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The District of Utah offers a database of opinions for the years 1979 to Current, listed by year and judge. For a more detailed search, enter the keyword or case number in the search box above.

Opinion Archive

Click here to view the Court's Opinions in reverse Chronological order.

Title: First Am. Title Ins. Co. v. Smith (In re Smith) | Date: Sep-5-2019 | Status: PUBLISHED (Judge Anderson) | Case(s): 17-02076

Following entry of a judgment in favor of the Plaintiffs on the Plaintiffs' SS 523(a)(6) claim, the parties disputed the amount of attorney fees and costs and post-judgment interest that should be included in the non-dischargeable debt amount. The Court held that the attorney fees and costs awarded to the Plaintiffs previously by the District Court were non-dischargeable. As to Plaintiffs' attorney fees and costs incurred in prosecuting its nondischargeability action, the Court found no statutory basis to award fees and costs and found that the American Rule precluded such an award because the action arose in tort rather than contract. The Court found that the interest rate set forth in the District Court's previous judgment remained the rate of interest on the non-dischargeable District Court judgment.

Title: J. Hoyt Stephenson et al v. Thrive National Corp et al (In re Thrive National Corp. and Thrive Systems, Inc.) | Date: Aug-12-2019 | Status: PUBLISHED (Judge Anderson) | Case(s): 18-02076

After evaluating the factors of permissive abstention set forth in 28 U.S.C. Section 1334(c)(1) and In re Commercial Fiv. Servs., Inc., 251 B.R. 414 (Bankr. N.D. Okla. 2009), the Court in its discretion opted to exercise permissive abstention.

Title: Bird v. Wardley (In re White) | Date: Jul-11-2019 | Status: PUBLISHED (Judge Anderson) | Case(s): 16-02089

Trustee could not use statute of frauds and SS 544 to avoid a personal guaranty because it was an affirmative defense unique to the debtor. Further, the trustee could not step into the shoes of the debtor under SS 541 to assert the statute of frauds because the debtor previously waived the defense to the guaranty when he paid it. The case also discusses the Main Purpose and Partial Performance exceptions to the statute of frauds. Finally, the effective date stated in the guaranty controlled even though it was signed some months later. The Court thus rejected the trustee's theories to avoid the guaranty obligation.

Title: First Am. Title Ins. Co. v. Smith (In re Smith) | Date: Jul-10-2019 | Status: PUBLISHED (Judge Anderson) | Case(s): 17-02076

Debtor started company and took key employees that directly competed with his employer, resulting in damages to former employer. Court held debt was non-dischargeable under 11 U.S.C. SS 523(a)(6), finding that debtor willfully and maliciously injured creditor.

Title: In re Hazlett | Date: Apr-10-2019 | Status: PUBLISHED (Judge Anderson) | Case(s): 16-30360

Sanctions were not warranted against debtor's attorney for use of bifurcated fee agreement in Chapter 7 case because there were adequate disclosures, fees were reasonable, and process did not harm debtor, but instead facilitated debtor's ability to afford legal counsel to receive a discharge.

Title: In re Sugarloaf Holdings, LLC | Date: Apr-2-2019 | Status: PUBLISHED (Judge Anderson) | Case(s): 18-27705

Debtor's appraiser did not file an application to be employed before performing services; thus, Court disallowed fees incurred before filing of application. In addition, appraiser did not establish extraodinary or exceptional circumstances to support a grant of nunc pro tunc relief.

Title: Valadez v. Salazar (In re Salazar) | Date: Jan-18-2019 | Status: PUBLISHED (Judge Anderson) | Case(s): 17-02005

Debtor borrowed money from plaintiff and gave him the certificate of title to her car as collateral. Debtor then fraudulently obtained duplicate title and used it to secure other loans. Based on this and other misconduct, the Court found debt to be nondischargeable under SS 523(a)(2)(A) for actual fraud.

Title: In re Traylor | Date: Jan-10-2019 | Status: PUBLISHED (Judge Anderson) | Case(s): 18-23314

The Court sustained trustee's objection to confirmation of chapter 13 plan, holding that the debtors may not take the vehicle ownership deduction on the Mean Test for a title loan on their vehicle.

Title: In re Kelley | Date: Jan-4-2019 | Status: PUBLISHED (Judge Anderson) | Case(s): 17-29915

The Court granted debtors' motion for sanctions, holding that creditor (Vivint) had actual notice of the bankruptcy and was willfully violating the automatic stay under SS 362(k) when it continued to contact the debtors for collection and ultimately assigned the debt to a collection agency for legal action. Vivint received five notices from the Bankruptcy Noticing Center but claimed it had no notice of the debtor's filing. The Court awarded compensatory and punitive damages, along with attorney's fees and costs.

Title: In re Kiley | Date: Dec-4-2018 | Status: PUBLISHED (Judge Anderson) | Case(s): 15-27838

One day before bankruptcy filing, a divorce mediation awarded debtor one-half of value of ex-spouse's retirement account (essentially a lump sum, cash award). A few weeks later, the divorce court entered its order dividing the couple's marital property. The bankruptcy court held that an interest in marital property remains inchoate until the divorce court makes a formal division of the marital property. Because the debtor's interest in the value of the retirement account became choate within 180 days of the bankruptcy filing, it was property of bankruptcy estate subject to administration by the trustee. The decision also discusses the Utah exemption of interest in a retirement plan and a qualified domestic support obligation.