Slater v. United Steel Corp., No. 12-15548 (11th Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
When a plaintiff takes inconsistent positions by pursuing in district court a civil claim that he failed to disclose as an asset in his bankruptcy proceedings, a district court may apply judicial estoppel to bar the plaintiff's civil claim if it finds that the plaintiff intended to make a mockery of the judicial system. When determining whether a plaintiff who failed to disclose a civil lawsuit in bankruptcy filings intended to make a mockery of the judicial system, a district court should consider all the facts and circumstances of the case. The Eleventh Circuit reasoned that the court should look to factors such as the plaintiff's level of sophistication, his explanation for the omission, whether he subsequently corrected the disclosures, and any action taken by the bankruptcy court concerning the nondisclosure. The court overruled portions of Barger v. City of Cartersville, 348 F.3d 1289 (11th Cir. 2003), and Burnes v. Pemco Aeroplex, Inc., 291 F.3d 1282 (11th Cir. 2002), that permit a district court to infer intent to misuse the courts without considering the individual plaintiff and the circumstances surrounding the nondisclosure. Accordingly, the court remanded for consideration of whether the district court abused its discretion in light of this new standard.
This opinion or order relates to an opinion or order originally issued on February 24, 2016.