In bankruptcy actions, there is an automatic stay preventing parties from pursuing any claims against the debtor. If a person violates the automatic stay, the debtor may be able to pursue an adversary complaint against the person. Such complaints must be adequately specific, however, otherwise, they will most likely be dismissed, as illustrated in a recent California bankruptcy case. If you have questions about whether bankruptcy is right for you, it is advisable to contact a California bankruptcy lawyer as soon as possible.
Facts of the Case
It is alleged that in 2017, the debtor filed a suit against her neighbors regarding a property line dispute, which was later dismissed. In 2019, she filed a second suit, adding additional defendants. After several legal actions in both federal and state courts, the debtor filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy on the eve of a libel action filed against her by one of the defendants. The debtor did not inform the state court of her bankruptcy during the proceedings.
Reportedly, the debtor later filed an adversary complaint in the bankruptcy court, asserting various claims, including willful violations of the automatic stay, fraud, RICO violations, and quiet title. The bankruptcy court denied the debtor’s motion for contempt against the neighbor, and subsequently, Appellees filed a motion to dismiss the adversary complaint with prejudice, arguing insufficiency of factual allegations. The court granted the motion, stating that the debtor failed to state a claim and that any amendment would be futile. The debtor appealed.