Submitted: December 18, 2018
from United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District
of Arkansas - Little Rock
SALADINO, Chief Judge, NAIL and DOW, Bankruptcy Judges.
SALADINO, Chief Judge.
Debtor, Theresa Marshall, appeals the bankruptcy
court's order which granted a motion for relief
from the automatic bankruptcy stay filed by Deutsche Bank
National Trust Company, as Trustee for Vendee Mortgage Trust
1993-1, United States Department of Veterans Affairs,
Guaranteed REMIC Pass Through Certificates
("Bank"). For the following reasons, we dismiss the
appeal for lack of jurisdiction.
3, 2018, debtor filed a petition under Chapter 13 of the
United States Bankruptcy Code. On June 28, 2018, Bank filed
its Amended Motion for Relief from Stay asserting that it was
the servicer of a promissory note and deed of trust
encumbering certain real property owned by the debtor and
located in Little Rock, Arkansas (the "Property").
The motion sought relief from the automatic stay for cause,
including debtor's conduct in filing multiple bankruptcy
cases on the eve of foreclosure, filing frivolous pleadings
and failing to act in good faith.
motion was set for hearing on July 12, 2018. Debtor sought a
continuance of that hearing, but that request was denied by
the bankruptcy court on July 3 2018. The hearing took place
as scheduled, debtor failed to appear and on July 16, 2018,
the bankruptcy court entered its order granting relief from
stay. Debtor timely filed a notice of appeal. The underlying
bankruptcy case was subsequently dismissed on September 4,
the course of this appeal, debtor has filed numerous motions
and emergency motions with this Panel. The most recent
emergency motions filed by debtor represent that the Property
was sold to Bank at a foreclosure sale on September 6, 2018,
and that debtor was later evicted from the Property on
October 31, 2018. Bank's supplemental brief concurs with
appellate brief, debtor appears to argue that the bankruptcy
court abused its discretion in denying her motion to continue
the hearing set for July 12, 2018, and that Bank did not have
legal standing to foreclose. Bank's initial appellee
brief responded to those arguments. However, we ordered the
parties to submit supplemental briefs on the issue of whether
this appeal is moot due to the foreclosure sale of the
property and the dismissal of the bankruptcy case. Those
briefs have now been filed.
previously addressed the effect of a foreclosure sale on an
appeal of an order granting relief from the automatic stay:
Federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction and can
only hear actual cases or controversies as defined under
Article III of the Constitution. Hickman v. State of
Missouri, 144 F.3d 1141, 1143 (8th Cir. 1998). When a
case no longer presents an actual, ongoing case or
controversy, the case is moot and the federal court no longer
has jurisdiction to hear it. Id. "When
circumstances change while an appeal is pending that make it
impossible for the court to grant 'any effectual relief
whatsoever' to a prevailing party, the appeal must ...