶ 1).
Section § 157(a) states: “Each district court may provide that any or all cases . . .
related to a case under title 11 shall be referred to the bankruptcy judges for the district.”
“This District Court has long utilized the § 157(a) referral mechanism as a matter of course
[pursuant to a] general Order of Reference in this District Court that went into effect on July
10, 1984[.]” GulfMark Offshore, Inc. v. Bender Shipbuilding & Repair Co., Inc., Civ. A.
No. 09-0249-WS-N, 2009 WL 3756708, at *2 (S.D. Ala. Nov. 9, 2009) (Steele, J.). The
Eleventh Circuit has held:
“The test for determining whether a civil proceeding is related to bankruptcy is
whether the outcome of the proceeding could conceivably have an effect on
the [bankrupt estate.] The proceeding need not necessarily be against the
debtor or the debtor's property.” Lawrence v. Goldberg, 573 F.3d 1265, 1270
(11th Cir.2009) (internal alteration omitted). “An action is related to
bankruptcy if the outcome could alter the debtor's rights, liabilities, options or
freedom of action ... and which in any way impacts upon the handling and
administration of the bankrupt estate.” Id. at 1270–71.
In re Carlson, 464 F. App'x 845, 849 (11th Cir. 2012)
The Court finds that the claims relating to Skipper in this action are related to his
pending bankruptcy case. While the Court expresses no opinion on the bankruptcy court’s
power to enter final judgment on those claims, the Court believes that the bankruptcy court
can, at minimum, submit proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law to the Court on all
referred matters. See RES-GA Four LLC v. Avalon Builders of GA LLC, No. 5:10-CV-463
MTT, 2012 WL 13544, at *7-10 (M.D. Ga. Jan. 4, 2012) (“[T]he Court . . . concludes that
bankruptcy courts have authority to hear and submit proposed findings of fact and
conclusions of law in proceedings related to title 11 cases, regardless of whether they are
classified as core or non-core. While the contours of claims of which a bankruptcy court may
enter final judgment are largely uncertain post-Stern[ v. Marshall, 131 S. Ct. 2594 (2011)],
the Court is confident the bankruptcy court has, at a minimum, subject matter jurisdiction to
hear these related proceedings.”) (slip copy); Finley v. Carrington Mortg. Servs., LLC, Civ.
A. No. MC-12-S-00051, 2012 WL 6610194, at *4 (N.D. Ala. Dec. 17, 2012) (“ ‘Nothing in
the Stern decision, or any other decision, has limited the ability of bankruptcy courts to issue
reports and recommendations in all matters that have been properly referred to the
bankruptcy court.’ ” (quoting In re Palm Beach Fin. Partners, L.P., No. 12–80269–CIV, 2012
WL 2504009, at *2 (S.D. Fla. June 28, 2012))) (slip copy).
Therefore, upon consideration, it is hereby ORDERED that the claims relating to
Skipper in this action are REFERRED to the United States Bankruptcy Court for the
Southern District of Alabama, Case No. 12-03491-MAM, for appropriate disposition. The
Clerk is DIRECTED to notify the bankruptcy court of this referral.
DONE and ORDERED this the 29th day of January 2013.
/s/ Kristi K. DuBose
KRISTI K. DuBOSE
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?