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In re Living Hope Southwest Medical Services, LLC

United States District Court, W.D. Arkansas, Texarkana Division

July 10, 2014

IN RE: LIVING HOPE SOUTHWEST MEDICAL SERVICES, LLC, Debtor
v.
RENEE S. WILLIAMS, Appellee. DAVID KIMBRO STEPHENS, Appellant,

OPINION AND ORDER

P. K. HOLMES, III, Chief District Judge.

Appellant David Kimbro Stephens filed a notice of appeal from bankruptcy court on May 17, 2013. Currently before the Court are the following motions and related pleadings, which are ripe for consideration:

• Stephens's motion to expedite appeal and to schedule oral argument (Doc. 26) and brief in support (Doc. 27) and Appellee Renee S. Williams's response (Doc. 28), and Stephens's motion to strike response (Doc. 31);
• Stephens's motion to strike supplement as defamatory and scandalous (Doc. 29) and brief in support (Doc. 30), in which Stephens seeks to strike Williams's supplement to her appellee's brief (Doc. 25);
• Williams's motion to strike supplement (Doc. 33) and brief in support (Doc. 34) seeking to strike Stephens's third supplementation to the designation of record on appeal (Doc. 32), and Stephens's response in opposition (Doc. 35) and brief in support (Doc. 36); and
• Stephens's motion to withdraw supplement (Doc. 38), in which Stephens seeks to withdraw his third supplementation (Doc. 32).

This appeal is also ripe for review on the merits.

Stephens's motion to withdraw supplement (Doc. 38) is GRANTED, and Stephens's third supplementation to designation of record on appeal (Doc. 32) will be stricken from the record as withdrawn. As a result, Williams's motion to strike supplement (Doc. 33) is DENIED AS MOOT.

Stephens's motions to strike resemble reply briefs in that they consist primarily of argument disputing the opposing arguments made by Williams. Furthermore, the Court does not find that any language used by Williams was so scandalous as to warrant striking portions of the objected-to filings. Stephens's motions to strike (Docs. 29 and 31) are therefore DENIED. The Court has taken into consideration the arguments made by Stephens in the filings.

Finally, the Court finds that this appeal may be decided on the parties' filings and that no hearing is necessary. The Court has also decided this appeal as expeditiously as possible given the other demands of its docket and the voluminous record in this case. Stephens's motion to expedite appeal and to schedule oral argument (Doc. 26) is therefore DENIED. The Court will now turn to the merits of the appeal.

I. Background

The instant matter has a long and complex litigation history involving state court, bankruptcy court, and various appeals from bankruptcy court to federal district court. The Court will attempt to state the facts and procedural history of this case relevant to the motions and issues at hand.

On July 18, 2006, Living Hope Southwest Medical Services, LLC ("LHSW") filed a petition for relief under Chapter 11 of the bankruptcy code. LHSW's Chapter 11 case was later converted to a case under Chapter 7 of the bankruptcy code on August 15, 2006, and Renee S. Williams ("Williams" or "the Trustee") was appointed as the Chapter 7 Trustee. Appellant David Kimbro Stephens is a member of LHSW, as he owns a 1 percent interest in the company individually, with his ex-wife Daphna Alice Stephens ("Alice") owning the other 99 percent.

In February 2009, the Trustee filed several adversary proceedings ("AP") against numerous defendants related to the debtor, LHSW, including Living Hope Southeast, LLC ("LHSE")[1] and Stephens, seeking to recover pre-petition and post-petition transfers by LHSW. The Trustee entered into a settlement agreement with several of the AP defendants, including Stephens, on May 27, 2009. The bankruptcy court granted approval of the settlement over the objections of two unsecured creditors of LHSW, including Pinewood Enterprises, L.C. ("Pinewood"). The settlement, however, was overturned on appeal. The parties then attempted to amend the settlement agreement. The amended settlement was again overturned on appeal. The adversary proceeding was administratively closed on July 19, 2011, but reopened on November 30, 2012. The same day the proceeding was reopened, the Trustee dismissed Stephens from the AP by filing a stipulation of dismissal signed by Stephens. The Trustee filed a motion to amend the complaint in the AP, which the bankruptcy court granted on December 3, 2012. The Trustee then filed her third amended complaint, against LHSE only, on December 4, 2012. As a result, the only parties remaining in the AP were the Trustee ...


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