Smith v. Charter Communications, Inc., 020312 FED9, 10-55831
|Party Name:||CLIFFORD JAMES SMITH, Plaintiff - Appellant, v. CHARTER COMMUNICATIONS, INC. (ST. LOUIS); PAUL ALLEN, Chaiman of the Board Charter Communications, Defendants-Appellees.|
|Judge Panel:||Before: HUG, SKOPIL, and BEEZER, Circuit Judges.|
|Case Date:||February 03, 2012|
|Court:||United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit|
NOT FOR PUBLICATION
Submitted September 26, 2011 [**] San Francisco, California
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Central District of California No. 2:09-cv-03716-RGK-AGR, R. Gary Klausner, District Judge, Presiding.
Clifford James Smith appeals pro se the district court's order dismissing his case. Smith's complaint alleged that Paul Allen and Charter Communications, Inc., violated several different federal securities laws and committed tortious acts of fraud and misrepresentation. We have jurisdiction over this matter pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1291. The facts of the case are known to the parties. We repeat them only as necessary.
We review de novo a district court's grant of a motion to dismiss. Knievel v. ESPN, 393 F.3d 1068, 1072 (9th Cir. 2005). We review de novo a district court's interpretation of a consent decree. Nehmer v. U.S. Dep't of Veterans Affairs, 494 F.3d 846, 855 (9th Cir. 2007). We also review de novo a district court's determination that a claim is barred by res judicata. Manufactured Home Cmtys. Inc. v. City of San Jose, 420 F.3d 1022, 1025 (9th Cir. 2005).
The district court correctly interpreted the scope of the Third Party Release provision (releases) in the Charter reorganization to include Smith's claims. As a former shareholder, Smith was subject to the terms of the reorganization plan even though he did not acquiesce to its terms. 11 U.S.C. § 1141(a). Therefore Smith could not raise his claims because they had been waived by the releases in the reorganization plan.
The district court also correctly held that Smith cannot challenge the validity of the releases or the reorganization plan through a collateral attack. "Once a bankruptcy plan is confirmed, it is binding on all parties and all questions that could have been raised pertaining to the plan are entitled to res judicata effect." Trulis v. Barton, 107 F.3d 685, 691 (9th Cir. 1995). Where a "creditor fails to protect its interests by timely objecting to a plan or...
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