Judge Burris has asked me to cordially invite all members of the South Carolina Bankruptcy Bar to attend her investiture ceremony which will be on Friday, March 17, 2006, at 4:00 p.m. The ceremony will be held at the Donald Stuart Russell Federal Courthouse, 201 Magnolia Street, Spartanburg, South Carolina. A reception will be hosted by The South Carolina Bankruptcy Law Association thereafter until 8:00 p.m. at the Marriott Spartanburg at Renaissance Park. The Marriott is located at 299 North Church Street, Spartanburg, South Carolina.
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Judges' Corner Archive
On March 1, 2006, amended Guidelines for the Filing of Documents, Operating Order 06-02, have been executed. As previously indicated by Judge’s Corner notification on February 7, 2006, and by other notice, the new Guidelines direct that all documents shall be filed electronically with limited exceptions therein (parties without legal representation may effect filings in paper form). Amendments include sections regarding emergency filing procedures, disabling of login upon suspension, disbarment, or Order of the Court, updated registration and training information, and additional technical and procedural changes.
I am pleased to announced that Beth Burris has been sworn in as our newest United States Bankruptcy Judge today, Friday, March 3, 2006. Judge Burris will be attending Judges training next week and will sometime thereafter be receiving cases and scheduling Court.
DURING THE PERIOD OF TRANSITION TO A NEW CASE ASSIGNMENT SYSTEM DUE TO THE APPOINTMENT OF NEW JUDGES, JUDGE WAITES’ CHAPTER 13 GUIDELINES, LOCATED UNDER HIS CHAMBERS GUIDELINES (CHAPTER 13 MATTERS) REMAIN APPLICABLE AT THIS TIME ONLY WITH RESPECT TO COLUMBIA CHAPTER 13 CASES ASSIGNED TO KEENAN STEPHENSON. FOR ALL OTHER CHAPTER 13 MATTERS BEING HANDLED BY JUDGE WAITES, CHAPTER 13 MATTERS WILL NOT BE FORMALLY DIVIDED INTO A CONSENT/DISPUTE CALENDAR AND THE FOLLOWING PROCEDURES WILL APPLY:
In order to reduce wait time at hearing for the bar and parties, allow compliance with Fed. R. Bankr. P. 9014(e), provide parties with further opportunity to settle matters or prepare arguments, and assist the Court in preparing for significant issues, the Trustee, parties, and counsel that have a matter scheduled for hearing before the Court shall have a duty to timely consult with each other regarding the matter and discuss settlement possibilities prior to any hearing.
In the event that a matter remains disputed/contested, parties and counsel shall have a duty to timely exchange the evidence to be presented to the Court and enter into stipulations which may assist the Court at the hearing. As soon as the Trustee, parties, and counsel are aware that a matter will be in dispute, and by no later than 48 hours prior to the scheduled hearing, parties and counsel shall notify the Court by letter to email@example.com, and the Trustee that a matter remains in dispute and will likely require the presentation of testimony or other evidence or oral argument. The letter shall clearly identify the matter in dispute and contain the phone numbers of both counsel, and counsel shall be available by telephone for a possible conference with the Judge or his law clerk. Whether a conference call is held or not, parties and counsel should attend and be prepared to proceed at the scheduled hearing.
If the filed pleadings are insufficient to identify the issue or if the matter in dispute will require significant preparation by the Court, the Court may continue the hearing in its discretion prior to or at the time of the hearing, proceed with the matter, conduct a pre-trial conference, and/or require preparation of a Joint Statement of Dispute as set forth in the Chapter 13 Guidelines.
Continuance, Settlement and Withdrawal procedures remain applicable.
Failure to comply with the procedures herein may be grounds for adverse relief, including the denial of an opportunity to have a matter heard at the scheduled date and time or the denial of a request for continuance.
The Court has noticed numerous filings of motions to extend the stay which have failed to comport with the procedures prescribed by SC LBR 4001-1(b). The most critical defect is the failure to schedule a hearing that affords fifteen (15) days notice to interested parties and occurs within the thirty (30) days following the filing of a bankruptcy petition. Additionally, the Court has also noticed that some motions have been filed well after the petition date even though SC LBR 4001-1(b)(2) requires a motion to extend stay to be “filed with the petition.” In light of these deficiencies the Court calls the bar’s attention to the requirements of SC LBR 4001-1(b) and the applicable forms and In re Pratt-part II, Case No. 06-00148 and In re Cartledge, Case No. 06-00119, two cases in which the Court has addressed the deficiencies noted herein. The cases are available for review in Judicial Opinions section of this website under the 10 Most Recent Posted folder for Judge Waites. In the coming months, the Court may not be in a position to grant motions for emergency hearings associated with motions to extend stay.
David Duncan has asked that the bar be advised that he is accepting applications for a law clerk position. The primary duty station will be in Columbia, South Carolina, and may require travel. Employment is to begin upon the finalization of his appointment as U.S. Bankruptcy Judge. Applicants without previous judicial clerking experience may qualify for a salary of between $51,972.00 - $80,975.00. A background investigation may be conducted on the person selected for the position. Applicants may forward a resume and letter of interest, including salary requirements, to David at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Upon Judge Bishop’s retirement, cases formerly assigned to him will be reassigned to another judge. Due to the requirements for advance scheduling, March hearing dates were selected by Judge Bishop, but may be rescheduled upon notice by the presiding judge. Unless advised otherwise, parties self-scheduling matters in cases assigned to Judge Bishop may continue scheduling matters on dates indicated on the March calendar as Judge Bishop hearing dates (WTB) according to the present scheduling system.
April hearing dates have been selected by Judge Waites in order to avoid conflicting dates and times in the event that he is required to preside over all of those hearings. For that reason, matters in all chapters may be heard on the same date, particularly in Spartanburg or Charleston. Parties self-scheduling matters in cases presently assigned to Judge Bishop should select hearing dates according to Trustee for Chapter 13 non-362 matters and according to Chapter and Division assignment for all other matters rather than designated judge.
Additionally, in order to meet the requirements of 11 U.S.C. § 362(e), the Court shall conduct a video session for § 362 motions in Spartanburg and Charleston once a month. The Court will designate “362 ALL” videoconference dates on the calendar for March and April 2006, and from time to time thereafter if necessary. All attorneys, witnesses, and other parties will be expected to appear at the designated video location, unless all parties agree that they will all participate at the location where the Judge is presiding (Columbia).
Parties and witnesses should be prepared to appear by video, but it is possible that a presiding Judge will be available to travel to the designated location. Scheduling questions may be directed to courtroom deputies at 803-765-5010, 803-765-5011, 803-765-5012, and 803-765-5024.
It has come to my attention that pleadings are sometimes being filed in dismissed cases pending a motion to reconsider. In order to promote consistency and lessen confusion for parties in interest, pleadings should not be filed in a dismissed case. Many pleadings, such as an amended plan or other type of motion and notice, may trigger a response from other parties which may be premature if reconsideration is not granted. If you feel that you need to amend a schedule or file a pleading in relation to your motion to reconsider, you may submit a copy directly to the Trustee for review or append it as an exhibit to your motion to reconsider. If you file the related pleading as a separate docket entry in a dismissed case, it will be stricken from the docket. Please adhere to this policy to avoid having to file pleadings twice in the event your motion is granted.
The same procedure will be adhered to with respect to pleadings filed in closed cases, even in instances where a motion to reopen has been filed, unless an exception has been made (e.g. SC LBR 4003-1(c), Motions to Avoid Lien).
- Certificate for Exemption of Credit Counseling - A. Revised § 109(h)(1), requires individual debtors to complete credit counseling from an approved nonprofit budget and credit counseling agency within the one-hundred eighty (180) day period prior to the petition date. Completion of credit counseling is an eligibility requirement to be a debtor under Title 11. Section 109(h)(3) sets out circumstances under which the Court may grant the debtor an exemption from obtaining credit counseling. If the debtor certifies that there were exigent circumstances meriting a wavier.......(click here for entire document).
Motions Seeking to Extend the Automatic Stay - The Court has considered several motions to extend the automatic stay. The facts of these motions have thus far appeared to fall into the following categories.......(click here for entire document).
Judge Waites anticipates the continued use of mediation in cases and adversary proceedings. The Judge maintains a list of counsel interested in serving as mediators, along with a proposed hourly rate, to be made available to litigants upon request.
If you would like to be included, if you have previously requested to be included but you have an updated hourly rate, or if you would like to be able to refer to the mediators list, please contact Cheryl at Cheryl_Hughes@scb.uscourts.gov.