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In re Wijewickrama

United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Asheville Division

March 15, 2018

IN RE DAVID A. WIJEWICKRAMA, Debtor,
v.
EDGEFIELD HOLDINGS, LLC, Appellee. DAVID A. WIJEWICKRAMA, Debtor, Appellant,

          MEMORANDUM OF DECISION AND ORDER

          Martin Reidinger, United States District Judge

         THIS MATTER is before the Court on the Notice of Appeal of David A. Wijewickrama (the “Debtor”) [Doc. 1].

         I. PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         On May 23, 2016, the Debtor filed a voluntary Chapter 7 Petition. [B Doc. 1].[1] On June 30, 2016, the first meeting of creditors was held, thus establishing August 29, 2016 as the deadline to object to discharge or to challenge the dischargeability of certain debts (hereinafter “bar date”). [B Docs. 3, 4].

         On August 26, 2016, First Citizens Bank & Trust Company (“First Citizens”) filed a Motion to Extend Time to Object to Discharge and/or to Determine Dischargeability of Debt (hereinafter “Motion to Extend Time”). [B Doc. 23]. On September 8, 2016, the Debtor filed a response opposing First Citizens' Motion to Extend Time and requesting a hearing on the matter. [B Doc. 25]. On September 12, 2016, Appellee Edgefield Holdings, LLC (“Edgefield”), filed a document entitled “Joinder of Edgefield Holdings, LCC in Motion to Extend time to Object to Dischargeability” (hereinafter “joinder”), to which the Debtor objected the following day. [B Docs. 26, 27].[2]

         Due to the hearing on the motion being continued, First Citizens amended its Motion to Extend Time, this time requesting that the bar date be extended to October 13, 2016. [B Doc. 29]. Edgefield then filed a second joinder to First Citizens' amended Motion to Extend Time, to which the Debtor objected. [B Docs. 30, 31].

         First Citizens' Motion to Extend Time requested an extension of the bar date only with regard to its own claim. [B. Doc. 23 at ¶ 3]. In contrast, Edgefield's joinders requested, in pertinent part, as follows:

Edgefield … hereby joins in the Motion to Extend Time to Object to Dischargeability filed on August 26, 2016 by First Citizens Bank & Trust Company (the “Motion”). Edgefield would also like the opportunity to review the transcript of the 2004 Exam of the Debtor upon the consent of First Citizens Bank & Trust Company as it has concerns about numerous property transfers. Wherefore, Edgefield joins the Motion and asks for an additional thirty (30) days to object to the discharge of the Debtor.

[B Doc. 26 at 1] (emphasis added).

Edgefield, through counsel, joins in First Citizens' request for an Order of this Court extending the last date to oppose discharge and/or to determine dischargeability of its debt an additional 15 days for a total of 45 days or until October 13, 2016.

[B Doc. 30 at 1] (emphasis added). The second motion is clearly not as broad as the first.

         On October 4, 2016, the motion came on for hearing before Honorable George R. Hodges, United States Bankruptcy Judge. [B Doc. 41 Transcript].

         At the hearing, the Trustee expressed that she had no objection to the granting of the motion. [Id. at 8]. The Bankruptcy Court granted the motion, but extended the bar date not only for the Movant, First Citizens, but for all creditors and the Trustee, stating that “it would probably be better if we have everybody in it in time to decide what to do, so we'll allow the joinder and allow the extension of time to October 13, [2016].” [Id. at 9]. The Bankruptcy Court entered a written order on October 12, 2016 (hereinafter “Order Extending the Bar Date”). Edgefield filed its objections to discharge immediately thereafter. [B Docs. 32, 33]. First Citizens, however, did not file any objections to discharge.

         On October 25, 2016, the Debtor filed a Notice of Appeal from the Bankruptcy Court's Order Extending the Bar Date. [B Doc. 35]. Having been fully briefed by the parties, this matter is now ripe for disposition.

         II. ...


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