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Quinn v. Bank of New York Mellon

United States District Court, D. Vermont

July 16, 2018

DANIEL T. QUINN, Appellant,


          Geoffrey W. Crawford, Chief Judge.

         In this bankruptcy appeal, Appellant Daniel T. Quinn ("Quinn" or Appellant), appearing pro se, challenges the Bankruptcy Court's May 19, 2017 Order dismissing his case and denying his motions and a June 12, 2017 Order denying his motion for rehearing. (Doc. 6.) Quinn has also filed an "addendum memoranda" (Doc. 11) and preliminary and supplemental responses to the Appellee's brief in further support of his appeal that included a "renewed motion to dismiss" and a "summary judgment" request, respectively (Docs. 14, 22). Appellee, The Bank of New York Mellon ("BNY") has responded filing a responsive brief (Doc. 10) and a motion to strike Quinn's supplemental reply brief and request for summary judgment (Doc. 23). Quinn opposes the motion to strike and it is fully briefed including a sur-reply. See Docs. 24-27. For the reasons stated below, the court affirms the Bankruptcy Court's orders and dismisses the appeal.


         A. Background

         The parties engaged in extended litigation in Vermont Superior Court, Windsor Civil Division.[1] On May 3, 2013, the state court granted summary judgment to The Bank of New York Mellon on its foreclosure claim.[2] (Doc. 10-1 at 33.) On March 12, 2014, the state court took evidence on the amount of interest due. (Doc. 10-1 at 49-50.) On April 23, 2014, the state court entered a Judgment and Decree of Foreclosure by Judicial Sale granting judgment to BNY in the amount of $547, 091.13, with a redemption date of October 23, 2014. (Doc. 10-1 at 53.) On September 4, 2014, the Vermont Supreme Court denied Quinn permission to appeal. (Doc. 10-1 at 56.)

         On February 20, 2015, the state court issued a certificate of non-redemption. Id. In April, the court denied Quinn's motion to stay the foreclosure sale. Id. A foreclosure sale was scheduled for May 7, 2015. Quinn filed for bankruptcy and the civil court issued a Notice of Stay during bankruptcy. Id. at 57-59. Notwithstanding the filing of his bankruptcy case, which created an automatic stay of the state court proceedings, Quinn filed a Motion for Rule 60(b) relief on May 6, 2015. After the automatic stay was lifted, the state court denied Quinn's Rule 60(b) motion on July 14, 2016. (Doc. 10-1 at 65, 95-96.)

         B. Bankruptcy Court Case

         Quinn initiated a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case on May 4, 2015, represented by counsel. The Bankruptcy Court held a final confirmation hearing on November 20, 2015, at which Quinn testified he understood the terms of his plan, his obligation to sell his residential real property, and his payment obligations. The court entered an order confirming his Chapter 13 Plan on December 9, 2015. It required monthly payments of $1, 200 for twelve months and a lump sum payment of $260, 000 from the sale of Quinn's real property by May 1, 2016.

         On October 22, 2016, the Chapter 13 Trustee filed a notice of delinquency alleging Quinn was in default of plan payments in the amount of $264, 800, equivalent to four monthly payments and the lump sum. On December 12, the Trustee filed a motion to dismiss the case alleging Quinn was in arrears on his plan payments in the amount of $281, 019. The Trustee subsequently withdrew that motion for reasons that are unclear from the record.

         In January 2017, Quinn's counsel moved to withdraw and the Bankruptcy Court granted the motion. In February 2017, Mr. Quinn, representing himself, requested an extension of time to file additional motions and briefs for the Bankruptcy Court's consideration. The Court, construing the letter as a motion for extension of time, granted 45 days and scheduled a status hearing for March 30, 2017. (Doc. 6-1 at 34.)

         On the day of the status hearing, Quinn filed a motion objecting to a proof of claim, seeking a determination of the nature, extent, and validity of a lien, seeking relief from the stay, and/or seeking a modification of his mortgage. At the hearing, Mr. Quinn stated he intended to retain an attorney and would file an amended plan and make plan payments by May 19, 2017. After warning Quinn the case would be dismissed if he did not file an amended plan and recommence plan payments by May 19, the Bankruptcy Court continued the hearing to May 19. (Doc. 6-1 at 34.)

         On April 19, 2017, Quinn filed a motion seeking to dismiss creditors Shellpoint and Bank of New York Mellon from the case for lack of standing and failure to contest his motions. The Bankruptcy Court set a hearing on the motion for May 19. On May 4, Quinn filed a motion for summary judgment and a motion to continue the May 19 hearing based on his failure to retain an attorney. On May 8, Quinn's motion to continue and motion for summary judgment were denied. (Doc. 6-1 at 34-35.)

         Quinn then objected to Bank of New York Mellon's notice of appearance in the case, asserting the court should dismiss or deny the notice since the creditor lacked standing. He also renewed his motion to continue the May 19 hearing, renewed his motion for summary judgment, and requested reconsideration of the order denying a continuance of the May 19 hearing. Lastly, he requested that the Bankruptcy Court direct BNY to prove its legitimacy as a creditor. The court set the motions for hearing on May 19, 2017. (Doc. 6-1 at 35.)

         On May 19, the motion hearing at which Mr. Quinn represented himself. On that day, he filed additional documents reiterating his requests for the Bankruptcy Court to direct BNY to prove its legitimacy as a creditor. He also requested an additional extension of time to retain counsel and to file a modified plan. The Chapter 13 Trustee reported that the last plan payment Quinn made was in February 2016 and he was "clearly in default of his obligations under the confirmed plan." (Doc. 6-1 at 35.) The Bankruptcy Court issued a written Memorandum of Decision"dismissing ...

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