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Law Offices of Mark Kotlarsky, Esq. Pension Plan v. Neese

United States District Court, D. Maryland

September 8, 2014

LAW OFFICES OF MARK KOTLARSKY, ESQ. PENSION PLAN
v.
JANET M. NEESE, et al.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

DEBORAH K. CHASANOW, District Judge.

Pending before the court is an appeal filed by The Law Offices of Mark Kotlarsky Pension Plan ("Appellant") from an oral ruling made by United States Bankruptcy Judge Thomas J. Catliota on August 19, 2013. A hearing on the appeal is deemed unnecessary. See Fed.R.Bankr.P. 8012; Local Rule 105.6. For the reasons that follow, the appeal will be dismissed.

I. Background

This case involves an appeal from an oral ruling by Judge Catliota. Judge Catliota sustained a trustee's objection to the approval of a Final Report and Account and held that certain funds be held in escrow by the trustee pending further investigation into ownership of said funds.

On November 18, 2010, Silver Spring Family Medical Center, LLC ("the Debtor") filed a voluntary petition under Chapter 7 of the United States Bankruptcy Code, which commenced case number 10-36319-TJC before Judge Thomas J. Catliota. (ECF No. 1-13). On November 23, 2010, Mark Kotlarsky entered his appearance in that case as counsel for Law Offices of Mark Kotlarsky, Esq. Pension Plan, an unsecured creditor of the Debtor. Case No. 10-36319-TJC, ECF No. 14 (D.Bankr. Nov. 23, 2010). Gary A. Rosen was appointed trustee over the Debtor's estate. Appellant filed a claim against the Debtor's estate.[1]

On February 6, 2013, Mark Kotlarsky filed for his personal bankruptcy under Chapter 7 of the United States Bankruptcy Court, which commenced case number 13-12002 before Judge Wendelin I. Lipp. Janet M. Nesse ("Appellee" or "Ms. Nesse") was appointed the Chapter 7 Trustee of the personal bankruptcy estate of Mark Kotlarsky. Case No. 13-12002, ECF No. 8-2 (D.Bankr. Feb. 6, 2013).

On May 9, 2013, Gary A. Rosen, trustee for the estate of Silver Spring Family Medical Center, LLC, filed a Final Report and Account in the bankruptcy case of In re: Silver Spring Family Medical Center, LLC, Case No. 10-36319. (ECF No. 1-11). On June 14, 2013, Ms. Nesse - as an interested party - filed an objection to this report. (ECF No. 1-10). In her brief, Ms. Nesse stated that:

it appears that Kotlarsky may have a claim through the Law Offices of Mark Kotlarksy, Esq. Pension Plan. This claim is an asset
Kotlarsky failed to disclose in his personal bankruptcy case which is currently pending. Although he listed a pension plan, it included only three accounts, no claims. Ms. Nesse has not yet received information on the pension plan as Kotlarsky's bankruptcy counsel is out of the country.

The Law Offices of Mark Kotlarsy, Esq. Pension Plan opposed the objection on July 22, 2013. (ECF No. 1-6).

On August 19, 2013, Judge Catliota held a hearing related to the Debtor's bankruptcy case. A review of the docket in the bankruptcy case reflects that the hearing addressed multiple objections, primarily regarding fees and discovery. During the hearing, Judge Catliota also addressed Trustee Nesse's objection to the Final Report and Account prepared by Trustee Rosen in connection with the Debtor's bankruptcy case. In re: Silver Spring Family Medical Center, LLC, Case No. 10-36319, ECF No. 100. ( See ECF No. 1-17, at 4). Appellant does not provide a transcript of the hearing - a deficiency which will be discussed below - but both parties agree that Judge Catliota held that Mr. Rosen shall distribute the funds due to the Pension Plan to Trustee Janet M. Nesse to be held until ownership of said funds is determined.

On March 10, 2014, Judge Catliota issued a final decree in In re: Silver Spring Family Medical Center, LLC (Case No. 10-36319-TJC), and the underlying Chapter 7 bankruptcy case was closed. (ECF No. 1-4). Based on Trustee Rosen's Final Account and Distribution Report, $41, 148.55 was distributed to Janet Nesse, as trustee for Mr. Kotlarsky's estate, on August 28, 2013, in accordance with Judge Catliota's ruling. (ECF No. 1-5, at 9).

The Appellant filed a Notice of Appeal on March 18, 2014, seven months after the August 19, 2013 hearing. Trustee Nesse filed an opposition on May 2, 2014 (ECF No. 5), to which ...


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