Bank of England v. Rice, No. 13-1495 (8th Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
Debtors filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and listed in their bankruptcy schedules a large volume of rice grain and farming equipment owned in connection with a joint venture. The Bank asserted a property interest and the trustee sought an injunction to prevent the Bank from exercising control over the rice and grain equipment. The court concluded that where a joint venture agreement exists, that document would be controlling as to the parties' intention. In this instance, Paragraph 13 of the joint venture agreement supported the bankruptcy court's determination that debtors had not intended to create a separate entity. Therefore, the rice grain was part of debtors' individual bankruptcy estate under 11 U.S.C. 541 and the bankruptcy court had jurisdiction to authorize the trustee to sell the rice grain. Accordingly, the court affirmed.