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Opinions


    In re Choy (14-21411) (April 2014) -- Judge G.M. Halfenger
    Debtors, with only one prior dismissal, who did not file motion to continue the automatic stay under 362(c)(3) in time to have it heard and decided within 30 days did not have standing to move to impose the automatic stay under 362(c)(4).


    In re Eckerstorfer (13-26186) (March 2014) -- Judge G.M. Halfenger
    The court sustained, in part, the debtor's ex-wife's objection to confirmation of the debtor's chapter 13 plan and overruled the debtor's objection to his ex-wife's proof of claim, concluding that (i) the plan's proposed treatment of the maintenance arrears owed to the debtor's ex-wife did not comply with 11 U.S.C. §1322(a)(2), and (ii) the debtor did not have a right of setoff under Wisconsin law that would allow him to reduce the amount of his ex-wife's proof of claim.


    In re Jones (13-33118) (January 2014) -- Judge G.M. Halfenger
    The court denied chapter 13 debtor's application to employ special counsel as unnecessary, finding that 327 applies only to trustees.


    In re Perry, et al (13-23897) (October 2013) -- Judge G.M. Halfenger
    Order overruling debtors' post-confirmation claim objections.


    In re Robles (13-21328) (August 2013) -- Judge G.M. Halfenger
    Order denying debtor's post-confirmation claim objection.


    In re Heyden (13-29991) (August 2013) -- Judge G.M. Halfenger
    Order denying motion to shorten notice period for failure to demonstrate cause that also discusses claimed "ministerial act" exception to automatic stay.


    In re Itsines (13-21980) (July 2013) -- Judge G.M. Halfenger
    Order denying mortgagee's request for abandonment and fees.


    In re Groce (13-21951) (April 2013) -- Judge G.M. Halfenger
    The debtor, after paying the prescribed filing fee installment, sought reconsideration of an order denying her fee waiver application. The court denied the reconsideration motion because the debtor, who supplied no additional evidence and made no showing of legal error, failed to meet the applicable standard. The order further discusses the showing needed to justify a discretionary waiver of the filing fee, see In re Williams, and cautions that filing facially incredible schedules weighs against the grant of a fee waiver.


    In re Williams (13-22403) (April 2013) -- Judge G.M. Halfenger
    This decision explains Judge Halfenger's fee-waiver methodology and why he denied this debtor's application to waive the chapter 7 filing fee. When considering applications to waive the filing fee, Judge Halfenger begins with the statutory fee-waiver requirements: (1) whether the debtor's income falls below 150% of the applicable official income poverty line, and (2) whether the debtor is unable to pay the filing fee in installments. If the debtor's submission establishes that she meets these criteria, the grant of a fee waiver becomes a matter of judicial discretion. In exercising this discretion, Judge Halfenger considers whether there is reason to believe that the debtor faces special circumstances such that a bankruptcy discharge will afford her benefits beyond relief from typical collection efforts. In this case, although the debtor's income was below 150% of the income official poverty line, she did not show that she was unable to pay the filing fee in installments or that a discharge would provide unusual benefits.


    In re Johnson (13-22870) (April 2013) -- Judge G.M. Halfenger
    The Court dismissed the debtor's case after he failed to pay the first filing fee installment. One day later, the debtor filed a motion to vacate the order of dismissal, reinstate the case, and extend the time to pay the filing fee. The motion, which was supported only by a hand-written letter of the debtor, asserted that the debtor could not timely pay the filing fee because he could not recover previously garnished funds and other bills were due. The Court denied the motion on two independently sufficient grounds: (1) the debtor failed to pay the $306 filing fee with the motion, a condition of vacatur imposed by the dismissal order, and (2) the reasons provided did not explain how the missed payment was the result of excusable neglect, as required by Rules 9024 and 9006(b)(1).