Creditor’s Removal of Pre-petition State Court Case to Bankruptcy Court Violated the Automatic Stay

Creditor’s Removal of Pre-petition State Court Case to Bankruptcy Court Violated the Automatic Stay

This adversary proceeding is before the Court on the Court’s own motion.

On October 26, 2017, Defendant/Counter-Plaintiff Frank Farnese (“Defendant Farnese”) commenced this adversary proceeding by removing to this Court the “State Court Case”). The removal was predicated on 28 U.S.C. § 1452(a).

Plaintiff  is the Debtor in a pending Chapter 7 bankruptcy case. That bankruptcy case has been pending since December 14, 2014, when Plaintiff filed his voluntary Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition. On August 17, 2015, the Court entered an order of discharge in Plaintiff’s bankruptcy case.

In the State Court Case, Defendant  filed counterclaims against the Plaintiff/Debtor, which included four numbered Counts, seeking damages, among other relief. Both the State Court Case and Defendant Farnese’s counterclaims were filed before Plaintiff filed his bankruptcy case, and raise claims and counterclaims that arose before the bankruptcy case was filed. The claims made by Plaintiff in the State Court Case are property of the bankruptcy estate in Plaintiff’s pending bankruptcy estate. All the claims and counterclaims remained pending in the State Court Case at the time Defendant Farnese filed his notice of removal in this Court.

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