Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

In re Watkins

February 16, 2007

IN RE KEVIN THOMAS WATKINS A/K/A RONIN AMANO, DEBTOR.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Trager, District Judge

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

Bankruptcy debtor Kevin Thomas Watkins, also known as Ronin Amano, (the "debtor"), appeals two orders of the United States Bankruptcy Court dated January 11, 2006. The first order (the "Automatic Stay Order") lifted an automatic stay pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 362(d), permitting the debtor's landlords, Joseph and Charles Alpert, (the "creditors"), to enforce their rights to evict the debtor from his current apartment. The second order (the "Dismissal Order") dismissed with prejudice the debtor's petition for relief under the provisions of Chapter 13 of Title 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code. For the reasons stated below, both appeals are denied.

Background

The debtor was previously a tenant in an apartment owned by the creditors, located at 95 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, New York. Alpert v. Watkins, No. L&T 065414/03, slip op. at 2 (N.Y. Civ. Ct., Dec. 8, 2003) (Silber, J.). In March 2003, the creditors commenced a summary proceeding against the debtor in New York State Civil Court, Kings County, based on the debtor's alleged failure to pay rent. See id. On March 9, 2004, the state court directed that a Warrant of Eviction be issued. See id.

On March 11, 2004, before the Warrant of Eviction was executed, the debtor filed a voluntary petition for relief under the provisions of Chapter 7 of Title 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code, 11 U.S.C. § 701 et seq. Br. of Creditors, at 2. On December 29, 2004, the bankruptcy court granted the creditors' motion to lift the automatic stay pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 362(d) in order to allow the eviction proceedings to move forward.*fn1 Id. at 2-3.

In response, on March 31, 2005, the debtor filed a voluntary petition for relief under the provisions of Chapter 13 of Title 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code, 11 U.S.C. §§ 1301-1330, and another automatic stay went into effect. Br. of Creditors, at 3; February 9, 2006 Affirmation in Support of Order to Show Cause, ("Aff. of Debtor"), at 1.*fn2 On April 15, 2005, the debtor filed a Chapter 13 plan. Br. of Creditors, at 3. On July 22, 2005, in order to move forward with the state-court eviction proceedings, the creditors again moved to lift the automatic stay pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 362(d) or, in the alternative, to dismiss the Chapter 13 case pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 1307. Id.

On December 14, 2005, after numerous adjournments to allow the debtor to amend his Chapter 13 plan,*fn3 the bankruptcy court held a confirmation hearing on the debtor's Chapter 13 plan and a hearing on the creditors' motion to lift the automatic stay.

Br. of Creditors, at 4. At that hearing, the creditors alleged that the debtor was not current on either his post-petition rental payments or on his Chapter 13 plan payments, both of which are prerequisites to confirmation.*fn4 Id. at 5. However, the debtor claimed that he was "current" on his post-petition rent and that he had made plan payments to the trustee. Aff. of Debtor, at 3. The debtor further argued that while he still owed significant debts, including pre-petition rent arrears, he had recently become employed and would be able to make future rental and plan payments. Id. at 1, 3. Thus, the debtor argued that the bankruptcy court should allow him another opportunity to submit a new Chapter 13 plan that reflects his increased income. Id. However, the bankruptcy court explicitly found that the debtor was not current on his post-petition rent payments and that the debtor had failed to provide the requisite proof of his employment in a timely manner. Dec. 14, 2005 Hr'g (available on audiotape only).

On January 11, 2005, the bankruptcy court granted the creditors' motion to lift the automatic stay and to dismiss the Chapter 13 case.*fn5 Aff. of Debtor, at 2; Br. of Creditors, at 5.

On January 20, 2006, the debtor requested that the bankruptcy court stay its order lifting the automatic stay and dismissing the Chapter 13 case pending appeal to the district court. Br. of Creditors, at 5; Aff. of Debtor, at 2.

On February 6, 2006, the bankruptcy court denied the debtor's motion for a stay pending appeal. In re Watkins, No. 05-14667 (Bankr. E.D.N.Y. Feb. 6, 2006) (Decision and Order on Application to Show Cause) ("Appeal Stay Order"). Subsequently, the debtor moved that the district court stay pending appeal the ankruptcy court's order lifting the automatic stay and dismissing the Chapter 13 case. The district court denied that motion. In re Watkins, 05-CV-597 (E.D.N.Y. Mar. 28, 2006) (Memorandum and Order denying a Stay Pending Appeal), at 1. The debtor now appeals the order of the bankruptcy court lifting the automatic stay and dismissing the Chapter 13 case with prejudice.*fn6 Discussion

(1) Jurisdiction

The Court has jurisdiction to hear this appeal pursuant to 28 ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.