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In re Leatherstocking Antiques, Inc.

United States District Court, S.D. New York

July 21, 2014

In re: LEATHERSTOCKING ANTIQUES, INC., Debtor.
v.
MARIANNE T. O'TOOLE, as Chapter 7 Trustee of the Estate of Leatherstocking Antiques, Inc., Appellee. RUBIN STERNGASS, Appellant,

OPINION AND ORDER

EDGARDO RAMOS, District Judge.

Pro se Appellant Rubin Sterngass ("Sterngass" or "Appellant") appeals from a May 13, 2013 Order (the "Order") of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, Judge Robert D. Drain. Doc. 1.[1] The Order approves an August 20, 2012 stipulation (the "Winston Stipulation") between the Chapter 7 Trustee of the Estate of Leatherstocking Antiques, Inc. ("Leatherstocking" or the "Estate") and one of the Estate's creditors, Winston Capital, LLC ("Winston"). Bankr. Doc. 165. The Order was entered over Appellant's objection, and this appeal followed. By separate motion, and as will be discussed in more detail below, Appellant also seeks relief in the form of reconsideration, a temporary restraining order, and an injunction. Doc. 7. For the reasons set forth below, the Bankruptcy Court's Order is AFFIRMED and Appellant's motion is DENIED.

I. Background

On April 13, 2010, Leatherstocking[2] filed a voluntary petition for relief under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code. Bankr. Doc. 1. On Schedule "A" to its petition, Leatherstocking listed a fee simple interest in the following six properties (collectively, the "Properties"):

• 701-705 A Route 9W, Valley Cottage, New York 10989 (the "701-705 A Property");
• 707-709 Route 9W, Valley Cottage, New York 10989 (the "707-709 Property");
• 17 High Street, Valley Cottage, New York 10989 (the "17 High Property");
• 719 Route 9W, Valley Cottage, New York 10989 (the "719 Property");
• 741 Route 9W, Valley Cottage, New York 10989 (the "741 Property"); and
• 749 Route 9W, Valley Cottage, New York 10989 (the "749 Property").

Id. Schedule "D" lists Winston as a secured creditor holding an $800, 000 disputed first mortgage secured by certain of the Properties. Id.

Approximately two years later, on May 18, 2012, Leatherstocking's case was converted from Chapter 11 to Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code (the "Conversion Order"). Bankr. Doc. 70. By operation of law, the Conversion Order became a final, non-appealable Order on June 1, 2012. Subsequent to the Conversion Order, the Trustee was appointed as the interim Chapter 7 Trustee, then duly qualified, and is now the permanent Trustee of Leatherstocking's estate. Bankr. Doc. 71.

On July 27, 2012, the Trustee moved for entry of an Order authorizing the sale of the Properties pursuant to Bankruptcy Code §§ 105 and 363 and Bankruptcy Rules 2002 and 6004 (the "Sale Motion"), Bankr. Doc. 89, and caused a notice of sale of the properties (the "Notice of Sale") to be filed with the court. Bankr. Doc. 91. The Notice of Sale provided notice to all interested parties of the Trustee's intended public auction sale of the Properties, the date, time, and location of the auction sale, the terms and conditions of the auction sale, and the deadline for objections to be filed to the auction sale. Id. Sterngass objected to the Notice of Sale. Bankr. Docs. 97, 99.

The auction sale was held on August 21, 2012. On that same date, a hearing was held before the Bankruptcy Court. See Bankr. Doc. 115. Sterngass appeared and argued against the Sale Motion. See id. The Bankruptcy Court approved the Sale Motion over his objections and, on August 24, 2012, entered three Orders approving the sales ("the Sale Orders"). Bankr. Docs. 101-103. Sterngass did not seek or obtain stays of the Sale Orders pending appeal.

On September 17, 2012, the Trustee closed on the sales of the 17 High Property, the 741 Property and the 749 Property. On September 21, 2012, the Trustee closed on the sales of the 719 Property, the 701-705 A Property and the 707-709 Property. This Court dismissed Sterngass's subsequent appeal of the Sale Orders as statutorily and equitably moot. In re ...


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