United States Bankruptcy Appellate Panel of the Eighth Circuit
Submitted: November 22, 2019
from United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District
of Arkansas - Hot Springs
SCHERMER, SHODEEN, and SANBERG, Bankruptcy Judges.
SCHERMER, Bankruptcy Judge
Amy Doughty (Debtor) appeals the bankruptcy
court's order dismissing her request for relief
for alleged violations of the automatic stay and discharge
injunction. We have jurisdiction over this appeal from the
final order of the bankruptcy court. See 28 U.S.C.
§ 158(b). For the reasons that follow, we affirm.
issue on appeal is whether the bankruptcy court properly
dismissed the Debtor's request for relief for alleged
violations of the automatic stay and the discharge
injunction. We hold that it did. We also deny the
Debtor's motion to supplement the record on appeal.
December 2014, the Debtor filed a petition for relief under
Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code. The Debtor received her
Chapter 7 discharge on August 9, 2017. In March 2019, the
bankruptcy court reopened the Debtor's case to allow the
Debtor to file her request seeking relief based on alleged
violations of the discharge injunction and automatic stay
Douglas is the father of one of the Debtor's two
children. The Debtor and Mr. Douglas were never
married. Nevertheless, they had custody and support disputes
in state court related to their child.
October 6, 2014, the Arkansas state court entered its initial
custody order, which did not require the Debtor to pay Mr.
Douglas. In its September 13, 2017 order, the Arkansas Court
of Appeals reversed $50, 250 in attorneys' fees
previously awarded to the Debtor from Mr. Douglas during the
custody litigation. Mr. Douglas requested that he be
reimbursed for the attorneys' fees out of funds held in
the registry of the state court. In July 2018, the state
court awarded Mr. Douglas the $20, 150 in interplead funds.
Of the $20, 150, part represented back child support owed by
the Debtor to Mr. Douglas and $12, 574 represented part of
the sum to which Mr. Douglas was entitled following the 2017
Arkansas Court of Appeals decision. In October 2018, the
state court entered a judgment for the remaining balance of
attorneys' fees owed to Mr. Douglas pursuant to the
appellate court's decision. Then in November 2018, Mr.
Douglas filed a petition for attorney's fees and costs in
the state court. At the time of the hearing on the motion to
dismiss the 2019 Request, the Debtor was required by the
Arkansas state court to pay child support to Mr. Douglas.
February 2019, a subpoena was issued in the state court case
requiring the Debtor to produce financial information to Mr.
Douglas in connection with the Debtor's child support
obligations. On March 15, 2019, after the Debtor failed to
comply with the subpoena, Mr. Douglas filed a petition for
contempt and to compel the information.
Debtor filed her 2019 Request seeking various forms of relief
against Mr. Douglas and others based on alleged violations of
the automatic stay and discharge injunction. Although the
Debtor does not clearly articulate what constituted the
automatic stay and discharge injunction violations, she
refers to: the subpoena and motion to compel in the Arkansas
state court proceedings; Mr. Douglas's attorney's fee
award and receipt of interpleader funds from the state
courts; and Mr. Douglas's November 2018 state court
attorney's fees request. Part of the relief sought by the
Debtor was a judgment against Mr. Douglas and others for $12,
574 (the same as the amount of the interplead funds given to
Mr. Douglas as attorney's fees).
bankruptcy court granted Mr. Douglas's motion to dismiss
the Debtor's 2019 Request under Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 12(b)(6). It stated that she had no basis to allege
a plausible cause of action against Mr. Douglas, his
attorneys, and the others named in her 2019 Request. The
bankruptcy court ruled on the motion to dismiss after the
Debtor filed her response to it and after the bankruptcy
court held a hearing and ...