Articles Posted in Maine Supreme Judicial Court

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In 2008, Richard and Suzan Collins were divorced. In 2009, the court issued an amended judgment that contained an order of enforcement. In 2014, the court held Richard in contempt for failing to comply with the payment obligations created by the 2009 order. Two months after the court issued the contempt order, Richard filed a petition for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Later that year, the Bankruptcy Court issued a discharge in bankruptcy. Suzan then filed a request for a show cause hearing, asserting that Richard had not made the payments required by the 2014 contempt order. Richard moved to dismiss Suzan’s request for the show cause hearing on the grounds that, aside from his child support debt, all of his financial obligations had been discharged in the bankruptcy action. After a show cause hearing, the district court denied Richard’s motion to dismiss and confirmed his payment obligations as ordered in the contempt order. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed, holding that Richard’s obligations under the divorce judgment were statutorily insulated from a post-judgment bankruptcy discharge, and Richard remained liable to Suzan and for payments to a third-party creditor. Therefore, the district court did not err by enforcing the contempt order that pre-dated the bankruptcy discharge. View "Collins v. Collins" on Justia Law

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In 2008, Richard and Suzan Collins were divorced. In 2009, the court issued an amended judgment that contained an order of enforcement. In 2014, the court held Richard in contempt for failing to comply with the payment obligations created by the 2009 order. Two months after the court issued the contempt order, Richard filed a petition for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Later that year, the Bankruptcy Court issued a discharge in bankruptcy. Suzan then filed a request for a show cause hearing, asserting that Richard had not made the payments required by the 2014 contempt order. Richard moved to dismiss Suzan’s request for the show cause hearing on the grounds that, aside from his child support debt, all of his financial obligations had been discharged in the bankruptcy action. After a show cause hearing, the district court denied Richard’s motion to dismiss and confirmed his payment obligations as ordered in the contempt order. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed, holding that Richard’s obligations under the divorce judgment were statutorily insulated from a post-judgment bankruptcy discharge, and Richard remained liable to Suzan and for payments to a third-party creditor. Therefore, the district court did not err by enforcing the contempt order that pre-dated the bankruptcy discharge. View "Collins v. Collins" on Justia Law

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In 2012, Plaintiff, a church located in Portland, filed a complaint seeking a state court judgment based on a bankruptcy court judgment that it obtained in 1985, under a former name, against Defendant. During the pendency of the state court action, Plaintiff also moved for a writ of execution on the original bankruptcy judgment. Defendant counterclaimed against Plaintiff and its pastor. The district court issued an order directing the issuance of a writ and then granted judgment on the pleadings in favor of Plaintiff on both its complaint and Defendant’s counterclaim. The Supreme Judicial Court vacated the execution order and the judgment, holding (1) the district court correctly denied Defendant’s motion to dismiss Plaintiff’s complaint seeking a judgment on the bankruptcy court judgment; but (2) the district court erred by ordering that an execution issue, granting judgment on the pleadings, and dismissing Defendant’s claims against Plaintiff’s pastor. View "Faith Temple v. DiPietro" on Justia Law