United States Bankruptcy Court, E.D. New York
In re Jeffrey S. PRUSAN, Debtor.
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Joshua N. Bleichman, Esq., Bleichman & Klein, Spring Valley, NY, Attorney for the Debtor.
Melinda D. Middlebrooks, Esq., Joseph Shapiro, Esq., Jonathan Goodgold, Esq., Middlebrooks, Shapiro & Nachbar, P.C., Union, NJ, Attorney for Ira and Barbara Goldberg and Jonathan Goodgold.
CARLA E. CRAIG, Chief Judge.
This matter comes before the Court on the motion of Jeffrey S. Prusan (the " Debtor" ) for sanctions against Ira and Barbara Goldberg (together, the " Goldbergs" ) and Jonathan Goodgold, Esq. (together with the Goldbergs, the " Respondents" ) pursuant to § 362(k) of the Bankruptcy Code for the willful violation of the automatic stay imposed by § 362(a). The Respondents oppose the Debtor's motion. For the following reasons, the Debtor's motion is denied.
This Court has jurisdiction over this core proceeding under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1334(b) and 157(b)(2)(A), and the Eastern District of New York standing order of reference dated August 28, 1986. This decision constitutes the Court's findings of fact and conclusions of law to the extent
required by Federal Rule of Bankruptcy Procedure 7052.
The following facts are undisputed.
On November 3, 2009, the Debtor filed a voluntary petition for relief under chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code. On Schedule F, the Debtor listed the Goldbergs as unsecured creditors holding a disputed claim, described as " judgment" for $675,000. On the Statement of Financial Affairs, the Debtor listed an action (the " State Court Action" ) brought against him by the Goldbergs in the Superior Court of New Jersey (the " N.J. State Court" ), stating that the action was resolved by " settlement agreement."
The Debtor filed for bankruptcy on the date that he was scheduled to appear at a deposition in connection with the State Court Action. (Opp'n Ex. O.) On November 2, 2009, the day before the deposition, the Debtor's counsel notified Goodgold, the Goldberg's attorney in the State Court Action, that the Debtor " is filing bankruptcy" and will not attend the deposition. (Opp'n Ex. P.) Two days later, on November 4, 2009, the Debtor's counsel provided Goodgold with a copy of the Debtor's petition. The petition did not contain a timestamp or other indication ...