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In re Prather

United States Bankruptcy Appellate Panel of the Sixth Circuit

August 7, 2019

In re: Kelli Prather, Debtor.

          Appeal from the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Ohio at Cincinnati. No. 1:18-bk-12326-Beth A. Buchanan, Judge.

         ON BRIEF:

          H. Leon Hewitt, HEWITT FOSTER LEGAL GROUP, LTD., Cincinnati, Ohio, for Debtor.

          Daniel M. McDermott, OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES TRUSTEE, Cincinnati, Ohio, for Trustee.

          Before: DALES, HARRISON, and WISE, Bankruptcy Appellate Panel Judges.

          OPINION

          TRACEY N. WISE, BANKRUPTCY APPELLATE PANEL JUDGE

         Debtor/Appellant Kelli Prather appeals from an Order granting a Motion to Dismiss her chapter 7 bankruptcy case with a two-year bar on refiling, filed by Appellee Daniel M. McDermott, United States Trustee for Region 9 ("Trustee"). Debtor's appeal lacks merit for several reasons.

         ISSUE ON APPEAL

         Debtor, who appeared pro se in the bankruptcy court but is represented by counsel herein, presents one issue on appeal: "Did Debtor Notice [sic] receive notice of the proceedings requiring her to file documents?" (BAP No. 18-8037, ECF No. 13 ("Debtor's Brief") at 3.)[1]

         JURISDICTION

         The Bankruptcy Appellate Panel of the Sixth Circuit has jurisdiction to decide this appeal. The United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio has authorized appeals to the Panel, and no party timely elected to have this appeal heard by the district court. 28 U.S.C. § 158(b)(6) and (c)(1). A bankruptcy court's final order may be appealed as of right. 28 U.S.C. § 158(a)(1). An order dismissing a bankruptcy case is a final order. In re Weixel, 494 B.R. 895, 897 (B.A.P. 6th Cir. 2013) (citation omitted).

         FACTS

         A. Debtor filed four bankruptcy cases within four years, including the case at issue.

         Between October 2014 and June 2018, Debtor filed four bankruptcy petitions in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Ohio.[2] First, she filed a chapter 13 petition in October 2014. After the case was converted, Debtor's chapter 7 discharge was revoked because she failed to comply with an order directing her to turn over a tax refund to the chapter 7 trustee. Second, Debtor filed a chapter 13 petition in July 2017. That case was dismissed after Debtor failed to turn over documents to the chapter 13 trustee. Third, Debtor filed a chapter 7 petition in November 2017. Trustee commenced an adversary proceeding to deny Debtor's discharge under § 727(a)(3), 727(a)(4), 727(a)(5) and 727(a)(6),[3] and the bankruptcy court entered a default judgment on May 23, 2018, after Debtor failed to respond to the complaint. Finally, on ...


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