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Chambers' Bulletins

On Behalf of the Court

Fri, 2/03/2017 - 3:08 pm

The Standing Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure met on January 3, 2017 and, among other things, recommended adoption of an amendment to Federal Rule of Bankruptcy Procedure 3015 requiring the use of an official chapter 13 plan form unless a district adopts a local plan that meets the requirements of proposed Rule 3015.1. Adoption of a number of amendments to the federal rules and of the form plan is on the consent calendar for the March meeting of the Judicial Council of the United States. Matters on the consent calendar generally have no previously expressed opposition. The Standing Committee has asked that, upon Council approval, the rules package and forms go to the Supreme Court and Congress in May with a view that they will be effective December 1, 2017. The chapter 13 rules and forms have been under consideration for a period of five years.

The 420 page Standing Committee working document may be accessed here 

The Judges of the Court seek the advice of the bar and the public in evaluating whether this district should default to the national plan or create a local form plan. Proposed Rule 3015.1 contains specific requirements for any local form plan. Please provide your recommendation whether the district should default to the national plan or adopt a local plan. The national plan makes provision for the addition of limited “non-standard” provisions. If you recommend the national plan, also suggest language for any “non-standard” provisions you think may be necessary considering the case law in our federal judicial circuit and district. If you recommend adopting a local form plan please state the reasons for your recommendation and suggest proposed plan language that you believe should be included in the district plan, including the basis for any such proposed plan provisions. You need not propose a complete plan.

For your convenience the national form plan, as most recently amended, is available here.

On or before March 10, 2017 recommendations should be forwarded electronically to or mailed to:

            United States Bankruptcy Court
            1100 Laurel Street
            Columbia, SC 29201
            Attn: Jeff Davis – chapter 13 plan

David R. Duncan
Chief U.S. Bankruptcy Judge
District of South Carolina

Wed, 1/18/2017 - 4:55 pm

We pause today to reflect on the history of the grand old building that we know as the J. Bratton Davis United States Bankruptcy Courthouse. Built to replace the Reconstruction era federal courthouse at the corner of Main and Laurel Streets (now Columbia’s City Hall), construction of the “new” federal district courthouse and office building began in 1936.

Judge John J. Parker, senior member of the Court of Appeals, spoke at the January 18, 1937 dedication of the new federal courthouse at 1100 Laurel Street and stated that the beautiful building was “committed to the administration of justice.” Clint T. Graydon of the Richland Bar Association referred to the new building as “a Temple of Justice, not a monument.” A photograph of members of the bar standing on the front steps of the courthouse was taken. A framed copy of the photograph is displayed in the Public Services area on the first floor and is one of our prized possessions. Some of you may recall Judge J. Bratton Davis reminiscing, on the occasion of a ceremony to mark his retirement that he, then a young student at the University of South Carolina, was present at the dedication and thought that someday the building might be important.

The building housed the United States District Court and a host of federal agencies until 1979. The District Court relocated to the Strom Thurmond Courthouse in 1979 and is now in the Matthew J. Perry Jr. Courthouse. The Bankruptcy Court and United States Attorney jointly occupied the building for a number of years, but eventually outgrew it and the United States Attorney moved off-site. In 2000 the building was renamed in honor of Judge Davis.

The Historic Columbia Foundation published a short monograph concerning the building. You can find it here.

Wed, 1/11/2017 - 10:16 am

Pursuant to Administrative Orders available here, the Court has appointed new members to the Advisory Committee on Local Rules and Practice and the Interest Rates in Chapter 13 Cases Committee. Kathleen Muthig will serve as the chair of the Local Rules Committee and Jimmy Wyman will serve as the chair of the Chapter 13 Interest Rate Committee.

The new members of the Advisory Committee on Local Rules and Practice are as follows:

  • Kathleen M. Muthig
  • John Timothy Stack
  • Katherine L. Rea
  • Michael Kevin McCarrell
  • Russell A. DeMott
  • Michael H. Weaver
  • Christine E. Brimm

The new members of the Interest Rates in Chapter 13 Cases Committee are as follows:

  • James M. Wyman
  • F. Lee O’Steen
  • Jackson Turner-Vaught
  • Suzanne G. Grigg
  • Jason D. Wyman

Thank you to all who agreed to serve on these committees.

Tue, 1/10/2017 - 11:48 am


The Court would like to thank the following attorneys for their two years of service on the Advisory Committee on Local Rules and Practice:

            Joseph Mitchell
            Tim Stack
            Marilyn Gartley
            Tara Nauful
            Christine Loftis
            Adam Floyd

Additionally, the Court would like to thank the following attorneys for their two years of service on the Interest Rates in Chapter 13 Cases Committee:

            Gretchen Holland
            Ann Bell
            Michael Conrady
            Benjamin Matthews
            Kathleen Muthig

 The Court will issue Administrative Orders appointing new members to each committee in the next few days.

Thu, 12/01/2016 - 11:19 am

Changes to the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure, the South Carolina Local Bankruptcy Rules, and the Miscellaneous Fee Schedule are effective today. Amendments have been made to Fed. R. Bankr. P. 1010, 1011, 1012, 2002, 3002.1, 7008, 7012, 7016, 9006, 9027, and 9033. Local Rule changes are detailed in the Court's November 21, 2016 Announcement and the fee changes are detailed in the November 17, 2016 Announcement.

Mon, 11/21/2016 - 5:06 pm

The Judges met and considered comments received to the proposed changes to the local rules. Upon agreement of the Judges, the following rule changes will be effective December 1, 2016: 

(1) Local Rules 7008-1, 7012-1, and 7016-1 are repealed and paragraphs (b) and (c) of Local Rule 9027-1 are removed based on the December 1, 2016 amendments to the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure addressing Stern v. Marshall.  

(2) Local Rule 3070-1(b)(1) and (2) are revised. A minor stylistic change is made to paragraph (b)(1). Paragraphs (b)(2)(A)-(C) are amended to address conduit plan cases and to simplify the attorney fee provision. Since the rule was released for comment, paragraph (b)(2)(A) was further amended to address the issue of partial payments by a debtor and the lack of a proof of claim by a mortgage creditor.  

(3) Local Rule 5075-1 is amended to add paragraph (c)(10), delegating service of the notice of hearing on a motion for exemption from a conduit mortgage payment requirement.  

(4) New Local Rules 7012-1 and 7056-1 are adopted and require a specific notice to pro se parties upon the filing of a motion to dismiss an adversary proceeding (a Rule 12(b) motion) or the filing of a motion for summary judgment. 

(5) Exhibit C to Local Rule 9013-4 is amended to permit the chapter 13 trustee to self-schedule a hearing on a Request for Mortgage Creditor Report, with a 20 day objection period. 

(6) Local Rule 9036-1 is substantially revised to require a debtor to make an election regarding DeBN (Debtor Electronic Bankruptcy Notice) at the beginning of a case.

Thu, 11/10/2016 - 2:10 pm

Please see the attached order regarding the Court's schedule for the upcoming holiday season and for computing time during that period. Please note that while the court will be open on December 30, 2016 to accommodate debtors who may have foreclosure proceedings the following week, the only office that will open that day will be our Columbia office.

Fri, 11/04/2016 - 4:22 pm

The Local Rules Committee has proposed changes to the Court's local rules. The Judges seek your comments on the proposals that follow:

(1) Repeal Local Rules 7008-1, 7012-1, 7016-1, and remove paragraphs (b) and (c) of Local Rule 9027-1 based on the December 1, 2016 amendments to the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure. These local rules were adopted in response to Stern v. Marshall and the new national rules (which are nearly identical to the current local rules) render them unnecessary;

(2) Revise Local Rules 3070-1(b)(2) [addition of a provision for chapter 13 cases dismissed before confirmation providing for a disbursement of funds to conduit mortgage creditors, a simplification of the attorney fee provision, a reordering of the subsections, and stylistic changes]; 5075-1(c) [add as (10) the delegation of service of the notice of hearing on motions for exemption from conduit mortgage payment requirements]; and 9036-1 [adding a requirement that debtors file an election requesting or declining participation in the DeBN program]; and

(3) Adopt new Local Rules 7012-1 and 7056-1 [requiring a specific notice by movants to unrepresented parties in connection with, respectively, motions to dismiss adversary proceedings and motions for summary judgment.]

Please provide any comments on or before November 18, 2016 to Absent further announcement, these rule changes and any revision prompted by the comments will be effective December 1, 2016. Revisions to Local Rule 3015-2 are under consideration and may be circulated for public comment in the new year. The Judges wish to thank the Local Rules Committee for their service to the Court.