Guay v. Burack, No. 10-2513 (1st Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
While engaged in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy action, the debtor brought claims against government officials and a police officer, seeking damages for an allegedly illegal search of his property. He did not amend his bankruptcy schedules, as required, to disclose the existence of his claims as newly acquired assets prior to obtaining a discharge from bankruptcy. The court granted summary judgment in favor of the government defendants, on the basis of judicial estoppel. Although failure to disclose his claims did not give debtor an unfair advantage in the civil proceeding, he had successfully adopted a position in the bankruptcy proceeding inconsistent with the position he took in the damages claim. The First Circuit affirmed. To allow debtor to rely on a belated report of the claims, which he had repeatedly denied, "would neither serve the equities of this case nor create the proper incentive for future debtors to disclose assets in a bankruptcy proceeding completely and accurately."
The court issued a subsequent related opinion or order on May 11, 2012.