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Double Bogey, L.P. v. Enea

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

July 22, 2015

DOUBLE BOGEY, L.P., a California limited partnership, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
SYLVESTER FRANK ENEA; PAUL JOSEPH ENEA, Defendants-Appellees

Argued and Submitted May 14, 2015, San Francisco, California

Page 1048

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. D.C. No. 3:12-cv-01877-SI. Susan Illston, District Judge, Presiding.

SUMMARY [*]

Bankruptcy

The panel affirmed the district court's affirmance of the bankruptcy court's judgment in a creditor's adversary proceeding claiming that a debt was not dischargeable in bankruptcy under 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(4) because it was a debt for fraud or defalcation by a fiduciary.

The panel held that a finding that the debtors, who owned and operated a fiduciary corporation, were the corporation's alter egos under California law was insufficient to show that they therefore also were fiduciaries of the creditor under § 523(a)(4).

Miriam Hiser, Law Offices of Miriam Hiser, San Francisco, CA, argued the cause for the Appellant. With her on the briefs was William H. Armstrong, Armstrong & Associates, LLP, Oakland, California.

Lisa Lenherr, Tiemstra Law Group, PC, Oakland, CA, argued the cause for Appellee Paul Enea.

Before: Diarmuid F. O'Scannlain and Sandra S. Ikuta, Circuit Judges and Larry A. Burns,[*] District Judge.

OPINION

Page 1049

Diarmuid F. O'SCANNLAIN, Circuit Judge:

We must decide whether California's alter ego doctrine can create a " fiduciary" relationship under the Bankruptcy Code.

I

This case arises from a dispute between two non-natural persons, Double Bogey, L.P. and Appian Construction, Inc., regarding Appian's alleged mismanagement of Double Bogey's investments in several real estate projects. However, we are not presented with the question of Appian's liability. Rather, ...


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