Riggsby, Matter of, No. 84-2233

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
Writing for the CourtBefore CUMMINGS; POSNER
Citation745 F.2d 1153
Parties, 11 Collier Bankr.Cas.2d 532, 12 Bankr.Ct.Dec. 602, Bankr. L. Rep. P 70,068 In the Matter of Caryl W. RIGGSBY, Debtor-Appellant. SUBURBAN BANK OF CARY GROVE, Plaintiff-Appellant/Appellee, v. Caryl W. RIGGSBY, Defendant-Appellee/Appellant.
Docket NumberNo. 84-2233
Decision Date15 October 1984

Page 1153

745 F.2d 1153
53 USLW 2222, 11 Collier Bankr.Cas.2d 532,
12 Bankr.Ct.Dec. 602,
Bankr. L. Rep. P 70,068
In the Matter of Caryl W. RIGGSBY, Debtor-Appellant.
SUBURBAN BANK OF CARY GROVE, Plaintiff-Appellant/Appellee,
v.
Caryl W. RIGGSBY, Defendant-Appellee/Appellant.
No. 84-2233.
United States Court of Appeals,
Seventh Circuit.
Submitted Aug. 21, 1984.
Decided Oct. 15, 1984.

Bruce L. Wald, Tishler & Wald, Ltd., Chicago, Ill., for plaintiff-appellant/appellee.

Page 1154

Robert Keith Larson, Riordan, Larson, Bruckert & McCambridge, Chicago, Ill., for defendant-appellee/appellant.

Before CUMMINGS, Chief Judge, BAUER and POSNER Circuit Judges.

POSNER, Circuit Judge.

We asked the parties to this appeal to brief the following question: Is an order by a district judge (1) reversing the dismissal of a claim against a bankrupt's estate, or, as here, the dismissal of a complaint objecting to discharge, and (2) remanding the case to the bankruptcy judge for further proceedings on the claim, a final order within the meaning of the Bankruptcy Act of 1978, as amended just this past summer by the Bankruptcy Amendments and Federal Judgeship Act of 1984, Pub.L. 98-353, 98 Stat. 333 (July 10, 1984)? The 1984 amendments, so far as relevant here, add two new sections to the Judicial Code, 28 U.S.C. Secs. 157 and 158, and the second makes clear that if the district judge's order was not final we do not have jurisdiction of the appeal. See 28 U.S.C. Sec. 158(d) ("The courts of appeals shall have jurisdiction of appeals from all final decisions, judgments, orders, and decrees entered under subsections (a) [by district courts, in appeals from bankruptcy judges] and (b) [by bankruptcy appellate panels, in appeals from bankruptcy judges].").

A bank (the appellee in this court) filed with the bankruptcy judge a complaint objecting to the discharge of the debt owed it by the bankrupt (Riggsby, the appellant in this court). See 11 U.S.C. Sec. 523(c). The bankruptcy judge dismissed the complaint as untimely, and the bank appealed to the district court under the then-applicable version of 28 U.S.C. Sec. 1334, since superseded without material change by 28 U.S.C. Sec. 158(a). The district court reversed, holding that the bankruptcy judge had applied an incorrect standard in deciding whether to let the bank file its complaint late, and remanded, and Riggsby then appealed to us.

Under both the transitional provisions of the 1978 act that were in force when the bank appealed to the district court, and the superseding amendments made in 1984, the bank was entitled to appeal the bankruptcy judge's dismissal of its complaint to the district court provided the dismissal was a final decision by the bankruptcy judge. See 28 U.S.C. Sec. 1334(a), added by the 1978 act (Pub.L. 95-598, Nov. 6, 1978, 92 Stat. 2657); section 405(c) of that act (which appears in a note preceding 28 U.S.C. Sec. 1471); 28 U.S.C. Secs. 157(b)(2)(B) and 158(a), added in 1984; In re UNR Industries, Inc., 725 F.2d 1111, 1116 (7th Cir.1984). If it was not a final decision by the bankruptcy judge, the district judge could still review it, because 28 U.S.C. Sec. 158(a) gives the district court discretion to entertain interlocutory appeals from bankruptcy judges, but the district judge's decision would not be a final order for purposes of further appeal to us. See In re Tidewater Group, Inc., 734 F.2d 794 (11th Cir.1984), and cases cited there. Even the Third Circuit, which as we shall see takes a most liberal view of the appealability of orders remanding matters to the bankruptcy judge, agrees that a district court's decision on an interlocutory appeal from a bankruptcy judge is nonfinal. See In re Comer, 716 F.2d 168, 172 (3d Cir.1983).

However, we think it reasonably clear that the dismissal by the bankruptcy judge of a complaint objecting to the discharge of the bankrupt is final. The proceeding that such a complaint kicks off has traditionally been treated as a separate adversary proceeding within the framework of the overall bankruptcy case, see 3 Collier on Bankruptcy p 523.11 (15th ed. 1984); and as Judge Breyer has persuasively explained, Congress in overhauling the system of bankruptcy appeals in the 1978 act apparently meant to continue the former practice whereby orders disposing of such proceedings were appealable as final orders. In re Saco Local Development Corp., 711 F.2d 441, 443 (1st Cir.1983). We can find nothing in the 1984 amendments that changes the scheme adopted in 1978 in any particular relevant to this case. Compare 28 U.S.C. Secs. 1293(b), 1334(a), (b), added

Page 1155

by the 1978 act, with 28 U.S.C. Sec. 158, added by the 1984 act. The relevant provisions appear to be identical except for immaterial wording changes.

Of course an order rejecting a complaint that a debt not be discharged is not really final, because the complainant may still get a part of his debt repaid out of the assets of the estate. But then an order accepting a claim against the estate is not really final either, because the actual amount received on the claim will not be determined till the amounts and priorities of other claims, and the assets of the estate, are determined; and yet such an...

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86 practice notes
  • US Dept. of Energy v. West Texas Marketing Corp., No. 5-111.
    • United States
    • U.S. Temporary Emergency Court of Appeals
    • 27 Marzo 1985
    ...1416 § 158, added by the 1984 act. The relevant provisions appear to be identical except for immaterial wording changes.6 In re Riggsby, 745 F.2d 1153, 1154-55 (7th Cir.1984). Other courts have reached the same conclusion. See In re Pacor, Inc., 743 F.2d 984, 987 n. 4 (3d Cir.1984) ("we do ......
  • In re Jennings, No. BK LV-83-0959
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (3rd Circuit)
    • 29 Febrero 1988
    ...re General Coffee Corp., 758 F.2d 1406 (11th Cir.1985); In re Amatex Corp., 755 F.2d 1034, 1037 n. 2 (3rd Cir. 1985); and In re Riggsby, 745 F.2d 1153 (7th Cir.1984). Simply put, Title II of the 1978 Act added to Title 28 of the United States Code, inter alia, section 1293 which authorized ......
  • Richardson v. Gramley, No. 90-1527
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • 1 Julio 1993
    ...Corp. v. McGowen Corp., 976 F.2d 1062, 1064 (7th Cir.1992); Parks v. Pavkovic, 753 F.2d 1397, 1401-02 (7th Cir.1985); In re Riggsby, 745 F.2d 1153, 1156 (7th Cir.1984); Freeman United Coal Mining Co. v. Director, 721 F.2d 629, 631 (7th Cir.1983); Morgan v. United States, 968 F.2d 200, 204-0......
  • James Wilson Associates, Matter of, Nos. 91-1443
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • 5 Noviembre 1991
    ...its bankruptcy setting, would be a separate suit. In re Saco Local Development Corp., 711 F.2d 441, 443 (1st Cir.1983); In re Riggsby, 745 F.2d 1153, 1154 (7th Cir.1984); In re Morse Electric Co., 805 F.2d 262, 264-65 (7th Cir.1986); Home Ins. Co. v. Cooper & Cooper, Ltd., 889 F.2d 746, 748......
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  • Bonner Mall Partnership, In re, No. 92-36754
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • 4 Agosto 1993
    ...proceedings. E.g., In re G.S.F. Corp., 938 F.2d 1467, 1472 (1st Cir.1991); Suburban Bank of Cary Grove v. Riggsby (In re Riggsby), 745 F.2d 1153, 1155 (7th Cir.1984); Homa v. Stone (In re Commercial Contractors, Inc.), 771 F.2d 1373, 1375 (10th Cir.1985). As discussed infra we have charted ......
  • Richardson v. Gramley, No. 90-1527
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • 1 Julio 1993
    ...Corp. v. McGowen Corp., 976 F.2d 1062, 1064 (7th Cir.1992); Parks v. Pavkovic, 753 F.2d 1397, 1401-02 (7th Cir.1985); In re Riggsby, 745 F.2d 1153, 1156 (7th Cir.1984); Freeman United Coal Mining Co. v. Director, 721 F.2d 629, 631 (7th Cir.1983); Morgan v. United States, 968 F.2d 200, 204-0......
  • US Dept. of Energy v. West Texas Marketing Corp., No. 5-111.
    • United States
    • U.S. Temporary Emergency Court of Appeals
    • 27 Marzo 1985
    ...1416 § 158, added by the 1984 act. The relevant provisions appear to be identical except for immaterial wording changes.6 In re Riggsby, 745 F.2d 1153, 1154-55 (7th Cir.1984). Other courts have reached the same conclusion. See In re Pacor, Inc., 743 F.2d 984, 987 n. 4 (3d Cir.1984) ("we do ......
  • Wellness Int'l Network, Ltd. v. Sharif, No. 12–1349.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • 7 Octubre 2013
    ...1113–14 (7th Cir.1994) (“an order declaring the debt either dischargeable or not is a final, appealable order” (citing In re Riggsby, 745 F.2d 1153, 1154 (7th Cir.1984))); see also In re Weber, 892 F.2d 534, 537 (7th Cir.1989); cf. Zedan, 529 F.3d at 407 (Easterbrook, C.J., concurring) (arg......
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