Debtor is the stepfather and adoptive father of Allison whom he video recorded in various stages of undress. Allison sued the Debtor in state court, which granted her a judgment against the Debtor for assault and battery, invasion of privacy and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The court awarded Allison a substantial monetary award which included punitive damages.
The Debtor filed Bankruptcy and scheduled the debt based on the state court judgment.
Allison filed an adversary proceeding under 11 USC 523(a)(6) seeking a determination that the debt based on the state court judgment arose from a willful and malicious injury and is therefore excepted from any Discharge the Court grants the Debtor. The Debtor filed a Motion for Summary Judgment (MSJ) based on issue preclusion.
The Debtor opposed the MSJ, averring that the state court granted a judgment on the issue of his liability based on a default–that the Debtor did failed to answer the state court complaint and waived his defenses. Accordingly, the Debtor argued that the issue of his liability was never litigated in state court and that the Bankruptcy Court is therefore not precluded from making its own determination of his liability.