Eastern District Bankruptcy Court amends local rules

A slew of amendments to the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure, and two brand-new rules, take effect Dec. 1, 2011.

As a result, the Local Court Rules of the Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Michigan are a bit out of kilter and have been amended on an interim basis to conform with the new federal changes.

Local Bankruptcy Rule 2015-5(a) and Local Bankruptcy Rule 3001-2, conflict with new F.R.Bankr.P. 3002.1. The court has issued Administrative Order 11-08, which also takes effect Dec. 1, to bring its local rules into compliance.

There are some new forms to deal with as well.

A copy of the new rules, the amended rules and extensive commentary on their formulation was issued earlier this year by the Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure of the Judicial Conference of the United States.

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Northeast Michigan Bankruptcy Bar meets Nov. 9

New Bankruptcy Rules 3001 and 3002.1 will be discussed at a dinner meeting of the Northeast Michigan Bankruptcy Bar on Nov. 9 at Zehnder’s in Frankenmuth.

Bankruptcy Judge Daniel Opperman and attorneys Laura Breckenridge and Adam Reatherford will provide their perspectives on the new rules, which deal with proofs of claim and curing defaults in mortgage foreclosure cases.

The rules take effect Dec. 1.

The NMBB has an information sheet with all the details and a reservation form.

Bankruptcy fees increase Nov. 1

If you’ve got a bankruptcy case ready to file, you might want to think about doing that on or before Oct. 31, 2011.

Beginning Nov. 1, bankruptcy fees will increase to conform with changes adopted by the United States Judicial Conference at its September 2011 session.

The current fee schedule is reported on the website of the Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.

The new fee schedule contains modest increases.

Eastern District bankruptcy judges: How are we doing?

How are the six judges of the Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Michigan performing on the bench?

They’d like to know and have asked the Federal Judicial Center (FJC) to help them find out.

Beginning today and through the end of May, bankruptcy attorneys in the Eastern District will receive emailed surveys about the judges or judges they’ve practiced before.

For each survey, research staff at the FJC will compile and analyze the survey responses, and will provide each judge a report, including a statistical summary and a compilation of the comments that are received. FJC staff will not provide the judges with the identity of people who responded, if that information becomes known to them. The results are exclusively for the judge’s use in improving his or her performance; they will not be provided to anyone other than the judge and will not be used in either the reappointment or recall process.

Here’s more information about the survey process.

Eastern District Bankruptcy Court: Hear it soon

In April 2011, the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Michigan will begin to make digital audio files of court proceedings available to the public over the internet through the PACER system.

Counsel of record who receive a notice of electronic filing will have one free review, just as they do with other electronically filed documents.

The PACER fee to access the digital audio is $2.40 per session.

The implementation schedule, which is subject to change if unforeseen technical issues arise, is as follows:

  • beginning April 11, 2011: audio files from all matters held before Judge Thomas Tucker will be uploaded to court dockets in CM/ECF, within 24 hours of the proceeding.
  • beginning April 18, 2011: audio files from all matters held before Chief Judge Phillip Shefferly and Judge Steven Rhodes will be uploaded to court dockets in CM/ECF, within 24 hours of the proceeding.
  • beginning April 25, 2011: audio files from all matters held before Judge Marci McIvor and Judge Walter Shapero will be uploaded to court dockets in CM/ECF, within 24 hours of the proceeding.
  • beginning May 2, 2011: audio files from all matters held before Judge Daniel Opperman will be uploaded to court dockets in CM/ECF, within 24 hours of the proceeding.

The court’s order includes instructions for downloading the MP3-format audio files.

Source: United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.

Just in case you’re burning the midnight bankruptcy oil …

… and you want to use the Eastern District Bankruptcy Court’s Electronic Case Filing System (ECF) between 10 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2010, through 12:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2010, don’t bother.

The system will be shut down to perform upgrades relating to bankruptcy rule and form changes, which take effect Dec. 1.

Enjoy the night off.

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Upcoming bankruptcy conferences

There’s still time to register for two conferences geared toward bankruptcy practitioners.

The first, sponsored by the Consumer Bankruptcy Association, offers practical advice on obtaining “Administrative Relief for Student Loan Debtors.”

According to the CBA, “The Department of Education litigates hardship discharges vigorously, and will move to dismiss for failure to exhaust administrative remedies. Find out how to avoid these issues in your cases.”

The featured speaker is Dawn Scaniffe, General Attorney, Office of the General Counsel Department of Education.

The registration deadline is Oct. 1. Details here.

On Nov. 11, the American Bankruptcy Institute, in partnership with the Detroit Consumer Bankruptcy Association, is sponsoring The Sixth Annual Detroit Consumer Bankruptcy Conference.

The conference features an all-star line-up of bankruptcy judges and practitioners.

From the ABI:

This year’s program will again address the topics that consumer practitioners need: the latest from the Supreme Court and the lower courts and what’s left of good faith in bankruptcy, as well as an extensive series of breakout sessions on exemptions, lien -stripping, tax issues, means testing, asset cases, claims against creditors, objections to claims, legal writing and oral argument, and mortgage-modification news.

A special highlight will be our keynote luncheon speaker, former ABI Resident Scholar Prof. Lois Lupica of the University of Maine School of Law, who is investigating fees in consumer cases nationwide.

Registration information here.