Carpenters Pension Trust Fund v. Moxley, No. 11-16133 (9th Cir. 2013)Annotate this Case
Debtor was required to make contributions to the Carpenters Pension Trust Fund pursuant to a multiemployer bargaining agreement (the Agreement). When the Agreement expired, debtor no longer was a signatory to a collective bargaining agreement and stopped making payments. The Fund subsequently filed suit because debtor was still doing work covered by the Agreement and was subject to withdrawal liability under 29 U.S.C. 1381. Debtor then filed for bankruptcy and sought a discharge of his debt to the Fund. The Fund filed a complaint under 11 U.S.C. 523(c) to prevent discharge, seeking to establish that the debt qualified as one created via defalcation by a fiduciary under section 523(a)(4). The court concluded that the Bankruptcy Court had jurisdiction to adjudicate the dischargeability of the Fund's claim against debtor; debtor was not a fiduciary of the Fund because the unpaid withdrawal liability was not an asset of the Fund; and debtor's failure to challenge the withdrawal liability amount in arbitration did not act as a waiver of his right to discharge the debt. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment.