919 F2d 739 Woodberry Woodberry v. United States Department of Housing and Urban Development

919 F.2d 739

In re Edith WOODBERRY, Debtor.
Edith WOODBERRY, Plaintiff-Appellant,

No. 90-1054.

United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit.

Dec. 7, 1990.

Unpublished Disposition
NOTICE: Sixth Circuit Rule 24(c) states that citation of unpublished dispositions is disfavored except for establishing res judicata, estoppel, or the law of the case and requires service of copies of cited unpublished dispositions of the Sixth Circuit.

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Before BOYCE F. MARTIN, Jr. and NATHANIEL R. JONES, Circuit Judges, and EDGAR, District Judge.*



Edith Woodberry, a pro se Michigan debtor, appeals the district court's order affirming the bankruptcy court's order denying her motion for court costs, litigation costs, and exemplary damages against the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Assistant United States Attorney Karl Overman. The case has been referred to a panel of the court pursuant to Rule 9(a), Rules of the Sixth Circuit. Upon examination of the record and the briefs, this panel unanimously agrees that oral argument is not needed. Fed.R.App.P. 34(a).


This appeal arises from events surrounding Woodberry's discharge from bankruptcy. Overman, who represented HUD in the proceedings, filed an objection to discharge of HUD's judgment claim against Woodberry on June 6, 1985. At an adversary hearing on the objection, set for October 30, 1986, Overman withdrew HUD's objection. He had recently learned of a May 17, 1985 transfer of the property involved in the judgment, which he interpreted as also effecting an assignment of HUD's judgment claim. Thus, he believed that HUD was no longer a creditor of Woodberry's and lacked standing to object to her discharge.


Woodberry subsequently filed a motion for costs and exemplary damages. She alleged that HUD and Overman had no factual basis upon which to file the objection. She further alleged that they prosecuted the action with full knowledge that HUD was not the party in interest.


The bankruptcy court, on remand from the district court, denied sanctions, finding that Overman's actions were objectively reasonable under the circumstances and did not vexatiously multiply the proceedings. The court concluded that HUD was in no position to advise Overman of the transfer of the claim because it intended no such transfer and entertained substantial doubt about it.


The district court affirmed this ruling, finding that the bankruptcy court had not abused its discretion in its denial of Woodberry's motion. After her motion for reconsideration was denied, Woodberry filed this appeal. She requested the appointment of counsel in her brief.


We shall affirm the district court's order because the record in this case does not support a finding that the court abused its discretion in denying Woodberry's motion for costs and damages.

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Accordingly, the request for counsel is denied and the order of the district court is hereby affirmed for the reasons stated by the bankruptcy court in its order filed March 1, 1989. Rule 9(b)(5), Rules of the Sixth Circuit.


The Honorable R. Allan Edgar, U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of Tennessee, sitting by designation