Judge's DecisionsUNITED STATES BANKRUPTCY COURT NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
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In re MATHEW G. FARR, No. 97-10870 Debtor(s). ______________________________________/ S & C HOME LOANS, INC., Plaintiff(s), v. A.P. No. 97-1147 MATHEW G. FARR, Defendant(s). _______________________________________/ Memorandum and Order re Abstention
Debtor Mathew G. Farr filed a Chapter 7 petition in this court in 1987. On December 18, 1997, the court entered a judgment in favor of plaintiff S & C Home Loans, Inc., finding that Farr owed it a nondischargeable debt in the amount of $585,000.00. Far from being the end of the litigation, S& C has since that time brought repeated motions before this court seeking to enforce the judgment. With one exception, none of the postjudgment motions have related to the debtor's bankruptcy rights. While this court has jurisdiction to enforce its judgments, such activity is not one of its primary purposes. Once a judgment has been rendered, no public interest is involved. Moreover, if any assets were to be discovered the court's primary interest would be in ratable distribution to all creditors, not just one judgment creditor. Also, bankruptcy courts have only limited contempt powers, making enforcement of its orders cumbersome and possibly requiring proceedings in district court. Pursuant to section 683.050 of the California Code of Civil Procedure, a judgment creditor may bring an action in state court to enforce any final judgment. This section applies to a judgment or decree of any court of the United States. 30 Cal.Jur.3d, Enforcement of Judgments, § § 433- 435. State court is the proper forum for the kind of postjudgment discovery and litigation brought by S & C, not a bankruptcy court. For the foregoing reasons, this court ABSTAINS, pursuant to 28 U.S.C § 1334(c)(1), from hearing any and all further post-judgment matters in this case, save and except motions related to the debtor's homestead described in his schedules. S & C may seek reconsideration of this order at any time upon demonstrating that the state courts do not provide it with adequate means of enforcing its judgment. SO ORDERED.
Dated: March 26, 1999 ____________________________ Alan Jaroslovsky United States Bankruptcy