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Decker v. Office of United States Trustee

United States District Court, D. Alaska

November 2, 2015

DAVID M. DECKER and MARILYN L. DECKER, Appellants,
v.
OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES TRUSTEE, Appellee

          Bankr. Case No. A14-00065-GS.

         For David M. Decker, Marilyn L. Decker, Appellants: Robert P. Crowther, LEAD ATTORNEY, Law Office of Robert Crowther, Anchorage, AK.

         For U.S. Trustee's Office, Appellee: Thomas A Buford, III, LEAD ATTORNEY, United States Trustee Program, Seattle, WA.

         For Larry D. Compton, Trustee: Larry D. Compton, LEAD ATTORNEY, Office of the Trustee, Anchorage, AK.

Page 814

         ORDER ON APPEAL

         Sharon L. Gleason, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Before the Court is an appeal from the United States Bankruptcy Court for

Page 815

the District of Alaska of an Order Granting Motion to Convert Case to Chapter 11 entered in the bankruptcy case of Appellants David M. Decker and Marilyn L. Decker.[1] The bankruptcy court's order converted the Deckers' Chapter 7 case to a Chapter 11 proceeding without the Deckers' consent. It is undisputed that the Deckers' debt is not primarily consumer debt. Oral argument on appeal was not requested, and the Court finds it was not necessary to the determination of this appeal. This Court has jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 158(a)(1), which authorizes a district court to hear appeals from final judgments, orders, and decrees issued by the bankruptcy court.[2] For the reasons discussed below, the bankruptcy court's determination will be affirmed.

         The Deckers present three main challenges to the bankruptcy court's conversion order.[3]

         First, the Deckers contend that the bankruptcy court erred when it held that 11 U.S.C. § 706(b) authorized it to convert the Deckers' Chapter 7 proceeding to a Chapter 11 proceeding without the Deckers' consent.[4] As this is a legal determination, this Court reviews the bankruptcy court's conclusion de novo.[5]

         " Where, as here, the resolution of a question of federal law turns on a statute and the intention of Congress, we look first to the statutory language and then to the legislative history if the statutory language is unclear." [6] Section 706, titled Conversion, provides:

(a) The debtor may convert a case under this chapter to a case under chapter 11, 12, or 13 of this title at any time, if the case has not been converted under section 1112, 1208, or 1307 of this title. Any waiver of the right to convert a case under this subsection is unenforceable.
(b) On request of a party in interest and after notice and a hearing, the court may convert a case under this chapter to a case under ...

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