In re FoxAnnotate this Case
Wife filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy relief. Husband did not join in the bankruptcy petition or file a separate petition for relief. Under bankruptcy law, the bankruptcy estate includes all of the marital community property. Wife claimed exemptions for two motor vehicles and property worth over $1,400, all of which was community property. The Trustee filed an objection on the grounds that a debtor spouse may exempt only a single vehicle and property worth no more than $1,000 under Nev. Rev. Stat. 21.090(1), and a non-debtor spouse has no right to claim any exemptions in a debtor spouse's bankruptcy. The U.S. Bankruptcy Court overruled the Trustee's objection, determining that Nevada law allows a debtor to claim motor vehicle and wildcard exemptions on behalf of a non-debtor spouse. The Trustee appealed to the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel, which certified a question to the Nevada Supreme Court. The Supreme Court held that, based on section 21.090(1)(f) and (z)'s plain language, Nevada law does not allow debtors to claim motor vehicle and wildcard exemptions on behalf of their non-debtor spouses, and therefore, a judgment debtor in Nevada is limited to one motor vehicle exemption an other personal property exemptions not to exceed $1,000.