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August 13, 2009

Los Angeles Superior Court Furloughs

Starting September 16 and continuing for at least one year, all Superior and Appellate Courts in the State will be closed on the third Wednesday of the month.  This will be an actual closure.  The Courts, including those in Los Angeles County, will be considered closed on the third Wednesday of the month, there will be no drop box for filing and the day will NOT count as a court day for deadline calculations. 

August 13, 2009 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

LACB Kick Off Party at the Jonathan Club Malibu



To:  LACBA Commercial Law & Bankruptcy Section Executive Committee
LACBA Bankruptcy Committee
LACBA Commercial Law Committee
Debtor Assistance Project Committee
Financial Lawyers Conference Executive Board.

Please plan to attend the LACBA Commercial Law & Bankruptcy Section’s annual party. This year’s soiree, as in years past, will be a wonderful opportunity to enjoy great food, drink and company.

 When:  Sunday, September 13, 2009

Where:  Jonathan Beach Club, 850 Palisades Beach Road, Santa Monica, CA 90403 Please note that the club has a “no cell phone use” policy and that smoking is prohibited. Parking may be available in the adjacent main parking lot. If the main lot is full, the overflow parking lot is immediately north of the club.

Time:  4-7 p.m.
Cost:  $60.00 - Members
$30.00 - Judges, federal employees, employees of nonprofit organizations 

Please make your reservations as early as possible by returning the registration section below, along with a check made payable to Catherine Bauer-CL&B Party (DO NOT MAKE THE CHECKS PAYABLE TO THE BAR ASSOCIATION). Mail your check to: Catherine Bauer, U.S. Attorney’s Office, 300 N. Los Angeles St., Rm 7516, Los Angeles, CA 90012. If you have any questions, please call Catherine at 213-894-3038 or e-mail her at Catherine.Bauer@usdoj.gov

August 13, 2009 in Programs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 11, 2009

Lenny Dykstra

My fleeting moment of fame:



August 11, 2009 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 10, 2009

Delaware Filings in July, 2009









I started wondering about how many cases were filed in Delaware in July, 2009 to give us in the Central District some perspective.  The above table says 223 chapter 7s were filed in July, -0- individual chapter 11s, 193 total chapter 11s, 66 chapter 13s, -0- chapter 9s, and 5 chapter 15s.  Remember Delaware has only one bankruptcy court district.









How 'bout Manhatten, Southern District of New York?  There were 877 chapter 7s (compared to 7,761 in the Central District of California); 8 individual chapter 11s, 53 total chapter 11, 184 chapter 13s, 1 chapter 9, and 1 chapter 15.









This is the Central District of California numbers.  Ch 7 - 7,761; individual ch 11 - 33, total ch 11 - 71, 2,053 ch 13, no 9s and no 15s.   

The second highest number of chapter 7s is in Florida, 4,153.  Only three other districts (out of 95) had more than 3,000; Eastern Michigan, Northern Ill, and Eastern California.

Thanks to the Bankruptcy Data Project. 

August 10, 2009 in Bankruptcy Statistics | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Central District Filings in July

In July, 2009, the Central District saw 9,886 filings compared to 9,578 in June, 8,965 in May, 8,398 in April, 8,518 in March, 6,967 in February and 5,999 in January.  That is 58,436 for the first seven months compared 33,396 for the same seven months last year or a 75% increase.   

Chapter 13s were 2,053 compared to 2,287 in June, 1,988 in May - 21% of total filings - roughly the same percentage as the last four months.  That is 411 new petitions per trustee for the month.     

There were 71 new chapter 11 petition compared to 110 in June and 66 in May.  Individuals filed 33 of the chapter 11 petitions in July.    

This info can be found at the Bankruptcy Data Project.   

August 10, 2009 in Bankruptcy Statistics | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

August 9, 2009

New Case on Household Size

In re Bostwick,  406 B.R. 867 (Bkrtcy, Minn 2009)

Issue:   May the debtor claim a “household of two” when she lives in a single family residence with an unrelated individual as roommates and nothing more?  Must she include the roommate’ share of the rent and utilities in her current monthly income?         

Holding:      Yes, it is a household of two.   Yes as to the utilities but no as to the rent.     

Judge Robert J. Kressel:
The chapter 13 debtor lives in a house with a guy but they have separate leases, separate bedrooms, and do not share food, toiletries etc.  They share the common areas of the home.  They split the utilities but nothing else.  The home has a third bedroom which is vacant waiting for the owner to find a third lessee.  The debtor claimed a household of two which made her a below-median debtor.  She did not include any of his income in her CMI.  She proposed a 36 month plan.  The trustee objected saying it was a household of one putting her above-median and therefore must be a 60 month plan.  The trustee also said the CMI must include the roommate’s share of the rent and utilities.

The bankruptcy judge overruled the objections.  He said the roommate’s share of the utilities must be included in CMI because they shared the cost but the rent was not shared because they had separate leases.  With the utilities, the debtor was still below-median. 

As to the household size, Judge Kressel wrote: 

I have previously addressed the meaning of “household” in the context of § 1325(b)(4) and concluded that because [the code] defines the ‘median family income’ as ‘the median family income both calculated and reported by the Bureau of the Census,’ ” it is only fair to use the Census Bureau's definition of household: “all of the people, related and unrelated, who occupy a housing unit.” (citing U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey (2004), available at http:// www. census. gov/ population/ www/ cps/ cpsdef. html).  Generally, a single-family home shared by unrelated persons is a single housing unit whose occupants comprise a single household, and the residence shared by Bostwick and Weis is no exception.  The relationship among residents is not a consideration in the Census Bureau's definition, and nothing in the Bankruptcy Code compels unique treatment for households comprised of unrelated members.

The Census Bureau considers whether “A house, an apartment or other group of rooms, or a single room, ... is occupied or intended for occupancy as separate living quarters; that is, when the occupants do not live and eat with any other persons in the structure and there is direct access from the outside or through a common hall”  The criteria of separateness and direct access are not met here.

Although Bostwick and Weis each are entitled to private use of some parts of the house-each has a separate bedroom, storage area and parking stall-it remains a single-family home, with a shared bathroom, kitchen, living room, yard, and laundry.  The trustee argues that the separate leases and separate bedrooms have transformed the single-family home into a rooming house, but Bostwick lives with Weis as two ordinary roommates might, despite their separate leases.  Because of the layout of the house, it is not possible for Bostwick to enter her bedroom without passing by their living room or kitchen.  There is no direct access from the outside.  There are times that they are both in the kitchen or living room.  They do not eat together, but they share a refrigerator, a microwave oven and a stove. Bostwick must cross Weis's basement storage space to get to the laundry machines.  None of this rises to the level of “separateness” that the Census Bureau's definition of housing unit requires. In fact, the Census Bureau's definition specifically includes “unrelated people sharing a housing unit such as partners or roomers” Id. (“A household includes ... all the unrelated people, if any, such as lodgers, foster children, wards, or employees who share the housing unit. A person living alone in a housing unit, or a group of unrelated people sharing a housing unit such as partners or roomers, is also counted as a household.”).

Although the Census Bureau excepts “group quarters” from its definition of “household,” the exception is limited to unusual housing situations unlike the common roommate situation presented in this case.  According to the Census Bureau, group quarters are “noninstitutional living arrangements for groups not living in conventional housing units or groups living in housing units containing ten or more unrelated people or nine or more people unrelated to the person in charge.” Id. Bostwick and Weis, despite their separate leases, are a single household for the purposes of 11 U.S.C. § 1325(b)(4), and Bostwick is entitled to claim a household of two.

August 9, 2009 in Other Circuit Briefs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack