Under California law, it is well-established that parties only get “one bite of the apple.” In other words, they only have one chance to assert a claim, and if they receive an unfavorable verdict, they cannot attempt to relitigate the claim before another court. This was demonstrated in a recent bankruptcy ruling, in which the court affirmed the dismissal of a debtor’s adversary proceeding. If you are interested in seeking debt relief, it is in your best interest to contact a trusted California bankruptcy lawyer to evaluate your options.
The Procedural History of the Case
It is alleged that the debtor filed a pro se adversary proceeding against the defendant. The details regarding her filing were not reported by the court. Regardless, the defendant filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that the claims asserted had previously been litigated. The bankruptcy court granted the motion and dismissed the debtor’s proceeding. She appealed, and the bankruptcy appellate panel affirmed the bankruptcy court’s decision. The debtor then appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The Court of Appeals ultimately affirmed the bankruptcy appellate panel’s decision.
The Law of the Case
In its opinion, the Court of Appeals explained that it reviewed bankruptcy appellate panel decisions de novo and applied the same standard of review that the panel applied to the bankruptcy court’s opinion. In doing so, the Court of Appeals ultimately determined that the bankruptcy court and panel ruled correctly. Continue reading