Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Weil v. Elliot (9th Cir. - June 14, 2017)

The past decade of Supreme Court "jurisdiction" jurisprudence can largely be summarized as follows:

Every deadline you think is jurisdictional almost certainly isn't.

Yeah, sure, you could read a dozen Supreme Court opinions and literally hundreds of lower court opinions on that precise issue for the details.  But I'm just told you the basic scoop.  And my guess is that ninety percent of more of those opinions come to precisely that conclusion, and just gussy up the law a little bit.

That's not only the relevant law these days, but it's a principle that the judiciary is fairly eager to apply in cases like the one today.  In which a dude gets a bankruptcy discharge by fraudulently omitting his ownership of a home, and then the lower courts say, sorry, there's nothing we can do about that even though we discovered it only after he received his discharge.

Oh yes you can, the Ninth Circuit says.  The relevant motion may have been filed a bit late.  But that's not a "jurisdictional" bar.  The debtor didn't raise that defense at the time, so we're (thankfully) empowered to do the right thing and deny the guy a discharge.

Yep.  That's definitely the state of the law these days.  And you can see why.