United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
MALACHY E. MANNION UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
before the court is the appeal filed by pro se
appellant Gerald Kufrovich (“appellant”), in
which he challenges the June 11, 2019 Order of the Bankruptcy
Court denying his motion to reinstate his Chapter 13
bankruptcy case after it was previously
dismissed. Named as appellee is Charles J. DeHart,
III, the Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Trustee. The court has
previously allowed Goshen Mortgage LLC as Separate Trustee
for GBDT I Trust 2011-1 (“Intervenor”) to
intervene in this case pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 24.
For the reasons that follow, the Order of the Bankruptcy
Court will be AFFIRMED and, appellant's
appeal, (Doc. 1), will be DENIED.
August 7, 2018, appellant filed, pro se, a voluntary
Petition under Chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code which was
docketed to case number 5-18-bk-03317, M.D.Pa.
J. DeHart, III, (“appellee”), was named the
Chapter 13 Standing Trustee in appellant's case.
holds the first mortgage lien on appellant's real
property located at 31 Hilltop Road, Barnesville,
Pennsylvania. On November 30, 2018, intervenor filed an
objection to the confirmation of appellant's proposed
Chapter 13 plan.
February 7, 2019, appellee filed a motion to dismiss
appellant's Chapter 13 Case for material default due to
appellant's failure to make Chapter 13 Plan Payments
towards his Reorganization Plan as required. (Doc. 65,
5-18-bk-03317). A hearing on the Doc. 65 motion to dismiss
was then scheduled for March 5, 2019. On the same day that
the Doc. 65 motion was filed, the docket indicates that a
second motion to dismiss was inadvertently filed by appellee
and a hearing was also scheduled on this motion for March 5,
2019. (Doc. 66, 5-18-bk-03317). However, when appellee later
realized on February 7, 2019 that his Doc. 66 motion to
dismiss was a duplicate of his Doc. 65 motion, he withdrew
the Doc. 66 motion. (Doc. 67, 5-18-bk-03317). The Bankruptcy
Court Case Administrator then terminated the Doc. 66 motion
to dismiss and the duplicate March 5, 2019 hearing schedule
on the Doc. 66 motion was cancelled. (Doc. 68,
appellee's Doc. 65 motion to dismiss was not withdrawn.
Nor was the March 5, 2019 hearing scheduled on the Doc. 65
motion cancelled. The docket also indicates that notice of
appellee's Doc. 65 motion to dismiss and March 5, 2019
hearing were served on debtor. (Doc. 65, 5-18-bk-03317).
February 15, 2019, intervenor filed a motion for relief from
the automatic stay pursuant to 11 U.S.C. §362(d),
alleging that appellant failed to make monthly post-petition
mortgage payments to it. Intervenor sought relief from the
stay in order to have the sheriff's sale of appellant
real property re-scheduled. The Bankruptcy Court scheduled a
hearing on intervenor's relief from stay motion for March
hearing on appellee's Doc. 65 motion to dismiss was held
before the Bankruptcy Court on March 5, 2019. Despite the
notice appellee sent to appellant, appellant did not attend
the hearing. The Bankruptcy Court then issued an Order on
March 5, 2019 granting appellee's Doc. 65 motion to
dismiss, and appellant's Chapter 13 bankruptcy case was
dismissed for material default, namely appellant had failed
to make any payments to appellee pursuant to appellant's
own Bankruptcy plan. As such, intervenor's motion for
relief from the automatic stay was deemed moot since the case
was dismissed. (Docs. 77, 78 & 79, 5-18-bk-03317).
March 14, 2019, appellant filed a motion to reinstate his
Chapter 13 case. On May 2, 2019, intervenor filed an
opposition to appellant's motion to reinstate his
bankruptcy case. On June 11, 2019, the Bankruptcy Court held
a hearing on appellant's reinstatement motion. Appellant
was present at the hearing. Counsel for intervenor
participated in the hearing by telephone. Appellee was also
present at the hearing. The Bankruptcy Court construed
appellant's motion to reinstate his case as a motion for
reconsideration under Fed.R.Civ.P. 59 regarding the
Court's March 5, 2019 Order granting appellee's Doc.
65 motion to dismiss and dismissing the case. (Doc. 15, Civil
No. 19-1057). After the hearing, the Bankruptcy Court stated
its findings and conclusions on the record and, then issued
an Order denying appellant's motion to reinstate his
case. (Docs. 92 & 93, 5-18-bk-03317), (Doc. 1-1, Civil
21, 2019, appellant timely filed his instant pro se
notice of appeal with this court appealing the Bankruptcy
Court's June 11, 2019 Order denying his motion to
reinstate his Chapter 13 case. (Doc. 1).
24, 2019, this court issued a Scheduling Order pursuant to
Rule 8001 of the Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure setting the
dates for appellant to file a designation of the items to be
included in the record on appeal and a statement of the
issues to be presented on appeal, as well as setting the
dates briefs were due by the parties. (Doc. 2).
Appellant's designation of the items to be included in
the record on appeal and his statement of the issues to be
presented were due 14 days after he filed his notice of
appeal, i.e., by July 5, 2019.
5, 2019, appellant filed his purported 2-sentence designation
of the items to be included in the record on appeal and his
statement of the issues to be presented on appeal, but they
were not in conformance with Federal Rule of Bankruptcy
Procedure 8009. (Doc. 7). Nonetheless, since appellant
is proceeding pro se, the court construes the issue
in appellant's appeal to be whether the Bankruptcy Court
erred in denying appellant's motion to reinstate his
Bankruptcy case. Also, since appellant did not submit items
to be included in the record on appeal, the court ...