Miller v. Herman, No. 13-1186 (7th Cir. 2013)Annotate this Case
Attorney Stilp represented Miller in claims concerning the construction of Miller’s house by contractor Herman. The district court dismissed. Stilp recommended that Miller terminate the action based on state law. Miller told Stilp that needed time to consider whether to refile., Herman filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition. Herman’s bankruptcy attorney, Jones, prepared schedules listing the addresses of all creditors. Miller was listed as a creditor on the bankruptcy schedules and creditor matrix, but his address was listed as “c/o Thomas Stilp, Attorney” at Stilp’s office address. Notice of the bankruptcy was delivered to Stilp’s office but was routed to another attorney. Neither Stilp nor Miller was informed of the notice. Miller subsequently informed Stilp that he wanted to refile his complaint against Herman. Stilp then discovered that Herman had filed for bankruptcy protection. Miller did not take immediate action and, about a month later, the bankruptcy court entered a discharge order. About 13 months after he learned of Herman’s bankruptcy petition, Miller moved to reopen the case (11 U.S.C. 727(a)(4)(A)). The bankruptcy court denied the motion. The district court and Seventh Circuit affirmed, finding that Miller had been properly served when notice was delivered to Stilp’s firm.