Rule Changes for the Central District of CA: New Signature Requirements

Effective tomorrow, the Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California has implemented a significant change in its signature requirements for documents filed through CM/ECF.

Documents requiring the signature of a debtor or any other party (with the exception of registered CM/ECF filers) must bear a holographic signature.  And the familiar Electronic Filing Declaration will no longer be accepted.  

Legal nerds and insomniacs can click on the following links to view the changes:

A complete list of new, revised, and retired local rules and forms for the Central District of California, effective as of December 1, 2017, can be found here.  Local forms are available here.  The changes include the following:

  • LBR 1002-1(f)): deleted and superseded by new LBR 9011-1.
  • LBR 1017-2(f): amended to specify that the Court retains jurisdiction in dismissed cases to enforce issues listed in LBR 1017-2(f).
  • LBR 3015-1: the national rules addressing chapter 13 were updated, effective 12/1/17, which necessitated a comprehensive update to this LBR.  Amendments also encourage uniformity and clarity in chapter 13 practice.
  • LBR 3020-1: amended to clarify the requirement for certain language to be included in a Chapter 13 plan confirmation order and specify the effect of conversion from Chapter 11 to Chapter 7.
  • LBR 7055-1(b): amended to reflect a change in the renumbering of 50 U.S.C. Chapter 50.
  • LBR 7064-1: amended to specify that bankruptcy evictions are handled by the U.S. Marshals Service and the exact language to be included in an eviction order.
  • LBR 7067-1: amended to reflect changes in the national registry fund fee structure and add a requirement to use a local form order.
  • LBR 9011-1: new LBR specifies signature requirements for electronically filed documents.

Mette K.

Bankruptcy Judges, Fish & Farmers

Fourteen temporary bankruptcy judgeships have been extended and four new ones have been authorized nationwide.  This is at least one piece of generally positive legislative news that bankruptcy practitioners should be able to agree on!

Temporary Judges Added to Delaware, Florida, and Michigan

The legislation, H.R. 2266, was included in the $36.5 billion disaster aid bill signed into law on October 26th. It incorporated a version of the Bankruptcy Judgeship Act of 2017 introduced by Rep. John Conyers (D) and Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R).

The bill, as enacted, reauthorizes 14 temporary bankruptcy judgeships in Delaware, Florida, Puerto Rico, Maryland, Michigan, Virginia, Nevada, and North, and authorizes the appointment of four additional temporary bankruptcy judges in Delaware, Florida, and Michigan.

While bankruptcy filings have declined nationwide in recent years, the effected districts have seen a 55% weighted increase in case filings since 2005. The federal Judicial Conference wrote to congressional leaders in April saying that federal bankruptcy courts in Delaware and eight other districts would face a ‘debilitating workload crisis” if lawmakers didn’t add judgeships and permitted the 14 temporary judgeships to lapse. (Original versions of the legislation had hoped not only to add four new, permanent judgeships but also to make the temporary judgeships permanent.)

Quarterly Fees to Increase to Fund the Judgeships

The measure increases the U.S. Trustee’s quarterly fees for large Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases to pay for the additional judgeships.  Specifically, if the balance in the U.S. Trustee System Fund is less than $200 million, then a debtor with total quarterly disbursements of $1 million or more must pay a quarterly fee equal to $250,000 or 1% of disbursements, whichever is less.

What About those Fish and Farm Tax Claims?!

The legislation also amends Bankruptcy Code § 1232 to add tax claims by the IRS resulting from the sale, transfer, exchange, or disposition of farming property in cases under Chapter 12 (e.g., family farmer or fisherman reorganizations). Such a claim that arises before a debtor’s discharge, regardless of whether the claim is pre-petition or post-petition, must be treated as a pre-petition claim, is not entitled to priority status, must be provided for under the bankruptcy plan, and is dischargeable.

Trivia Quiz… This $20 Cabela’s Gift Card Could Be Yours!

I’m offering a $20 Cabel’as gift card to the first person who can explain the connection between the fish and farming amendment and the rest of the bill!

Mette K.