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In re Han

September 29, 2009

IN RE KWANG-WEI HAN
KWANG-WEI HAN, APPELLANT.
v.
JAMES J. JOSEPH, RESPONDENT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Dean D. Pregerson United States District Judge

ORDER AFFIRMING THE BANKRUPTCY COURT DECISIONS

I. BACKGROUND

Appellant Kwang-wei Han, an individual, filed a voluntary petition for bankruptcy under Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code on April 14, 1997. Appellee James J. Joseph (the "Trustee") was appointed as the Chapter 7 trustee of Han's bankruptcy estate. At the commencement of the bankruptcy proceedings, Han was the trustor, trustee, and beneficiary of the Kwang-wei Han Revocable Trust (the "Han Trust"). The Han Trust was the sole owner of all shares of stock in McGaw Property Management, Inc. ("MPM"), a California corporation. Han was the sole director and officer of cc: US Bankruptcy Court cc: US Trustee's Office MPM. In 1990, before Han's Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing, MPM filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 11. In 1992, the bankruptcy court entered an order confirming a plan of reorganization, and leaving Han as a debtor-in-possession.*fn1 MPM's bankruptcy estate is separate from Han's Chapter 7 bankruptcy estate and the orders at issue on this appeal. Before MPM was dissolved, its primary asset was title to commercial property located in Irvine, California (the "McGaw Property").

On October 20, 1997, the Trustee filed a motion requesting authorization to (1) revoke the Han Trust and (2) use the property of Han's bankruptcy estate outside the ordinary course of business. (See Ex. 29 at 1669.) After receiving briefing and holding a hearing, the bankruptcy court entered an order on March 25, 1998, granting the Trustee's motion to revoke the Han Trust and use the property of Han's bankruptcy estate ("1998 Trust Revocation & Use of Assets Order"), including its 100% shareholder interest in MPM. (See Ex. 29 at 1666.) Han appealed this order to the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel for the Ninth Circuit ("BAP"), but the appeal was ultimately dismissed for lack of prosecution on August 12, 1998. (See Ex. 29 at 1760.) Nevertheless, Han has repeatedly contested the validity of the 1998 Trust Revocation & Use of Assets Order, including on the instant consolidated appeal.

Presently, Han appeals three distinct bankruptcy court orders from the Chapter 7 , one from 2007 and two from 2008. At Han and Appellee's request, these appeals were consolidated.

A. Appeal of January 29, 2007 Order: CV 07-00189 DDP

On October 4, 2006, the Trustee filed a motion seeking authorization to use the bankruptcy estate's 100% shareholder interest in MPM to sell the McGaw Property and to dissolve MPM. (See Ex. 1.) On November 17, 2006, the court entered an order granting the Trustee's motion. (See Exs. 7, 57.) Han then filed a motion for relief from this order. (Ex. 8.) The bankruptcy court denied Han's motion on January 29, 2007. (Ex. 14.)

The January 29, 2007 order denying relief is the basis of Appellants' first appeal.

B. Appeal of First January 8, 2008 Order: CV 08-00075 DDP

On May 30, 2007, the Trustee filed an interim application for his fees ("Interim Fee Application"). (See Ex. 20, 21.) After several rounds of supplemental briefing, the bankruptcy court issued an order granting the Trustee's Interim Fee Application on October 4, 2007. (Ex. 40.) Han then filed a motion to amend this order (Ex. 45), as well as an amended application to amend the October 4, 2007 Order (Ex. 52).

On January 8, 2008, the bankruptcy court entered an order (1) denying Han's motion to amend the October 4, 2007 order and (2) sustaining the Trustee's evidentiary objections to evidence supplied by Han on the motion. (Exs. 55, 61.)

The (first) January 8, 2008 order is the subject of Han's second appeal.

C. Appeal of Second January 8, 2008 Order: CV 08-00282 DDP

On September 27, 2007, the Trustee filed (1) an application for compensation by the Trustee's counsel, (2) a second application for the Trustee's accountants' fees, and (3) a motion authorizing a final ...


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