Gowdy v. Mitchell, No. 15-11891 (11th Cir. 2016)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff appealed the district court's order affirming eight rulings of the bankruptcy court. The court concluded that the bankruptcy court did not err in holding an evidentiary show-cause hearing where plaintiff received notice of the civil contempt allegations against him and the bankruptcy court gave plaintiff the opportunity to testify, submit evidence, and rebut the allegations of civil contempt at his show-cause hearing; plaintiff's due process rights were not violated when the bankruptcy court conducted a show-cause hearing on his civil contempt without appointing plaintiff an attorney; the bankruptcy court did not err by imposing coercive and compensatory civil contempt sanctions; and the bankruptcy court had subject matter jurisdiction over the allegations of civil contempt against plaintiff and the authority to enter a final order, not merely a proposed judgment, finding plaintiff in civil contempt. The court affirmed the judgment of the district court in all respects except as to the amount of the fee award. The court remanded for the bankruptcy court to award a fee based on the work the Trustee performed pursuant to Appellee Mitchell’s motion for contempt, and to determine whether the Trustee may pursue its adversary claim at this late date.