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Burden of Proof and FRCP 55

Fine Lumber & Plywood, Inc. v. Higgs (In re Higgs) (July 19, 2013)
A creditor, Fine Lumber, filed an adversary complaint against the Debtor seeking determination that its claim of $4,926.11 was nondischargeable under section 523(a)(2)(a). The Debtor filed an answer to the complaint pro se and denied the allegations. After filing the answer, the Debtor filed no further pleadings with the Court and did not appear at trial. The Court held that the burden of proof is on the plaintiff in any trial. Even if a defendant does not appear at trial but filed an answer to the complaint, the plaintiff must still establish the elements of the case, citing to Bass v. Hoagland, 172 F.2d 205, 210 (5th Cir. 1949). 
WL Cite: Fine Lumber & Plywood, Inc. v. Higgs (In re Higgs), Adv. No. 12-01134, 2013 WL 3791501 (Bankr. W.D. Tex. July 19, 2013).