In re Schutte, Bankruptcy No. 86-02607-BKC-JJB.

Decision Date05 April 1990
Docket NumberBankruptcy No. 86-02607-BKC-JJB.
PartiesIn re Frederick J. SCHUTTE, III, and Barbara A. Schutte, Debtors.
CourtU.S. Bankruptcy Court — Eastern District of Missouri

John V. LaBarge, Jr., Kirkwood, Mo., trustee.

Charles W. Riske, Kirkwood, Mo., for trustee.

Richard Sheerar, St. Louis, Mo.

Hyatt Legal Services, Bridgeton, Mo.


JAMES J. BARTA, Bankruptcy Judge.

The matters being considered here are the applications of counsel for the allowance of legal fees. Upon consideration of the record as a whole, the Court enters the following findings and conclusions.

This is a core proceeding pursuant to Section 157(b)(2)(A), (B), (C) and (O).

The Debtors commenced this case by filing a Petition for relief under Chapter 13 on October 17, 1986. The Petition identified Richard C. Sheerar as the Debtors' attorney.

The disclosure of fees statement filed on October 17, 1986, indicated that the Debtors had paid their attorney the amount of $720.00 and that no additional money was to be paid.

Upon the Debtors' written request, the Chapter 13 case was converted to a case under Chapter 7 on January 15, 1987. The Debtors' written motion contained the following statement over the signature of the Debtors' counsel: "Hyatt Legal Services, Richard C. Sheerar."

The disclosure of fees statement submitted with the motion to convert reflected that the Debtors had paid an additional $720.00 for legal services in connection with the conversion.

On September 16, 1987, Richard C. Sheerar filed a document titled, "Substitution of Attorney, Notice of New Address." The document substituted Richard C. Sheerar, individually for Hyatt Legal Services as the Attorney for the Debtors.

On September 21, 1987, Richard C. Sheerar filed an application for additional legal fees, requesting $1,236.25. This application was later withdrawn and amended.

Hyatt Legal Services filed the following documents on October 23, 1987: A notice of withdrawal as legal representative of the Debtors; an application for compensation for legal services rendered; and an objection to the allowance of compensation requested by Richard C. Sheerar.

On March 4, 1988, Hyatt Legal Services filed an entry of appearance as attorney for the Debtors. The entry of appearance form was not signed by the Debtors.

On April 20, 1988, Hyatt Legal Services filed a memorandum of withdrawal as attorney for the Debtors on the Debtors' request.

On August 1, 1988, Richard C. Sheerar filed a withdrawal of his original application for additional fees and filed an amended application requesting an additional $607.50.

Hyatt Legal Services filed an affidavit in support of its application for additional fees on February 10, 1989.

As part of the final meeting in the Chapter 7 case, the Debtors filed an objection to the allowance of the application of Hyatt Legal Services, arguing that they had contracted with Richard C. Sheerar to be their attorney for this bankruptcy case.

The Court further finds that immediately prior to and during the course of this bankruptcy case, the Debtors paid a total of $2,490.00 to Hyatt Legal Services; and that in this...

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