Judge Laurel Myerson Isicoff’s ruling that held the State in contempt of court for violating my client’s Chapter 13 “confirmation stay”.
The State of Florida Department of Revenue intercepted my client’s travel expense reimbursement AFTER we confirmed his Chapter 13 Plan that paid 100% of his small child support arrearages. I filed a motion with the bankruptcy court to have the State of Florida Department of Revenue held in contempt of the Chapter 13 Confirmation Order. Judge Isicoff ruled in my client’s favor, enjoined the State of Florida Department of Revenue from further violations and awarded attorney fees. State of Florida Department of Revenue filed an appeal to the United States District Court, and after many months of waiting, the court ruled in our favor!
There was clear case precedence in our favor (In re Rodriguez), however the State of Florida Department of Revenue attempted to avoid the impact of this case law by arguing in its appeal to the District Court that changes to the bankruptcy code made by the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (BAPCPA) rendered In re Rodriguez inapplicable.
We argued that BAPCPA did not change any of the bankruptcy code provisions relevant to the issues at hand, and that if Congress had intended to exempt domestic support obligation creditors from the binding effect of an order of confirmation, it could have easily done so by amending Section 1327 which it chose not to do.
The United States District Court accepted our arguments in the appeal, and rejected each of those made by the State of Florida Department of Revenue. A BIG WIN and a GREAT DAY for the “little guy”. With the right attorney, you can fight (and beat) “City Hall” and the State of Florida.
Learn more about my law firm at the following links: Chapter 13 Bankruptcy
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