LARKIN HOLMON, Independent Administrator of the Estate of Taymond Freeman, Deceased, Plaintiff-Appellant,
THE VILLAGE OF ALORTON, Defendant-Appellee.
from the Circuit Court of St. Clair County No. 14-L-136
Honorable Randall W. Kelley, Judge, presiding.
Attorney for Appellant George R. Ripplinger, Ripplinger &
Attorney for Appellee Charles W. Courtney, Jr., Alana I.
Mejias, Jayni A. Desai, Courtney, for Clark & Mejias,
PRESIDING JUSTICE SCHWARM delivered the judgment of the
court, with opinion.Justices Cates and Moore concurred in the
judgment and opinion.
Honorable S. Gene Schwarm, P.J.
1 Larkin Holmon, administrator of the estate of Taymond
Freeman, appeals from the circuit court's order denying
Holmon's motion for partial summary judgment and granting
a motion for judgment on the pleadings filed by the Village
of Alorton, the appellee. The appellant seeks to rescind an
agreed-upon bankruptcy plan under which the appellee was to
make payments to Freeman's estate. We affirm the circuit
court's decision denying the appellant's motion for
partial summary judgment and granting the appellee's
motion for judgment on the pleadings as it relates solely to
the issue of rescission. We remand for further proceedings
allowing the appellant to enforce the bankruptcy plan payment
3 On May 31, 1999, Taymond Freeman was shot by Thomas
McGowan, a police officer employed by the appellee. On March
7, 2005, a bench trial was held, in which Freeman brought,
against McGowan, claims of battery and claims relating to
violations of his right to be free from unreasonable search
and seizure and his right to be afforded due process of law.
On March 23, 2005, a judgment was entered in favor of Freeman
and against McGowan in the amount of $978, 874.40 plus costs
of $1821.18. In its judgment, the circuit court held that
McGowan's conduct was not willful, therefore making the
appellee liable to reimburse McGowan for the damages awarded.
4 On January 6, 2005, the appellee filed a chapter 9
bankruptcy proceeding (11 U.S.C. § 901 et seq.
(2000)) in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the
Southern District of Illinois. Freeman was the appellee's
largest creditor. Due to the size of his claim, if Freeman
did not vote to approve the appellee's chapter 9 plan of
adjustment in bankruptcy, the plan would not be approved.
Freeman agreed to the appellee's amended plan of
adjustment, which established a new class of creditors,
"Class 7, " consisting solely of Freeman. Under
this amended plan, Freeman was to receive a total of $600,
000, payable in monthly installments of $2500 over 20 years,
with the first payment due on the sixty-first month following
the confirmation of the appellee's bankruptcy plan.
¶ 5 Section 5.06 of the amended plan of adjustment,
which addressed payment of Freeman's claim, provided as
"5.06 Class 7: The creditor in this class
consists of the claim for an outstanding judgment against the
Debtor in favor of Taymond Freeman. The creditor will receive
$600, 000.00 of his entire claim, to be paid in monthly
installments of $2, 500 for a period of twenty (20) years,
first payment to be made on the 61st month (5 years)
following the date of confirmation of the Plan, then $2, 500
each month thereafter for the remaining twenty (20)
6 Another pertinent part of the amended plan of adjustment,
section 7.01, dealing with the effect of the plan on
confirmation, provided as follows:
"The distributions and rights afforded in this Plan
shall be in complete satisfaction, discharge and release,
effective on the Confirmation Date (hereinafter
'Discharge Date'), of all Claims against and
Interests in the Debtor or any of the assets or properties of
the Debtor of any nature whatsoever. Commencing on the
Discharge Date, all Claimholders and Interestholders shall be
precluded forever from asserting against the Debtor, or the
reorganized Debtor, or the respective assets and properties,
any other or further liabilities, liens, obligations, causes
of action, claims or equity interests, including but not
limited to all principal and accrued and unpaid interest on
the debts of the Debtor based upon any act or omission,
transaction or other activity or security instrument or other
agreement of any kind or nature occurring, arising or
existing prior to the Discharge Date, that was or could have
been the subject of any Claim or Interest, whether or not
Allowed, except with respect to classes of claims unimpaired
pursuant to this Plan, said classes of claims and
claimholders therein having been fully satisfied. As of the
Discharge Date, the Debtor shall be discharged and released
from, and the Debtor shall hold all assets and properties
received or retained by it pursuant to this Plan free of all
liabilities, liens, claims and obligations or other claims of
any nature, including but not limited to equity interests,
known or unknown, except classes of claims unimpaired
pursuant to this Plan, and any liens, liabilities,
obligations or other claims expressly authorized under this
Plan or created by or preserved under this Plan or arising
after the Discharge Date. All legal or other proceedings and
actions seeking to establish or enforce liabilities, liens,
claims, equity interests or obligations of any nature as
against the Debtor or assets or properties received or
retained by the Debtor with respect to debts and obligations,
if any, arising before the Discharge Date shall be
permanently stayed and enjoined, except as otherwise
specifically provided in this Plan.
¶ 7 On December 11, 2006, the amended plan of adjustment
was confirmed, and on April 4, 2007, the bankruptcy court
filed an order closing the bankruptcy case.
8 Subsequent to the confirmation of the amended plan of
adjustment and prior to any payments being made under the
plan, a judgment in the amount of $346, 000 was entered
against Freeman in favor of Stacy Goodlow in Goodlow v.
Freeman, No. 06-L-531 (Cir. Ct. St. Clair Co.). On January
14, 2009, the circuit court entered an order in this case,
which redirected a portion of the bankruptcy plan payments to
Stacy Goodlow in satisfaction of her judgment against
Freeman. Under this order, the appellee would pay $400, 000
of the $600, 000 to Goodlow and a maximum of $200, 000 of the
$600, 000 to Freeman. Accordingly, two-thirds of the monthly
plan payments would go to Goodlow and one-third to Freeman.
On March 12, 2009, Freeman was murdered. On May 14, ...