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TowneSquare Media, LLC v. Brill (7th Cir.)

Justia.com Opinion Summary

Defendant owned companies forced into Chapter 11 bankruptcy, but was not a debtor in the proceedings. The plan was confirmed and prohibited suits against the bankruptcy professionals and certain litigation against pre-bankruptcy creditors. Years later defendant sued plaintiff, pre-judgment creditors, and the bankruptcy professionals in an Indiana state court, based on Indiana law. The creditors removed the suit to bankruptcy court (28 U.S.C. 1452(a)) rather than asking the bankruptcy judge to enforce his order. The statute authorizes removal of any claim of which that court would have jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. 1334, which confers on the district courts original jurisdiction of all civil proceedings arising under the Bankruptcy Code, or “arising in or related to cases under” the Code. The bankruptcy judge determined that the suit against the bankruptcy professionals was barred. Defendant filed an amended complaint eliminating all defendants except plaintiff and stating that the only claims arose from alleged violations of confidentiality agreements. The bankruptcy judge ruled that, as amended, the complaint was unrelated to the bankruptcy and ordered the suit remanded to the state court. The district judge affirmed. The Seventh Circuit concluded that the dismissal was not subject to review.

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