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Judges' Corner Archive

Thu, 10/12/2006 - 5:00 am

Effective immediately, the new telephone and telefax numbers for Judge Burris’ chambers in Spartanburg are as follows:

Main incoming line:
- 864-591-5315 Telefax number:
(for emergency filings per the Guidelines for the Filing of Documents or other authorized purposes)
- 864-591-5317

Wed, 10/04/2006 - 5:00 am

Judge Duncan has reported that over 30 attorneys have already signed up for the "brown bag" lunch with the judges on October 10, 2006. Unfortunately, the kitchen area in the courthouse will not accommodate more attendees, so registration has been closed. The judges thank all participants for their interest and look forward to the gathering.

Mon, 10/02/2006 - 5:00 am

The judges of the court would like to invite members of the bar to the next "brown bag" lunch meeting on October 10, 2006 at 12:00 p.m. at the Bankruptcy Courthouse in Columbia. The general topic for discussion will be issues related to the automatic stay, from both the debtor and creditor perspective. The discussion will be lead by Judge Duncan, with the participation of Judges Waites and Burris. The lunch will be held in the kitchen area on the basement level and is expected to last an hour. Attorneys who wish to attend should telephone Judge Duncan's judicial assistant Jacque Phillips at 803-765-5657 or email her at

Other "brown bag" lunch gathering with the judges will be held in November at a location in Greenville/Spartanburg and in Charleston in January. Judge Burris will lead the discussion of a topic to be announced in the Greenville/Spartanburg meeting and Judge Waites the Charleston meeting. Information on both will be provided in a future announcement.

Fri, 9/22/2006 - 5:00 am

Judge Waites is seeking an additional law clerk to assist his chambers either on a full or part-time basis.  Details on the position and application process are indicated in the attached

Fri, 9/15/2006 - 5:00 am

The issue of the application of the amendment to the South Carolina Homestead Exemption statute, 15-41-30(1), has been raised in a number of cases in this District. Considering the importance of the issue and need for consistency, the Judges will consult before any ruling. The issue has more immediately arisen in cases before Judges Burris and Duncan and they have entered similar scheduling orders which provide an opportunity for amicus curiae briefs from non-parties to be filed on or before October 10, 2006. Anyone interested in such an opportunity should consult the scheduling orders in the following cases: Sweat-06-02594, Evans-06-02413, Floyd-06-02461, Glenn-06-02506, and Moore-06-02532. Specific questions may be addressed to those judges chambers.

Fri, 9/15/2006 - 5:00 am

1. Timing of completion of personal financial management course: Apparently some debtors are completing the financial management course before they file (possibly when they are obtaining credit counseling to meet the requirements of section 109(h)). It appears also that in some instances the certification is being filed (Official Form 23) along with the filing of the case when the financial management course may not yet have been completed. Sections 727(a)(11) or 1328(g)(1) reference completing the financial management course "after filing of a petition." Note that SC LBR 1007-2 (IBR 1007) provides that the certification is to be prepared per the Official Form, which is pending amendment October 1, 2006. The new Form will require evidence of completion by a certificate number.

2. Conversion to Chapter 7: Section 342(d) requires the Clerk to give notice to all creditors of the presumption of abuse in a chapter 7 within 10 days of the filing of the petition. The presumption is indicated in the top box of the official form B22A, mandated to be filed by a debtor in a Chapter 7 case by SC LBR 1007-2 (IBR 1007(b)(4)). In the instance of conversion of a case to Chapter 7, a new Form B22A should be filed within 10 days of conversion (not merely a refiling of the Chapter 13 Form B22C).

3. Discrepancy in electronic login and filer or signer: There are instances where the attorney e-filer (indicated by login) is not the same attorney as the one who signed the petition or pleading being filed. The Guidelines for the Filing of Documents provide that a Participant’s password shall be used only by the Participant or member of his/her law firm, as authorized by the Participant. In instances in which there is a discrepancy between the login and signature, it is the opinion of the judges that both the attorney e-filer and the attorney who signed the document are responsible attorneys for Rule 9011 purposes and Local Rule 9010-1. Therefore care should be taken in using the correct login for the filing of documents.

4. Chapter 13 discharge: The procedure for obtaining a discharge in a Chapter 13 Reform Act case has been set forth in amendments to Local Rule 3015-1 effective September 29, 2006. Please review and adhere to that new procedure.

Thu, 8/31/2006 - 5:00 am

The judges of the court are pleased to announce the appointment by unanimous vote of Tammi Hellwig as Clerk of the Court effective September 4, 2006.

Ms. Hellwig is a graduate of Wake Forest University and Emory Law School. She brings to the court not only her experience in the private practice of bankruptcy law with the Womble Carlye Law Firm, but also her prior experience gained during her employment with three other bankruptcy courts across the country. (See Recommendations of Judges of Other Courts) Ms. Hellwig has served this court as Chief Deputy Clerk since October of 2005, and has worked tirelessly, with dedication and professionalism to provide public service and service to the bar.

Judge Waites, Judge Burris and Judge Duncan wish to thank the Court Advisory Committee for its assistance with the clerk selection process. The court received a considerable number of applications from a diverse group of qualified candidates. Eight applicants were selected for interview and thereafter the committee, which consists of seven bankruptcy practitioners representing diversity in practice and geography, served as the screening panel for those applicants. Ms. Hellwig was rated as the number 1 choice by a majority of the 7 members of that committee, and
ranked the highest of any other applicant overall.  She also received the unanimous endorsement of the Courts Employees Advisory Committee which is comprised of 7 nonmanagement court employees.

We hope you will join us in welcoming Tammi Hellwig to her new position.

Thu, 8/17/2006 - 5:00 am

The judges would like to alert the bar to the following procedures that the Court is implementing in Reform Act cases.

1. Financial Management Certificate- Before a discharge can be granted, debtors must file a certification (Official Form 23; pending amendment effective October 1, 2006) indicating that the appropriate financial management course has been completed post-petition. If no certification is filed, the Court may close the case without issuing a discharge. Thereafter, to obtain the issuance of a discharge, a motion to reopen must be filed and the appropriate fee for the motion must be paid. The certification of completion of the financial management course must be presented or filed with the motion to reopen. A hearing on the motion to reopen, which requires the attendance of debtor(s) and debtors’ counsel, may also be scheduled.

2. Rule to Show Cause- The court will no longer issue Rules to Show Cause when it appears that a debtor is not eligible for a discharge pursuant to 11 U.S.C. §§ 727(a)(8), 727(a)(9), or 1328(f). The Court will receive and process orders submitted by counsel, rely on the trustee or the United States Trustee to take action, or otherwise flag the docket to ensure that a discharge is not issued in such cases, absent further order of the Court.

3. Confirmation of Termination of the Stay- In order for the Court to continue considering motions for an order confirming termination of the automatic stay and motions for an order confirming that no stay is in effect on an ex parte basis, it is necessary for all such motions to be accompanied by an affidavit from the moving party or counsel for the moving party, which details the facts in support of the motion. The Court may not issue the requested order without such an affidavit and may set the matter for a hearing.

Thu, 8/03/2006 - 5:00 am

On Friday, August 4, 2006, Brian Calub concludes three years of service as a law clerk to the judges of the Bankruptcy Court for the District of South Carolina. Since August of 2003, Brian’s dedication, hard work and skill have made considerable contributions to the Court. He will begin his private practice with the Nelson Mullins law firm on or about August 14, 2006. Brian has done an outstanding job and we will miss him. We all wish him well.

Mon, 7/03/2006 - 5:00 am

Judge Duncan has asked me to cordially invite all members of the South Carolina Bankruptcy Bar to attend his investiture ceremony which will be held on Wednesday, July 12, 2006 at 4:00 p.m. The ceremony will be held at the J. Bratton Davis United States Bankruptcy Courthouse, 1100 Laurel Street, Columbia, South Carolina. A reception will be hosted by the South Carolina Bankruptcy Law Association thereafter until 8:00 p.m. at the Seibels House & Gardens, 1601 Richland Street, Columbia, South Carolina