Bankruptcy Court Rules that Pre-Petition Guilty Plea and Civil Judgment Not Collateral Estoppel in Subsequent Dischargeability Proceeding

Bankruptcy Court Rules that Pre-Petition Guilty Plea and Civil Judgment Not Collateral Estoppel in Subsequent Dischargeability Proceeding

On April 25, 2019 the Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Illinois ruled on several issues concerning a dischargeability complaint filed against the Debtor.

Prior to filing bankruptcy, the Debtor was involved in a physical fight with the Creditor (Salgado). The result of the fight is that Salgado lost the vision in his right eye. The parties disagree who caused the injury.

Two months later, Debtor was arrested. He accepted a deal to plead guilty to a misdemeanor battery to avoid a felony charge and jail time. Furthermore, he couldn’t afford to fight the charges.

After the criminal case finished, Salgado filed a civil case against the Debtor in state court. The Debtor proceeded pro se in the civil case and filed an answer to the complaint and a response to a motion for summary determination. The state court held a hearing, but the evidence presented (to the bankruptcy court) didn’t indicate that the Debtor was present or whether the state court held a hearing on the motion for summary determination or the merits of the complaint itself. The state court entered a judgment against the Debtor in the amount of $500,000.00.

Subsequently the Debtor filed bankruptcy. Salgado filed a dischargeability complaint under 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(6) for willful and malicious injury. Salgado asked the bankruptcy court to find that issue preclusion barred the Debtor from disputing that he struck Salgado. Debtor argued that he shouldn’t be precluded from disputing issues raised in the prior cases because they weren’t actually litigated and he lacked a full and fair opportunity to be heard.

Log In to READ MORE

Please note, in order to view NACBA Member Content, you must sign in and then visit NEWS. If you are not a NACBA member, you may Become a NACBA Member 

No Comments

Post a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.