Date of Decision:
September 28, 2009
Whether a final decree in an individual debtor's chapter 11 case could be entered where the administration of the case was incomplete because the discharge order had not yet been entered?
The motion was denied. The Bankruptcy Court concluded 11 U.S.C. § 1141(d)(5), 28 U.S.C. § 1930(a)(5), and Fed.Rs.Bankr.P. 3020, 3021, and 3022 do not contemplate the closing of an individual chapter 11 debtor's case until the administration of the case is complete, which includes the entry of the debtor's discharge. Debtors appealed.
Full Bankruptcy Court Decision:
The appellate panel affirmed, Shotkoski v. Fokkena (In re Shotkoski), 420 B.R. 479 (B.A.P. 8th Cir. 2009). It held a bankruptcy judge should review a motion for entry of a final decree on a case by case basis to determine whether a chapter 11 estate has been fully administered. It concluded, in this case, the Bankruptcy Court did not abuse its discretion in concluding this estate was not fully administered where the confirmed plan provided for the long-term payment of several claims.
Full Bankruptcy Appellate Panel/District Court Appeal Opinion: