611 B.R. 1 (Bkrtcy.D.Conn. 2020), 19-50934 (JAM), In re Caires

Docket Nº:19-50934 (JAM)
Citation:611 B.R. 1
Opinion Judge:Julie A. Manning, Chief United States Bankruptcy Judge
Party Name:IN RE: Richard CAIRES, Debtor. v. Richard Caires, Respondent. JP Morgan Chase Bank, NA, Movant,
Attorney:Brian D. Rich, Esq. Halloran & Sage LLP 225 Asylum Street Hartford, CT 06103, Attorney for the Movant Mr. Richard Caires, Pro se Debtor
Case Date:January 29, 2020
Court:United States Bankruptcy Courts, Second Circuit

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611 B.R. 1 (Bkrtcy.D.Conn. 2020)

IN RE: Richard CAIRES, Debtor.

JP Morgan Chase Bank, NA, Movant,

v.

Richard Caires, Respondent.

No. 19-50934 (JAM)

United States Bankruptcy Court, D. Connecticut

January 29, 2020

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Brian D. Rich, Esq. Halloran & Sage LLP 225 Asylum Street Hartford, CT 06103, Attorney for the Movant

Mr. Richard Caires, Pro se Debtor

RE: ECF No. 33

MEMORANDUM OF DECISION AND ORDER GRANTING MOTION FOR RELIEF FROM AUTOMATIC STAY

Julie A. Manning, Chief United States Bankruptcy Judge

On July 12, 2019, Richard Caires (the "Debtor") filed a Chapter 7 petition in this Court. On September 13, 2019, JP Morgan Chase, National Association ("JP Morgan") filed a Motion for Relief from Stay seeking relief pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § § 362(d)(1) and (2), and in rem relief pursuant to § 362(d)(4) (the "Motion for Relief from Stay"). ECF No. 33. The Debtor filed an Objection to the Motion for Relief from Stay (the "Objection"). ECF No. 37. A hearing on the Motion for Relief from Stay was held on October 15, 2019. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Court allowed the parties to file any additional information regarding the relief sought in the Motion for Relief from Stay by October 22, 2019, which the parties did. The Motion for Relief from Stay is now ripe for adjudication. For the reasons set forth below, the Court grants the Motion for Relief from Stay.

I. Background 1

1. In December 2006, the Debtor purchased the real property known as 634 North Street, Greenwich, Connecticut (the "Property"). On August 1 and 2, 2007, the

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Debtor executed an Adjustable Rate Note in the original amount of $5,500,000.00 (the "Note"), a Construction Loan Addendum to the Note, and an Open-End Mortgage Deed (the "Mortgage") in favor of Washington Mutual Bank, FA ("WaMu"). See Exhibit A to Motion for Relief from Stay.

2. JP Morgan is the holder and owner of the Note by assignment from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation acting in its receivership capacity as receiver for WaMu. See Exhibits A and L to Motion for Relief from Stay. Therefore, JP Morgan is a party in interest pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 362(d) and is entitled to seek the relief set forth in the Motion for Relief from Stay.

3. The Debtor has been in default on the Note since August 1, 2009. The Motion for Relief from Stay asserts that the Debtor is indebted to JP Morgan in amount not less than $8,388,165.12 and the fair market value of the Property is $6,600,000.00. See Exhibits L and N to Motion for Relief from Stay.

A. The Debtor’s action against JP Morgan

4. On November 24, 2009, the Debtor commenced an action against JP Morgan in the Connecticut Superior Court seeking: (i) damages arising from alleged fraud and violation of the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act; and (ii) to estop JP Morgan from foreclosing upon the Property. Richard Caires v. JP Morgan Chase Bank, CV-09-6002651 (the "Debtor’s action against JP Morgan").

5. On December 30, 2009, the Debtor’s action against JP Morgan was removed by JP Morgan to the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut. Caires v. JP Morgan Chase Bank, No. 3:09-CV-02142 (VLB).

6. On October 21, 2010, JP Morgan filed a counterclaim against the Debtor seeking foreclosure of the Property.

7. On July 23, 2012, the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut granted JP Morgan’s Motion to Dismiss all of the Debtor’s claims. Finding it lacked jurisdiction over the counterclaim, it also remanded the foreclosure counterclaim to the Connecticut Superior Court (the "Superior Court Foreclosure Action").

B. The Superior Court Foreclosure Action and the Debtor’s First Chapter 13 case

8. Between September 11, 2012 and November 3, 2014, several pre-trial motions were considered in the Superior Court Foreclosure Action and no fewer than six continuances of the trial date were granted. Four of those six continuances occurred after the Debtor’s then counsel of record withdrew from representing the Debtor. The last of the six continuances scheduled trial for November 5, 2014.

9. On November 3, 2014, the Debtor, represented by counsel, filed a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case in this Court (the "Debtor’s First Chapter 13 case"). In re Richard Caires, No. 14-51678. The filing of the Debtor’s First Chapter 13 case triggered the automatic stay provided by 11 U.S.C. § 362(a) and therefore stayed the November 5th trial.

10. On January 15, 2015, this Court held a hearing on the confirmation of the Debtor’s Chapter 13 Plan. The Chapter 13 Plan was not confirmed. Instead, the case was dismissed because the Chapter 13 Plan contained no information— the Debtor did nothing other than sign and file the Chapter 13 Plan. The Chapter 13 Plan was therefore completely deficient. Furthermore, although the Debtor filed the required Current Statement of Monthly

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Income and Calculation of Commitment Period and Disposable Income (the "Statement of Current Monthly Income"), the Debtor stated that his income was $0.00.

11. After dismissal of the Debtor’s First Chapter 13 case, a series of status conferences were held in the Superior Court Foreclosure Action.

12. In June 2015, the Debtor appealed certain interlocutory rulings in the Superior Court Foreclosure Action to the Connecticut Appellate Court. Richard Caires v. JP Morgan Chase Bank, NA, AC 38096.

13. On December 2, 2015, the Connecticut Appellate Court granted JP Morgan’s Motion to Dismiss the Debtor’s appeal.

14. On December 8, 2015, the parties in the Superior Court Foreclosure Action were directed to agree to a trial date in February 2016.

15. On February 3, 2016, the Debtor’s then counsel filed a Motion to Withdraw appearance, which was granted.

16. On February 11, 2016, the Superior Court rescheduled trial for April 12, 2016.

17. On April 5, 2016, the Debtor requested a continuance of the trial scheduled for April 12, 2016. On April 11, 2016, the Superior Court denied the Debtor’s request.

C. The Southern District of New York Removal Action

18. On April 11, 2016, after the Debtor’s request to continue the trial was denied and the day before trial was scheduled to begin, the Debtor filed a Notice of Removal of the Superior Court Foreclosure Action to the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (the "Southern District of New York Removal Action"). Caires v. JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A., No. 1:16-CV-02694 (GBD)(RLE).

19. On April 14, 2016, the matters in the Southern District of New York Removal Action were referred to a United States Magistrate Judge.

20. On November 4, 2016, the United States Magistrate Judge issued a Report and Recommendation finding that the Southern District of New York Removal Action should be remanded to the Superior Court.

21. On January 27, 2017, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York adopted the United States Magistrate Judges...

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3 practice notes
  • In re Conrad, 041620 CTBC, 20-50021 (JAM)
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States Bankruptcy Courts Second Circuit
    • April 16, 2020
    ...Bankruptcy Code, cause has been found to include non-payment of a debt or a lack of adequate protection. See In re Caires, 611 B.R. 1, 6-7 (Bankr. D. Conn. 2020) (finding cause to grant relief from the automatic stay where the debtor failed to pay a note and mortgag......
  • In re Caires, 011521 CTDC, 3:20-cv-00164 (JAM)
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts 2nd Circuit District of Connecticut
    • January 15, 2021
    ...summarize below the principal facts and conclusions as set forth in Chief Judge Manning's lengthy decision. See In re Caires, 611 B.R. 1 (Bankr. D. Conn. In 2006 Caires purchased the Greenwich property for more than $5 million. At some point after the original lender was......
  • In re Yokoi, 050720 CTBC, 20-50193 (JAM)
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States Bankruptcy Courts Second Circuit
    • May 7, 2020
    ..."cause" is not defined in the Bankruptcy Code, it has been found to include non-payment of a debt. See In re Caires, 611 B.R. 1, 6-7 (Bankr. D. Conn. 2020) (finding cause to grant relief from the automatic stay where the debtor failed to pay a note and mortgage......
3 cases
  • In re Conrad, 041620 CTBC, 20-50021 (JAM)
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States Bankruptcy Courts Second Circuit
    • April 16, 2020
    ...Bankruptcy Code, cause has been found to include non-payment of a debt or a lack of adequate protection. See In re Caires, 611 B.R. 1, 6-7 (Bankr. D. Conn. 2020) (finding cause to grant relief from the automatic stay where the debtor failed to pay a note and mortgag......
  • In re Caires, 011521 CTDC, 3:20-cv-00164 (JAM)
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States District Courts 2nd Circuit District of Connecticut
    • January 15, 2021
    ...summarize below the principal facts and conclusions as set forth in Chief Judge Manning's lengthy decision. See In re Caires, 611 B.R. 1 (Bankr. D. Conn. In 2006 Caires purchased the Greenwich property for more than $5 million. At some point after the original lender was......
  • In re Yokoi, 050720 CTBC, 20-50193 (JAM)
    • United States
    • Federal Cases United States Bankruptcy Courts Second Circuit
    • May 7, 2020
    ..."cause" is not defined in the Bankruptcy Code, it has been found to include non-payment of a debt. See In re Caires, 611 B.R. 1, 6-7 (Bankr. D. Conn. 2020) (finding cause to grant relief from the automatic stay where the debtor failed to pay a note and mortgage......