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In re Point Center Financial, Inc.

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

May 29, 2018

In the Matter of Point Center Financial, Inc., Debtor,
v.
Howard B. Grobstein, Chapter 7 Trustee, Appellee. Dan J. Harkey; Robin B. Graham, as Trustee of the Robin B. Graham and Celia Allen-Graham Revocable Trust; Celia Allen-Graham, as Trustee of the Robin B. Graham and Celia Allen-Graham Revocable Trust; Richard Schachter, Appellants,

          Argued and Submitted December 5, 2017 Pasadena, California

          Appeal from the United States District Court No. 8:16-cv-01336-DSF for the Central District of California Dale S. Fischer, District Judge, Presiding

          Sean A. O'Keefe (argued), O'Keefe & Associates Law Corporation P.C., Irvine, California, for Appellants.

          Roye Zur (argued), Landau Gottfried & Berger LLP, Los Angeles, California, for Appellee.

          Before: A. Wallace Tashima and Marsha S. Berzon, Circuit Judges, and Matthew F. Kennelly, [*] District Judge.

         SUMMARY[**]

         Bankruptcy

         The panel reversed the district court's dismissal for lack of standing of an appeal from a bankruptcy court order that authorized a Chapter 7 trustee to assume the operating agreement of a limited liability company whose interests were implicated in the bankruptcy proceedings.

         The district court concluded that the members and original president of the company lacked standing to challenge the bankruptcy court order because, despite receiving adequate notice of the trustee's assumption motion, they did not file an objection or attend the hearing before the bankruptcy court.

         Reversing, and agreeing with the Fourth Circuit, the panel held that attendance and objection are not prerequisites for satisfying the "person aggrieved" requirement for prudential standing. The panel remanded the case to the district court.

          OPINION

          KENNELLY, DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Appellants are members and the original president of Dillon Avenue 44, LLC (Dillon), a limited liability company whose interests have been implicated in the bankruptcy proceedings of Point Center Financial, Inc. (PCF). They appealed from a bankruptcy court order that, among other things, authorized PCF's Chapter 7 trustee, Howard B. Grobstein, to assume Dillon's operating agreement long after the deadline for assuming or rejecting executory contracts had passed. The district court dismissed the appeal on the ground that Appellants lacked standing to challenge the bankruptcy court order because, despite receiving adequate notice of the motion, they did not file an objection or attend the hearing before the bankruptcy court. We reverse.

         I. Background

         A. ...


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