The two year term of law clerk Lauren Maxwell ends Friday, August 31st. Lauren has performed outstanding work during her term. She has accepted a position with the Greenville office of Turner, Padget, Graham & Laney, P.A. Lauren will join the litigation team and will also handle bankruptcy matters. Please join Judge Burris and the court in thanking her for her service and wishing her well in private practice.
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The Court is seeking to identify members of the bar who are interested in serving on the following committees beginning October 1, 2012:
Interest Rate in Chapter 13 Cases Committee
This Committee researches and recommends the current market rate of interest (pursuant to the Till Supreme Court case) to be used in Chapter 13 cases. Its membership reflects a balance of attorneys representing creditor and debtor interests and a Trustee. Committee members serve a two-year term.
Advisory Committee on Local Rules & Practice
This Committee reviews and recommends to the Court rules of practice and internal operating procedures. Committee members serve a two-year term.
Members of the bar who are interested in serving on either of these committees shall advise the Acting Clerk, Jeff Davis, at Jeff_Davis@scb.uscourts.gov on or before September 10, 2012.
Judge Waites would like to advise the bar of the following changes to his procedures that will be effective for motions filed on or after September 1, 2012:
Motions to Extend the Automatic Stay: For all motions to extend the automatic stay filed in Chapter 13 cases before Judge Waites, an affidavit of the movant shall be filed supporting such motion, which provides the information necessary to determine whether the requirements of 11 U.S.C. Section 362(c)(3) are met. The affidavit must be filed at the same time as the motion to extend the automatic stay. The chapter 13 plan and all schedules must be filed by no later than five (5) business days prior to the scheduled hearing on the motion to extend the automatic stay. The motion may be granted in advance of the hearing, which would allow removal of the hearing, if the affidavit is timely submitted, there are no objections by parties in interest, and the trustee consents to the extension.
Motions to Reconsider Dismissal: All motions to reconsider dismissal filed in Judge Waites' cases should now be scheduled on the appropriate consent calendar. If the debtor pays outstanding trustee payments to the trustee, there are no objections by parties in interest, and the court approves a consent order submitted by debtor and the trustee, the motion to reconsider may be removed from the court calendar in advance of the hearing.
Motions for Relief from Co-Debtor Stay: Chapter 13 co-debtor stay relief motions should be scheduled on the dates and times provided for other types of stay relief motions, which are shown on the section 362 calendar published on the Court's web page.
Motions to Establish Priority of Tax Claim: All motions to establish priority of tax claim should now be scheduled on the appropriate consent calendar.
A revised scheduling chart is attached here.
In addition, Judge Waites would like to remind the bar of the following procedures, which are already in effect:
Motions for Extensions of Time to File Schedules & Statements: Absent detailed grounds set forth in a motion to extend time to file schedules & statements, Judge Waites will normally grant only a 10-day extension to file schedules & statements without a hearing in Chapter 7 and 13 cases. Extension requests for refiling debtors who have a prior case filed by an attorney (as opposed to being filed pro se) that was dismissed within the previous year may be denied or set for an expedited hearing.
Debtor's Objections to Claims: Orders on debtor's objections to claims will be rejected if the grounds for relief are not adequately stated in the order. The order should not merely sustain the objection or reference the grounds stated in the objection.
Calendar Reporting Requirements for Chapter 7 and 11 Cases: Judge Waites has amended his chambers guidelines to require joint statements of dispute to be filed for contested matters in Chapter 7 and 11 cases by no later than 10:00 a.m. two business days prior to a scheduled hearing.
The judges and staff of the Bankruptcy Court would like to recognize the staff and members of the Office of the United States Trustee (UST), who, on August 10th, will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the opening of their offices in Columbia, South Carolina.
As their mission statement indicates, the UST Program is a component of the Department of Justice that seeks to promote the efficiency and protect the integrity of the Federal bankruptcy system. To further the public interest in the just, speedy and economical resolution of cases filed under the Bankruptcy Code, the Program monitors the conduct of bankruptcy parties and private estate trustees, oversees related administrative functions, and acts to ensure compliance with applicable laws and procedures. The UST also identifies and helps investigate bankruptcy fraud and abuse in coordination with United States Attorneys, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and other law enforcement agencies.
The Columbia office of the UST has seven employees, including the Assistant U. S. Trustee and two trial attorneys. The office of the UST for Region 4 is also located in Columbia. Region 4 encompasses Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. The Regional office has a staff of five, including the U. S. Trustee.
We hope the members of the Bankruptcy bar will join us in acknowledging the important role and great efforts of the UST program in the administration of bankruptcy cases in this District and in expressing our appreciation and congratulations.
In consultation with the Local Rules Committee, the Judges post for comment amendments to Local Rules 3011-1, 3016-1, 4001-1, 4003-2, and 6004-1 and related exhibits. Substantive amendments to SC LBR 3011-1 are proposed to conform with Judicial Conference policy on the payment of unclaimed dividends. Paragraph (b) is also added to SC LBR 3011-1 to provide that certain dividends in chapter 11 cases may be distributed to non-profit entities. Technical amendments are proposed for the remaining rules and an explanation of the changes is appended to each rule. Comments regarding the proposed changes should be made to Jeff_Davis@scb.uscourts.gov on or before August 24, 2012 with September 1, 2012 proposed as the effective date of these amendments.