United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
In re Craig S. Romanzi, Debtor.
Kenneth A. Nathan, Appellee. Fieger & Fieger P.C, et al., Appellants,
Steven Whalen, United States Magistrate Judge
OPINION AND ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION
Gershwin A. Drain, United States District Court Judge
& Fieger, P.C. and Geoffrey N. Fieger
("Appellants" or "Defendants") filed a
Notice of Appeal with this Court on November 10, 2016,
regarding the Bankruptcy Court's denial of their Motion
for Abstention. Dkt. No. 1. The bankruptcy trustee of Craig
S. Romanzi ("Debtor"), Kenneth A. Nathan
("Appellee" or "Trustee") moved to
dismiss this appeal from the denial of a motion for
abstention because it constitutes an improper interlocutory
appeal and appellants did not properly seek leave to appeal.
Dkt. No. 4. On January 30, 2017, this Court entered an Order
granting the Motion to Dismiss. Dkt. No. 17.
before the Court is Appellants' Motion for
Reconsideration. Dkt. No. 19. Upon consideration of the
arguments presented by Appellants, the Court will deny their
Motion for Reconsideration .
Factual And Procedural Background
involuntary Chapter 7 bankruptcy case was filed against
Debtor Craig S. Romanzi on March 16, 2016 in Case Number
16-43857-mbm (the “Bankruptcy Case”). Dkt. No.
10, p. 203 (Pg. ID 413). Id. Kenneth A. Nathan was
appointed trustee over the bankruptcy estate. Id.
Among the assets allegedly owed to the estate is a portion of
attorney fees retained by Debtor's prior employers,
had previously filed a lawsuit in Oakland County Circuit
Court to recover these fees, but voluntarily dismissed them
in July 2016. Dkt. No. 10, p. 148 (Pg. ID 358). Less than a
week later, Trustee filed a five-count adversary complaint
against Appellants in the bankruptcy proceeding (hereinafter
referred to as the “Adversary Proceeding”).
See Dkt. No. 10, pp. 203-13 (Pg. ID 413-23).
Appellants filed a motion for abstention on August 29, 2016.
Dkt. No. 10, p. 95 (Pg. ID 305). Appellants argued for both
mandatory abstention, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
1334(c)(2), and permissive abstention, pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
§ 1334(c)(1). Id. at 83, 88 (Pg. ID 293, 298).
bankruptcy court held a hearing on the motion on October 25,
2016 and issued an order denying the motion the following
day. Dkt. No. 10, p. 11 (Pg. ID 221); Dkt. No. 10, p. 10 (Pg.
November 10, 2016, Appellants filed a Notice of Appeal to
this Court. Dkt. No. 1. Shortly thereafter, Trustee filed a
Motion to Dismiss Appeal. Dkt. No. 4. The Court granted
Appellee's motion on January 30, 2017. Dkt. No. 17.
Appellants now seek reconsideration. Dkt. No. 19.
Rule 7.1(h)(3) of the Local Rules of the United States
District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan provides:
Generally, and without restricting the Court's
discretion, the Court will not grant motions for rehearing or
reconsideration that merely present the same issues ruled
upon by the Court, either expressly or by reasonable
implication. The movant must not only demonstrate a palpable
defect by which the Court and the parties and other persons
entitled to be heard on the motion have been misled but also
show that correcting the defect will result in a different
disposition of the case.
E.D. Mich. LR 7.1(h)(3). “A ‘palpable defect'
is ‘a defect that is obvious, clear, unmistakable,
manifest, or plain.' ” United States v.
Lockett, 328 F.Supp.2d 682, 684 (E.D. Mich. 2004)
(citing United States v. Cican, 156 F.Supp.2d 661,
668 (E.D. Mich. 2001)). “[A] motion for reconsideration
is not properly used as a vehicle to re-hash old arguments or
to advance positions that could have been argued earlier but
were not.” Smith ex rel. Smith v. Mount Pleasant
Pub. Sch., 298 ...