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FRBP 7054 Judgments; Costs (Judge Gargotta)

Erickson v. Wells Fargo (July 22, 2011)
Issue: May Defendant recover post-petition attorney’s fees as a personal judgment against Debtor even though Article XVI, section 50(a)(6)(C) of the Texas Constitution prohibits recourse to personal liability on a home equity loan?
Holding: The Court finds that the Texas Constitution bars the Defendant from recovering attorneys’ fees from the Plaintiff as a personal judgment absent a finding of actual fraud. The Court refuses to issue a supplemental finding of fraud because such a finding is not supported by Texas case law or by sufficient evidence. Defendant’s Post-Trial Motion for Award of Attorney’s Fees is DENIED.

Century 21 v. Gharbi (March 3, 2011)
Issue: Whether the Defendant Mohammad Gharbi (“Defendant”) violated the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act, 15 U.S.C. §1125(d), when he continued to use domain names which contained the Century 21 marks after his franchise agreements with Century 21 had been terminated? If so, what is the amount of damages to be awarded under § 1117(d), and will that award be held nondischargeable under 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(6)?
Holding: The Court finds (1) that the Defendant had a bad faith intent to profit from the use of the domain names and therefore violated 15 U.S.C. § 1125(d). The Court further finds that (2) Plaintiff should be awarded $25,000 per violation, or $75,000 total, plus attorneys’ fees as determined under Federal Rule of Bankruptcy Procedure 7054; and (3) that this award will be held nondischargeable under 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(6) because Defendant caused Plaintiff a willful and malicious injury. The relief requested by the Plaintiff should be GRANTED.