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In re Preston

United States District Court, C.D. California

September 18, 2014

IN RE: WILLIAM E. PRESTON

USBC Case No. 8:05-BK-50128-TA. ADVERSARY Case No. 8:11-AP-01231-TA.

ATTORNEYS FOR PLAINTIFFS: Not Present.

ATTORNEYS FOR DEFENDANTS: Not Present.

OPINION

HONORABLE VIRGINIA A. PHILLIPS, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

Page 607

CIVIL MINUTES -- GENERAL

PROCEEDINGS: MINUTE ORDER AFFIRMING AND ADOPTING THE PROPOSED FINDINGS OF FACT AND CONCLUSIONS OF LAW (DOC. NO. 2) (IN CHAMBERS)

The Court has received and reviewed the Proposed Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law Regarding Capacity of William E. Preston on the Date of the Filing of the Bankruptcy Petition (Doc. No. 2) (" Proposed Findings" ) submitted by Bankruptcy Judge Gregg W. Zive in this adversary proceeding between Plaintiff R. Todd Neilson, as chapter 7 trustee for the bankruptcy estate of William E. Preston, and Defendants Joyce Moore, the Preston Music Group, Inc., the William Preston Trust (" Trust" ), and Frederick Wilhelms III in his capacity as trustee for the William Preston Trust (collectively, " Defendants" ). Moore and the Trust submitted objections to the Proposed Findings, but as explained below, the Court finds them untimely under Federal Rule of Bankruptcy Procedure (" FRBP" ) 9033. After reviewing the Proposed Findings, the papers submitted, and the record in this action, this Court AFFIRMS and ADOPTS the Bankruptcy Court's Proposed Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law.

I. BACKGROUND

The facts and precise procedural history are complicated and described in more detail in the Proposed Findings. This Order provides only a brief summary and the procedural history after the Bankruptcy Court's filing of the Proposed Findings.

On May 20, 2011, Plaintiff filed a Complaint against Defendants, seeking a judgment declaring that (1) William Preston, the deceased Debtor, was not incapacitated when he filed a chapter 11 bankruptcy petition on October 21, 2005 in the Central District of California, (2) the Trust remained revocable, and (3) the assets currently held by Neilson and any other assets of Debtor are assets of the bankruptcy estate. (See Proposed Findings at 1-2.) Pursuant to a January 30, 2013 Order, the Bankruptcy Court held a trial only on the issue of Preston's capacity on October 8-9, 2013 and November 19, 2013. (Id. at 2.) On February 4, 2014, the bankruptcy court filed its Proposed Findings in this " non-core" matter, and submitted it to this Court on February 5, 2014 for entry of a final judgment pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 157(c)(1). (See In re William E. Preston, Adversary No. 8:11-ap-01231-TA (Bankr. C.D. Cal.), ECF No. 239; Doc. Nos. 1, 2.) In the Proposed Findings, the Bankruptcy Court found Defendants, who are contesting the validity of Preston's October 21, 2005 bankruptcy petition, have not submitted evidence sufficient to rebut the presumption that Preston had capacity when he signed the petition. (See Proposed Findings at 13-17.)

The clerk of the Bankruptcy Court did not file the Proof of Service of the Proposed Findings on the parties until June 9, 2014, but the Proof of Service clearly indicates the Proposed Findings was served on all the parties, including counsel for Joyce Moore and the Trust, on February 4, 2014 through notice of electronic filing and United States mail. (See In re William E. Preston, Adversary No. 8:11-ap-01231-TA (Bankr. C.D. Cal.), ECF No. 246.)

On April 22, 2014, the Trust filed an Objection to the Proposed Findings. (Doc. No. 4.) On ...


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