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U.S. Bankruptcy Court

On May 10, 1996, I filed for chapter 13 bankruptcy.   


I listed City National Bank as a creditor in the amount of claim for $39,873.56.  


Total creditor claims were $69,387 (the difference being mostly credit card companies).


I listed my 1/4 interest in the Fannie Borun Trust as property of the estate (valued at $463,000).


My Chapter 13 plan called for the following:     


"Other property:  Debtor's interest in Fannie Borun Trust (worth $463,000) to the trustee for sale and payment in full to creditors".


In other words, I was seeking that all my creditors be paid in full - instead of only the one creditor who caused the problem to begin with!


However, after more than seven years of fighting for this just result in bankruptcy court, federal district court and finally the 9th Circuit Court of Appeal, our perverted judicial system would not permit this to happen!


At the earliest stage, my pro se status was a problem.  


On May 25, 1996, I received notice that my case was dismissed by the clerk of court, Jon D. Ceretto.  This, because I followed the filing directions under Bankruptcy Rule 1007 and did not attach blank, inappropriate schedules as part of my filing.  


I was told by a clerk (Ms Dabiri)  that even the blank schedules must be filed.  When I asked for the authority for this contradiction to rule 1007, I was told that the authority was an untitled "internal policy statement" which the public was not allowed to see (apparently only the lawyers know of it).


The Summary of Schedules states the following:  


"Indicate as to each schedule whether that schedule is attached and state the number of pages in each" .      


Why does the Summary of Schedules give the debtor a choice of whether or not to attach particular schedules if - as Ms Dabiri stated - there is no choice at all?


Ms Dabiri stated, in the course of the conversation, that if I had "had an attorney this would not have happened".   Bankruptcy Court filing practices are designed for the enrichment  of one particular industry -- the lawyer industry -- instead of being equally fair to everyone.


Preferential treatment is given to lawyers. Laymen pro se litigants are discriminated against. Pro se litigants do not have access to the "inside information" of secret filing procedures by which cases are dismissed -- unlike lawyers who are before the Court on a regular basis.  The Bankruptcy Court even has a special line for lawyers at the filing window. Laymen pro se litigants have to wait in line to file their papers -- while lawyers are whisked through.  On what basis are members of this one particular industry given special treatment? The notion that the lawyer business is noncommercial was deemed "sanctimonious humbug" by the U.s. Supreme Court:


"'We all know that law offices are big businesses, that they may have billion-dollar or million-dollar clients, they're run with computers, and all the rest. And so the argument may be made that to term them noncommercial is sanctimonious humbug." {Bates v. State Bar of Arizona (1976) 433 U.S. 350,368 (n.19)).


If anyone deserves special treatment it is the layman pro se litigant who generally approaches the court without benefit of lawyers' support services.


Furthermore, pro se litigation is one of the most important rights under our American Constitution.  


" . . the right to file a lawsuit pro se is one of the most important rights under the constitution and laws."  (Elmore v. McCammon (1986) 640 F.Supp. 905,911).


Moreover, the layman pro se litigant is not required to have the legal knowledge and skill of an attorney.  Even a litigant with limited ability to write and speak English  has the right to litigate in pro se. A recent immigrant layman, with limited English-language ability, achieved an appellate reversal in pro se in Dioguardi v. Durning (2d Cir.1944) 139 F.2d 774.   Furthermore, bankruptcy is one type of litigation specifically protected by the Framers of the United States Constitution (Art.ISec. 8 ( 4) ) .


I moved for a hearing to vacate the clerk's order of dismissal.  This was set for June 19, 1996 - reset to July 17, 1996.  An order was issued by Judge Greenwald vacating the clerk's dismissal.


Click here for my Memorandum of Points & Authorities in re to the July 17 hearing wherein I explained that my bankruptcy petition was made in good faith and would benefit the majority of my creditors.

 

I stated the following: that I am ". . . one of the four income beneficiaries of the Fannie Borun Trust, dated June 25,1949 ("trust"). City National City National Bank ("respondent") is presently trustee of the trust. Debtor is entitled to claim as exempt property 75% (and the amount of the remaining 25% necessary for the support of himself and family) of his interest in the trust. See In re Neuton (9th Cir,1990) 922 F.2d 1379.  However, in the instant case, debtor did not claim his trust interest exempt. Debtor wishes the Chapter 13 trustee to sell his interest, distribute the proceeds among all of his creditors, and return the remainder to debtor.  Attached hereto as Exhibit "3" is the face sheet of debtor's chapter 13 plan showing that debtor submits debtor's "interest in Fannie Borun Trust (worth $463,000) to the trustee for sale and payment in full to creditors".  Approval of debtor's plan would result in debtor's creditors being paid in full.  Dismissal of the case results in debtor not being able to pay his creditors.  The trust is an irrevocable "spendthrift" trust. Debtor cannot voluntarily alienate his interest in the trust without an order of the Bankruptcy Court.  June 1,1994, debtor -- a layman in propria persona -- filed a petition in the probate department, Los Angeles County Superior Court (under CAL.PROB.CODE Sec.17000) for division of trust (as countenanced by CAL.PROB.CODE Sec. 15412). In opposing debtor's petition, City National hired a team of attorneys at $515 per hour -- fees to be taken out of trust income. City National expended trust funds totaling more than  $90,000.00 to defeat debtor's petition and to obtain a probate court order permitting City National to take $39,873.56 (plus interest at 10%) of debtor's trust income (pursuant to Estate of Ivy (1994) 22Cal.App.4th 873). This matter is now pending appeal in the California Supreme Court.  In the meantime, City National has cut off debtor's trust income for the purpose of meeting the probate court order.  City National's action forced debtor into bankruptcy. Without the trust income debtor cannot continue his regular payments to his other creditors.  It would be unjust for City National -- the creator of debtor's financial problem -- to be the sole creditor paid." (emphasis added).