Rice v. Luken Communications LLC et al
ORDER granting 2 Motion to Withdraw Reference; the reference is hereby withdrawn with respect to M. Randy Rice, as Chapter 7 Trustee v. Luken Communications LLC, and Henry G. Luken, III, USBC for the Eastern District of Arkansas, Adversary Proceedi ng No. 4:10-ap-01253; the Clerk of the Bankruptcy Court and the Clerk of this Court are directed to take appropriate action to transfer the adversary proceeding to this Court where the proceeding will be docketed as a civil action and scheduled for trial by jury. Signed by Chief Judge J. Leon Holmes on 5/5/11. (vjt)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
M. RANDY RICE,
as Chapter 7 Trustee
No. 4:11MC00001 JLH
LUKEN COMMUNICATIONS, LLC;
and HENRY G. LUKEN, III
Defendants Luken Communications, LLC, and Henry G. Luken, III, filed a demand for a jury
trial and a motion to withdraw the reference of this matter to the bankruptcy court. Luken
Communications and Henry Luken are defendants in an adversary proceeding brought by the
bankruptcy trustee seeking to recover assets of the debtor which allegedly were fraudulently
conveyed by Luken Communications and Henry Luken. Luken Communications and Henry Luken
have not made a claim in the bankruptcy estate. They have not voluntarily submitted to the
jurisdiction of the bankruptcy court. They have made a timely demand for a trial by jury. They have
also moved the Court to withdraw the reference.
In an Order entered on February 15, 2011, the Court concluded that the reference should be
withdrawn with respect to a jury trial but the reference should not be withdrawn immediately because
the bankruptcy court could administer the case more efficiently than could the district court due to
the bankruptcy court’s familiarity with the estate of the debtor and the history of the proceedings.
The Court designated the bankruptcy court to conduct all pretrial proceedings and directed that the
bankruptcy court notify the district court when the matter was ready for trial.
The bankruptcy court has notified this Court that a pretrial hearing has been conducted, that
the parties have filed a Rule 26 report, and that the matters at issue in the adversary proceeding are
sufficiently distinct from the issues in the bankruptcy proceeding that no judicial economy is
accomplished by designating the bankruptcy court to preside over the pretrial matters.
The motion to withdraw the reference is therefore GRANTED. Document #2. The reference
is hereby withdrawn with respect to M. Randy Rice, as Chapter 7 Trustee v. Luken Communications,
LLC, and Henry G. Luken, III, United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas,
Adversary Proceeding No. 4:10-ap-01253. The Clerk of the bankruptcy court and the Clerk of this
Court are directed to take appropriate action to transfer that adversary proceeding to this Court where
the proceeding will be docketed as a civil action and scheduled for trial by jury.
IT IS SO ORDERED this 5th of May, 2011.
J. LEON HOLMES
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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