December 20, 2013
In Re: DONALD JOHNSON DONALD JOHNSON, Plaintiff-Appellant,
COUNTY OF CHAUTAUQUA, Defendant-Appellee.
DECISION AND ORDER
RICHARD J. ARCARA, District Judge.
This bankruptcy appeal is of a grant of summary judgment dismissing an adversary proceeding brought by a Chapter 13 debtor, Donald Johnson, to set aside an in rem tax foreclosure as a fraudulent transfer and conveyance. Debtor brought the proceeding to set aside the pre-petition tax foreclosure on his home by the defendant, County of Chautauqua, based upon allegations under 11 U.S.C. § 548(a)(1)(B) and N.Y. Debtor Creditor Law § 273 that debtor received less than reasonably equivalent value for exempt homestead property.
The Court has jurisdiction to hear appeals of final orders of the Bankruptcy Court under 28 U.S.C. § 158(a). A grant of summary judgment pursuant to Bankruptcy Rule 7056 - a determination that no genuine issues of material fact preclude judgment as a matter of law - is a legal conclusion reviewed de novo. See In re Bayou Grp., LLC, 439 B.R. 284, 296-97 (S.D.N.Y. 2010). The Court reviews only those arguments presented to the Bankruptcy Court. Id. at 296.
The Court has carefully considered the rulings of the Bankruptcy Court, In re Donald Johnson, 49 B.R. 7 (Bankr. W.D.N.Y. 2011), the record on appeal, the appellate briefs, and oral argument. Upon de novo review, the Court finds debtor had no interest in the homestead exempt from tax foreclosure under N.Y. Civil Practice Law and Rules § 5206(a). Accordingly, the Decision and Order of the Bankruptcy Court granting summary judgment dismissing the adversary proceeding, Dkt. No. 1-28, and the Decision and Order denying reconsideration of dismissal of the adversary proceeding, Dkt. No. 1-31, are affirmed for the reasons stated by the Bankruptcy Court in its Decisions and Orders.