United States District Court, District of Colorado
ORDER DENYING TRUSTEE’S MOTION TO DISMISS, STRIKING MORREALE’S OPENING BRIEF, AND SETTING NEW BRIEFING SCHEDULE
William J. Martínez United States District Judge
Morreale Hotels, LLC (“Morreale”) has appealed various bankruptcy court orders, including an order lifting the automatic stay and an order rejecting Morreale’s Chapter 11 reorganization plan. The United States Trustee (“Trustee”) has filed a Motion to Dismiss the Appeal for Lack of Jurisdiction (“Motion”). (ECF No. 16.) Despite the Motion’s title, the Trustee does not seek to dismiss the entire appeal. Rather, the Trustee seeks to dismiss only the appeal from the Bankruptcy Court’s order rejecting Morreale’s Chapter 11 reorganization plan. (Id. at 2 n.2.) The other appellee, 2011-SIP-CRE/CADC Venture, LLC (“CRE”), has not weighed in on the Trustee’s motion.
For the reasons stated below, the Court will deny the Motion. Furthermore, having reviewed portions of Morreale’s opening appeal brief, the Court finds numerous deficiencies in form and content. The Court will therefore strike the brief, require Morreale to file a conforming brief, and reset the parties’ briefing schedule.
Because the Court has so far only received Morreale’s brief on the merits (the Court stayed further briefing until this Motion could be resolved, see ECF No. 17), the Court has not received a full description of the facts and proceedings below from both sides. However, the following appears uncontroverted, or at least uncontroversial.
Morreale purchased two commercial properties in Denver through loans currently held by CRE. (ECF No. 12 at 3.) Morreale later filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and CRE filed proofs of claim related to its loans. (Id. at 12.) CRE moved to lift the automatic bankruptcy stay, apparently with the intent to foreclose on the properties. (Id. at 9.) The Bankruptcy Court denied CRE’s motion to lift the stay because the court found “a reasonable prospect for this debtor to effectively reorganize in the near future.” (ECF No. 12-12 at 73.) “But, ” said the court, “the continuation of the stay . . . is conditioned on the debtor confirming the reorganiz[ation] plan pending before the Court . . . .” (Id. at 74.)
As it turns out, once the Bankruptcy Court had fully considered Morreale’s reorganization plan, the court refused to confirm it. (ECF No. 12-19 at 1.) The court therefore lifted the automatic stay. (Id.) Morreale then filed this appeal. (ECF No. 12 at 6–7.)
A. Appellate Jurisdiction Over Reorganization Plan Rejections
With respect to Bankruptcy Court decisions, this Court has jurisdiction to hear appeals
(1) from final judgments, orders, and decrees;
(2) from interlocutory orders and decrees issued under [a portion of the Bankruptcy Code not relevant here]; and
(3) with leave of the court, from other interlocutory orders and decrees . . . .
28 U.S.C. § 158(a). The Trustee argues that the Bankruptcy Court’s refusal to confirm Morreale’s Chapter 11 reorganization plan is not a final judgment, order, or decree, nor should this Court grant ...