Cert. Denied in Stay Case Involving Passive Conduct

Posted by NCBRC - September 17, 2019

The Supreme Court declined cert. in Davis v. Tyson Prepared Foods, No. 18-941 (May 20, 2019), a case out of the Tenth Circuit presenting the issue of whether section 362(a) applies when a creditor passively holds or obtains an interest in property of the debtor or the estate. The case involved a lien which arose automatically out of post-petition Worker’s Compensation payments made to the debtor. The trustee sought to avoid the lien as being in violation of the automatic stay. The Tenth Circuit found that, based on WD Equip., LLC v. Cowen (In re: Cowen), 849 F.3d 943 (10th Cir. 2017), section 362(a)(4), which prohibits “any act to create, perfect, or enforce any lien,” requires affirmative conduct on the part of the creditor. Here, because the lien was created by operation of law, there was no such affirmative conduct and the Tenth Circuit found no stay violation.

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