(6th Cir. Nov. 14, 2017)
The Sixth Circuit vacates the district court’s judgment dismissing the creditor’s lawsuit against the debtor. The lawsuit was filed after the petition date, and the bankruptcy court entered an order that vacated the automatic stay so that the creditor was permitted “to resume and prosecute to conclusion” the lawsuit. The debtor then filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, arguing the initial case filed was null and void because it had been filed in violation of the automatic stay and a second action filed was outside the 30-day period allowed by 11 U.S.C. § 108(c) after lifting of the stay. The court finds that the stay lift order is ambiguous because it doesn’t clearly state that the stay was “annulled” or that the relief granted is retroactive to validate the first lawsuit filed. The court remands for consideration of additional evidence and correct application of Easley v. Petit One Mich. Corp. Opinion below.
Attorneys for Creditor: Seiller Waterman, David M. Cantor, Keith James Larson; Taliaferro, Carran & Keys, Philip Taliaferro, III
Attorneys for Debtor: Casey, Bailey & Maines, Susan L. Maines