United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
October 22, 2004.
YOLANDA HENDERSON, Appellant-Debtor,
DISCOVER FINANCIAL SERVICES, ECAST SETTLEMENT CORP., APOLLO CASUALTY CO., Appellee-Claimants.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: JAMES ZAGEL, District Judge
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
This matter is before me on Appellant's appeal from Bankruptcy
Judge Jack B. Schmetterer's order of October 20, 2003 denying
Appellant's motion to disallow Appellees' proof of claims. A
federal district court has jurisdiction, pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 158, to hear appeals from the bankruptcy court. On the appeal,
the district court reviews the bankruptcy court's factual
findings under the clearly erroneous standard and reviews the
bankruptcy court's legal findings under the de novo standard.
In re A-1 Paving and Contracting, Inc., 116 F.3d 242, 243
(7th Cir. 1997).
Appellant appeared before Judge Schmetterer, on October 20,
2003, to argue that Appellees' claims should be disallowed for
failure to comply with Fed.R. Bank. P. 3001(c). Rule 3001(c)
states that "when a claim . . . is based on a writing, the
original or a duplicate shall be filed with the proof of claim."
Fed.R. Bank. P. 3001(c). Judge Schmetterer found that Rule
3001(c) did not require evidence of the underlying agreements
between the debtor and her creditors be attached to the claim
but, instead, need only be produced during discovery. Judge
Schmetterer based his ruling, at least in part, on the Seventh
Circuit's decision in In re Stoecker, 5 F.3d 1022 (7th Cir. 1993). In Stoecker, the Court found
that meritorious claims should not be disallowed for failure to
strictly comply with Rule 3001(c), which, in the Court's opinion,
amounted to an easily curable and harmless error. Id. at 1028.
The Court also noted that amendment could be made at any time so
long as the other creditors were not prejudiced. Id.
In light of Stoecker, I must agree with Judge Schmetterer
that disallowing the Appellees' meritorious claims is
inappropriate. However, it is still unclear to me whether
production of the underlying evidence during discovery is
sufficient to satisfy the requirement of Rule 3001(c) or whether
an amendment is required. Thus, I am remanding the case for
resolution on the issue of amendment.
This case is REMANDED for further proceedings consistent with
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