FRBP 7015 Amended and Supplemental Pleadings
Marshall v. Urban (June 25, 2013)
Issue: Plaintiff filed adversary proceeding requesting that certain debt be non-dischargeable as to Debtor Defendant under 11 U.S.C. §523(a)(2)(A). Debtor Defendant filed a Motion to Dismiss pursuant to Bankruptcy Rule 7012(b) on the basis that non-dischargeability complaint was untimely filed under Bankruptcy Rule 4007(c). Issues addressed by the Court included whether an Amended Complaint filed by Plaintiff to determine dischargeability filed against individual Debtor Defendant and filed after deadline to object to dischargeability had expired, “related back” in time to the Original Complaint to determine dischargeability that Plaintiff had timely filed against individual Debtor Defendant when the Original Complaint erroneously referenced the main case number of Chapter 7 corporate case filed by Debtor Defendant on behalf of his wholly owned corporation. Holdings: The Court denied the Debtor Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss. In summary, the Court held that Plaintiff’s Amended Complaint to determine dischargeability satisfied the “relation back” standard of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15(c)(1)(B), because (1) the Amended Complaint asserted the very same claim arising out of the very same conduct, transaction or occurrence set out by the Plaintiff in the Original Complaint; and (2) the only difference between the Plaintiff’s Original Complaint and Plaintiff’s Amended Complaint was the single digit number correction in the main bankruptcy case number. Alternatively, the Court held that Plaintiff’s Amended Complaint satisfied the relation back standard of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15(c)(1)(C), because (1) the allegations made by the Plaintiff in the Amended Complaint were identical to those in his Original Complaint and were solely against the same Debtor Defendant individually, there only being the correction of the typographical error in the main bankruptcy case number referenced in the Original Complaint; (2) Debtor Defendant received sufficient notice so as to not be prejudiced in maintaining a defense, as the allegations against Debtor Defendant in both the timely-filed Original Complaint and Amended Complaint were identical and both were against Debtor Defendant individually; (3) Debtor Defendant knew or should have known that the timely filed Original Complaint was brought against him individually, as he was clearly named individually as a Defendant in the Original Complaint and the only mistake was in one number digit of the main bankruptcy case number; and (4) Debtor Defendant was served with the Amended Complaint and Summons within the 120-day time period of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 4(m).