In re Stubbs, No. 16-8025 (6th Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
Stubbs filed a pro se Chapter 7 petition before she filed her 2014 tax returns. The Trustee completed the creditors’ meeting in February 2015, instructing Stubbs to send him a copy of her tax returns when filed and to not spend any refund. Stubbs received her discharge in April 2015. The Trustee did not receive the tax returns nor hear from Stubbs by September; he obtained an order for a Rule 2004 examination, requiring Stubbs to bring copies of her returns. Stubbs did not appear. The Trustee filed an adversary proceeding to revoke Stubbs’ discharge. Despite proper service, Stubbs failed to respond. The Trustee moved for default judgment. Stubbs did not appear. The court entered a sua sponte order to show cause why she should not be found in contempt. Stubbs did not respond nor appear at a subsequent hearing. The court sua sponte vacated the order scheduling the Rule 2004 examination; denied the default motion, and dismissed the adversary proceeding. The order criticized the Trustee for not seeking to hold Stubbs in contempt for failure to cooperate (11 U.S.C. 521) or otherwise preventing her discharge, indicating a preference to have the case dismissed. The Sixth Circuit Bankruptcy Appellate Panel vacated. A 2004 examination is a reasonable and usual method to compel a Chapter 7 debtor to provide information that a trustee or creditor cannot obtain voluntarily.