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Grogan v. Renfrow

United States District Court, N.D. Oklahoma

July 2, 2019

COURTNEY GROGAN, Successor Trustee of the Joe C. Cole Revocable Trust, under trust agreement dated March 28, 2002, and ATKINSON, HASKINS, NELLIS, BRITTINGHAM, GLASS & FIASCO, an Oklahoma Professional Corporation, Appellant/Defendants
v.
MIRANDA KRISTIN RENFROW, Appellee/Plaintiff.

         Appeal from: Adv No. 1');">1');">1');">17-1');">1');">1');">1027-R U.S. Bankruptcy Court N. D. Oklahoma Honorable Judge Dana L. Rasure

          OPINION AND ORDER

          frank h. McCarthy, United States Magistrate Judge.

         Appellant/Defendants' Combined Motion to Stay Enforcement of Judgment Pending Appeal & To Fix The Amount of Supersedeas Bond, [Dkt. 9], is before the undersigned United States Magistrate Judge for decision.[1');">1');">1');">1" name="FN1');">1');">1');">1" id= "FN1');">1');">1');">1">1');">1');">1');">1] The matter has been briefed, [Dkt. 1');">1');">1');">11');">1');">1');">1, 1');">1');">1');">13], and hearing on the matter was held on June 6, 201');">1');">1');">19.

         Background

         On June 1');">1');">1');">15, 201');">1');">1');">17, Renfrow received a discharge in bankruptcy entered under § 727 of the bankruptcy code for her dischargeable debts incurred before the March 1');">1');">1');">10, 201');">1');">1');">17 date of her bankruptcy petition. Following the discharge Grogan prosecuted a state court action against Renfrow and received a judgment against her of $89, 500. Renfrow's state court appeal of that judgment is pending.

         Following a trial in an adversary action before the Bankruptcy Court, the Bankruptcy Court found that Grogan obtained the judgment against Renfrow in the state court action for pre-petition activities and ruled that the state court judgment was void ab initio. The Court also found that the conduct of Grogan and her attorney violated 1');">1');">1');">11');">1');">1');">1 U.S.C. § 524(a)(2) and the Bankruptcy Court's discharge order for which compensatory damages of $1');">1');">1');">104, 867 and punitive damages of $1');">1');">1');">100, 000 were awarded against Grogan and her attorney. [Dkt. 2-1');">1');">1');">1]. The Bankruptcy Court ordered Grogan and her counsel to obtain an order vacating the state court judgment and to dismiss the state court action against Renfrow. Id. Grogan appealed the Bankruptcy Court decision to this court and moved for a stay of the judgment, which the Bankruptcy Court denied. [Dkt. 9-1');">1');">1');">1]. As permitted by Fed. Rules Bankr. Proc. 8007, Defendants moved for stay in this court.

         At the hearing before the undersigned, the parties represented that they will not attempt to execute on their respective money judgments, so there is no need for a supersedeas bond. Based on the parties representations, that aspect of Defendants' motion is moot.

         Analysis

         The question that remains is whether the Bankruptcy Court's order to Grogan to obtain an order vacating the state court judgment and to dismiss the state court action against Renfrow should be stayed. The parties agree that the moveant has the burden to establish all of the following four factors:

1');">1');">1');">1) whether the stay applicant has made a strong showing that he is likely to succeed on the merits;
2) whether the applicant will be irreparably injured absent a stay;
3) whether issuance of the stay will substantially injure the other parities interested in the proceeding; and
4) where the public interest lies.

Nken v. Holder, 1');">1');">1');">18');">556 U.S. 41');">1');">1');">18, 434, 1');">1');">1');">129 S.Ct. 1');">1');">1');">1749');">1');">1');">1');">129 S.Ct. 1');">1');">1');">1749, 1');">1');">1');">173 L.Ed.2d 550 (2009). The Bankruptcy Court found that all four factors ...


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