Richardson v. IMC Mortgage Company
ORDER ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION 1 granting Plaintiff's motion for default; the Clerk of Court shall enter Judgment; signed by Judge Robert J. Jonker (Judge Robert J. Jonker, ymc)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN
BANKRUPTCY CASE NO. 11-10859
DAVID LESLIE BARRY
and JILL LOUISE BARRY,
THOMAS C. RICHARDSON,
ADVERSARY PROCEEDING NO. 12-80049
DISTRICT COURT CASE NO. 1:12-CV-597
IMC MORTGAGE COMPANY,
HON. ROBERT J. JONKER
This case comes before the Court on Report and Recommendation from the Bankruptcy
Court for the Western District of Michigan (docket # 1-1). Plaintiff, Thomas C. Richardson, the
Chapter 7 Trustee in this matter, filed a complaint based on 11 U.S.C. § 544 to avoid a lien conveyed
by Debtors to Defendant on a property located at 92 James Street, Battle Creek, Michigan. (Id.)
Defendant failed to answer the complaint, and Plaintiff subsequently filed a motion for entry of a
default judgment against Defendant. (Id.) The Bankruptcy Court held a hearing on April 26, 2012,
to address Plaintiff’s motion, but Defendant did not appear. (Id.) The Bankruptcy Court’s Report
and Recommendation followed. (Id.)
In its Report and Recommendation, the Bankruptcy Court concluded that default judgment
against Defendant was appropriate, and that the complaint constituted a core matter under 11 U.S.C.
§ 157(b)(2). Relying on the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Stern v. Marshall, ___ U.S. ___,
131 S. Ct. 2594 (2011), however, the Bankruptcy Court concluded it lacked the constitutional
authority to enter a final judgment in this matter and therefore submitted its Report and
Recommendation to this Court for the entry of judgment.
After reviewing the Bankruptcy Court’s Report and Recommendation and the record below,
the Court grants Plaintiff’s motion for default and avoids Defendant’s lien on 92 James Street, Battle
Creek, Michigan as recommended by the Bankruptcy Court. While the Court acknowledges the
uncertainty Stern created regarding the constitutional authority of bankruptcy courts to enter final
judgment in certain proceedings, the Court does not believe Stern affects the Bankruptcy Court’s
authority to enter a default judgment in this action. However, it is undisputed the Court has
jurisdiction to enter judgment in this matter, and the Bankruptcy Court’s reference of the matter to
the Court does not constitute reversible error. Cf. In re Burkman Supply, Inc., 217 B.R. 223, 223
(W.D. Mich. 1998) (“[T]he fact that the bankruptcy judge in this matter took the additional step and
submitted this matter to the Court by way of a report and recommendation does not constitute
reversible error.”). Therefore, in order to resolve this matter in an expeditious, efficient, and costeffective manner, the Court adopts the Bankruptcy Court’s recommendation to enter judgment in
favor of Plaintiff.
IT IS SO ORDERED. The Clerk of Court shall enter Judgment.
June 15, 2012
/s/ Robert J. Jonker
ROBERT J. JONKER
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?