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In re Sharp

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division

May 3, 2018

In re MARIQUE SHARP, Debtor
v.
STUART A. GOLD, CHAPTER 7 TRUSTEE, Appellee. MARIQUE SHARP, Appellant,

          ORDER DENYING APPELLANT'S MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION [DOC. 8]

          VICTORIA A. ROBERTS, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Appellant-Debtor Marique Sharp (“Sharp”) files a Motion for Reconsideration of the Court's ruling that upheld the Bankruptcy Court's denial of her previous motion for reconsideration.

         Because Sharp fails to show a palpable defect by which the Court has been misled, her motion is DENIED.

         I. Background

         Sharp and her mother, Yvette Saltmarshall (“Saltmarshall”) reside together at 4574 6th Street, Ecorse, Michigan (“the property”). By quit claim deed recorded on July 24, 2015, Sharp conveyed her interest in the property to Saltmarshall for $1.00.

         On November 1, 2016, Sharp petitioned for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. She indicated on her Schedule A/B form that she did not own or have any interest in any property. Sharp also did not claim an exemption in the Ecorse property on her Schedule C form. She disclosed that she lived at the property, but that she transferred the property to Saltmarshall in July 2015.

         On March 14, 2017, Trustee Stuart A. Gold (“Gold”) filed an adversary proceeding to avoid the transfer of the property to Saltmarshall as a fraudulent transfer under 11 U.S.C. §§ 544(b), 548, 550(a), and the Michigan Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act.

         Sharp then filed amendments to the schedules, seeking to claim an exemption in the property pursuant to 11 U.S.C. § 522(d)(1). Gold objected to Sharp's claimed exemptions; he contended that Sharp's voluntary transfer of the property to Saltmarshall before filing for bankruptcy prevented her from claiming the exemption. The Bankruptcy Court sustained Gold's objections and denied Sharp's amendments. Sharp filed a motion for reconsideration, which the Bankruptcy Court denied.

         The Bankruptcy Court granted Gold's motion for summary judgment in the adversary case, concluding that the bankruptcy estate had 100% interest in the property, and that it could be liquidated for the benefit of the estate.

         Sharp appealed the Bankruptcy Court's ruling, arguing, inter alia, that the Bankruptcy Court erred in finding that she fraudulently concealed the Ecorse property and that she could not claim an exemption as a result. This Court affirmed the Bankruptcy Court, holding that the Bankruptcy Court did not err in disallowing Sharp from claiming the homestead exemption because Sharp voluntarily transferred the Ecorse property to her mother.

         This motion for reconsideration followed. Sharp argues that: 1) the Court was required to find both a voluntary transfer and a concealment in order to apply the § 522(g) exception to exemptions, which it did not do; 2) the property was not concealed because Sharp listed it on her schedules; and 3) Trustee Gold did not “recover” the property in a manner that triggered the application of the § 522(g) exception.

         II. Legal Standard

         Local Rule 7.1(h)(3) provides the Court's standard of review on a motion for reconsideration:

“Generally, and without restricting the court's discretion, the court will not grant motions for ... 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 ...

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