Attorneys in the Rochester Bankruptcy Court who file motions need to set the time and date of the hearing on the motion according to the Court's calendar of available motion dates. Our prior bankruptcy judge, Hon. John C. Ninfo II, did not limit the number of motions which could be assigned to one calendar; occasionally many more motions were scheduled for a hearing date than could be accommodated in the time allowed, and so motions would run over into overtime.
The bankruptcy court for the Western District of New York is organized in two separate divisions: Rochester and Buffalo. The judges in each division determine their own court practice for the scheduling of motions, such as motions to remove a lien against the debtor's house or a motion to approve the sale of a bankruptcy asset. Most motions require a written application and a hearing before the bankruptcy judge assigned to the case.
Newly sworn-in Rochester bankruptcy judge Paul Warren will make an appearance at the start of the next Bankruptcy Committee meeting of the Monroe County Bar Association on Wednesday, March 27, 2012 at 12:15 PM. The Judge is expected to stay only for the beginning of the meeting, but apparently his law clerk may become a regular attendee to the meetings.
Multiple reliable sources have reported that Paul R. Warren, Esq., currently Court Clerk for the Bankruptcy Court, will be sworn in as the new Bankruptcy Judge for Rochester NY in a private ceremony this Thursday, March 15 2012. There is no official confirmation. The next motion calendar for the court is March 16, starting at 9:00 AM with the monthly trial calendar and evidentiary hearings calendar, and it is assumed Mr. Warren will be presiding.
I can report that, based upon reliable sources of information, it appears that Paul R. Warren, Esq., the Clerk of the Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of New York, will shortly be appointed the next bankruputcy judge for the Rochester Division of the Bankruptcy Court. Mr. Warren attended the chapter 13 plan confirmation hearings last Thursday in Rochester, something he would not need to do as Court Clerk. I have received other confidential information that would colaborate this information.
One rumor floating around related to the soon-to-be-vacant bankruptcy judgship in Rochester is that the Hon. Margaret Cangilos-Ruiz, currently the bankruptcy judge in the Northern District of New York, Syracuse Division, would be appointed to the Rochester position.
With the impending retirement of Bankruptcy judge John C. Ninfo II of Rochester, it might be interesting to review the retirement package available to bankruptcy judges. Under 28 USC Sect. 377, a bankruptcy judge over the age of 65 who has served at least 14 years is entitled to a lifetime annuity equal to his or her salary upon retirement.
The Hon. John C. Ninfo II will retire as bankruptcy judge in Rochester in forty five days, but there is still no news about any replacement. Several knowledgeable sources have reported to me that they have heard nothing. Judge Michael Kaplan of Buffalo is scheduled to preside in Rochester once or twice a week at motions, Chapter 13 plan confirmation hearings, and pre-trial calendars. One source has tild me that Judge Kaplan does not anticipate conducting trials in Rochester; if the vacancy remains open for an extended period of time that assumption may have to be altered. Or maybe trials would be conducted in Buffalo - that would motivate settlements!
The filing fee for filing a chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy will increase $7 on November 1, 2011. For chapter 7, the fee increases from $299 to $306; chapter 13 fees rise from $274 to $281. The Court Clerk for the Western District of New York posted the new fees October 17. The cost of filing a bankruptcy lawsuit (adversary proceeding) is also rising, from $250 to $293. Filing a motion to lift the automatic stay of bankruptcy (usually filed by mortgage banks or car loan companies if there is a default in payments) goes up from $150 to $176, as does the fee to compel abandonment of an asset (that is, remove an asset from the bankruptcy case and return it to the debtor.) If you are interested in advise as to whether bankruptcy is an option you should consider, please contact my office for a phone consultation, at no charge.
With no updated news about appointment of a bankruptcy judge to replace retiring Judge Ninfo in Rochester, the Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of New York has established a contingency plan for January and February 2012. The Hon. Michael Kaplan, one of the two Buffalo bankruptcy judges, will be coming to Rochester and Watkins Glen to cover motions and hearings. Some have speculated that this might be more than a temporary situation (more on that later in this blog.) The administrative order posted on the Court Website states that the motion calendars for Rochester in January and February will be held on Fridays rather than Wednesdays, but will otherwise not be altered. Motions will be heard January 6, 13, 20 and February 3, 10, and 17. Chapter 13 plan confirmation hearings will be held on Thursdays, January 5 & 26, and February 9 and 22. The Watkins Glen calendar will be unchanged.