Otis Overby Co. v. Ray (In re Ray), Case Number: 19-40640-JTL

CourtUnited States Bankruptcy Courts. Eleventh Circuit. U.S. Bankruptcy Court — Middle District of Georgia
Writing for the CourtJohn T. Laney, III United States Bankruptcy Judge
Citation620 B.R. 418
Docket NumberCase Number: 19-40640-JTL
Decision Date15 October 2020
Parties IN RE: Christine Marie RAY a.k.a. Chris Ray, Debtor, The Otis Overby Co. and Steven Mark Overby, Movant, v. Christine Marie Ray, Respondent.

620 B.R. 418

IN RE: Christine Marie RAY a.k.a. Chris Ray, Debtor,

The Otis Overby Co. and Steven Mark Overby, Movant,
Christine Marie Ray, Respondent.

Case Number: 19-40640-JTL

United States Bankruptcy Court, M.D. Georgia, Columbus Division.

Signed October 15, 2020.

Valerie G. Long, Valerie G. Long, Attorney at Law, Charles W. Miller, Columbus, GA, for Debtor.


John T. Laney, III United States Bankruptcy Judge

The above styled contested matter came before the Court on Movants' motion to reopen case (Movants' Mot. to Reopen Case, Doc. No.18). In this motion, Movants Steven Mark Overby and The Otis Overby Co. request the Court to reopen the Chapter 7 bankruptcy case of Respondent Christine Marie Ray pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 350(b). Movants argue that, while the Court granted Respondent a discharge on November 13, 2019 with no objections, Movants' technical difficulties in filing an Objection to Discharge before the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure 4007(c) deadline constitute cause to reopen Respondent's case.

For the reasons stated below, the Court concludes that, because no relief could be

620 B.R. 419

granted upon reopening, Respondent's case should not be reopened. Accordingly, Movants' motion is denied.


The facts of the case are generally undisputed. Respondent filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy on July 31, 2019. Movants were listed on Respondent's Schedule E/F and were notified of Respondent's bankruptcy proceedings. The § 341(a) meeting of creditors was set for September 12, 2019. On September 12, 2019, Respondent appeared for the § 341(a) creditors meeting and was questioned by counsel for the creditor. The Movants claim a total of $641,154.52 from embezzlement by the Respondent and incidental costs from her wrongdoing. Movants do not make clear under what bankruptcy code section objection to discharge should be granted, however, there are three exceptions to discharge under which Movants might claim exception to discharge under these facts: §§ 523(a)(2), (4), or (6). Under the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure Rule 4007(c), the filing deadline for an objection to discharge for debt under 11 U.S.C. §§ 523(a)(2), (4), or (6) was November 12, 2019.

Movants state that on November 12, 2019, the deadline for filing, he attempted numerous times to file an Objection to Discharge through PACER, the court's electronic filing system, and repeatedly received error messages. On November 13, 2019, with no objections filed, Respondent's discharge under 11 U.S.C. § 727 was entered. Movants filed this motion to reopen case under 11 U.S.C. § 350(b) on June 23, 2020.


A bankruptcy case may be reopened after discharge under § 350(b) of the Bankruptcy Code "to administer assets, to accord relief to the debtor, or for other cause." In determining whether to reopen a case under § 350(b), courts can consider multiple factors including "whether it is clear at the outset that no relief would be forthcoming if the motion to reopen is granted." In re Envtl. Wood Prod., Inc. , 609 B.R. 901, 912 (Bankr. S.D. Ga. 2019) (quoting In re Kim , 566 B.R. 9, 12 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. 2017) ). If this Court reopened Respondent's case, the Movants would not be entitled to relief because...

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