Hermosilla v. Hermosilla

447 B.R. 661 (2011)

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Hermosilla v. Hermosilla

United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts
447 B.R. 661 (2011)

Facts

In August 2003, Cristina Hermosilla (plaintiff) filed for divorce after her husband, Alex Hermosilla (defendant), violently assaulted her. In February 2005, Alex filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. In response, Cristina filed an action in the bankruptcy court for a judgment that any future damages stemming from the assault were not dischargeable. In December 2005, while the bankruptcy action was pending, the probate court issued a final divorce decree. The decree was later amended to provide that Cristina waived all future claims that could have been brought during the divorce proceedings. In March 2010, the bankruptcy court began a trial to consider whether any future damages stemming from the assault were exempt from discharge. Cristina and Alex submitted a statement of facts, in which Alex admitted that he had intended to injure Cristina during the assault. Cristina argued she was entitled to summary judgment under 11 U.S.C § 523(a)(6). Alex argued that summary judgment was unwarranted because Cristina had not received a judgment on a personal-injury claim, she was barred by the statute of limitations and the divorce decree from filing a personal-injury tort action, and the issue of whether Alex had intended to cause Cristina harm was a question of fact. The bankruptcy court rejected Alex’s arguments, noting that the arguments were counter to the admitted facts and established law. The bankruptcy court granted Cristina’s motion and ordered Alex’s attorney to show cause why Alex and the attorney should not be sanctioned for the frivolous arguments presented. Alex appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Gertner, J.)

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