United States District Court, S.D. Illinois
October 19, 2005.
DENNIS SONNENSCHEIN, Plaintiff,
LINDA SONNENSCHEIN and UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Defendants.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: MICHAEL REAGAN, District Judge
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
In July 2004, Dennis Sonnenschein filed this suit seeking,
inter alia, a declaratory judgment against and accounting from
his former wife, Linda Sonnenschein. Dennis claimed Linda was
taking actions which interfered with Dennis' ability to satisfy
his monetary obligations resulting from a judgment entered in a
related criminal matter (Case No. 03-cr-30122). Dennis asked the
Court to enjoin Linda from disposing of any of the couple's
marital property and to order her to provide an accounting of all
property she already had disposed of and the proceeds therefrom.
The Court entered a default judgment against Linda in January
2005 and, three months later, held Linda in civil contempt.
Additional motions, hearings, and Orders followed. Ultimately,
the parties reached a settlement, the terms of which were
included in a Consent Order adopted by the Court in July 2005
(Doc. 48). The case then was closed, although the Court retained
jurisdiction to enforce the terms of the settlement.
One issue arose after entry of the Consent Order Dennis moved
to compel Linda to execute certain documents. That motion was set
for hearing, and the parties appeared, October 7, 2005. Because
Dennis had filed an amended motion to compel, however, Linda's
counsel requested (and the Court granted) a motion to continue the hearing. Dennis'
amended motion to compel (Doc. 63) then was set for hearing on
November 3, 2005. A new pleading prevents this Court from
proceeding with the November 3rd hearing, as planned.
On October 19, 2005, Linda Sonnenschein's counsel filed a
"Suggestion of Bankruptcy" herein, advising the Court that on
October 10, 2005 Linda sought protection in the United States
Bankruptcy Court for the District of Colorado. (The Court notes
that the suggestion, Doc. 65, bears an incorrect caption, e.g.,
it lists the USA as Plaintiff rather than as a co-Defendant in
this civil proceeding instituted by Dennis Sonnenschein.)
Under 11 U.S.C. § 362(a), the filing of a bankruptcy petition
triggers an automatic stay of the commencement or continuation
of any judicial proceeding against a debtor. Accordingly, the
Court DECLARES this case STAYED and CANCELS the November 3,
2005 hearing on the amended motion to compel.
The stay shall remain in effect until this Court enters an
Order lifting the stay. The Court DIRECTS Linda's counsel to
file a status report on or by the following dates, advising the
Court of the status of the bankruptcy proceeding and whether the
stay can be lifted, so the Court can proceed with the hearing on
the amended motion to compel: November 28, 2005, January 23,
2006, March 20, 2006, and May 30, 2006.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
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