Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Rodriguez v. Learjet, Inc. case brief

Rodriguez v. Learjet, Inc. case brief summary
946 P.2d 2010 (1997)

Intervenor county sought judicial review of an order of the Court of Appeals (Kansas), which reversed a lower court judgment that gave a priority to a county tax lien in a action to partition an oil and gas lease that was brought by plaintiff owner against defendants, a co-owner, a co-owner debtor, a bank, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

The owner sought to partition an oil and gas lease. One co-owner filed a petition in bankruptcy, and the automatic stay was lifted to allow the suit to proceed. The county was allowed to intervene with its claim to collect an unsatisfied judgment for the co-owners' unpaid personal property taxes on the lease. The appellate court reversed the district court's judgment that gave the county priority over the bank,


  • The court reversed, finding that: 
  • (1) the debtor voluntarily surrendered its interest in the lease to the bankruptcy court by filing its petition in bankruptcy, but the bankruptcy court lifted the automatic stay, releasing any interest the bankruptcy estate had in the lease; 
  • (2) the lifting of the stay put the debtor in the same position with reference to its interest in the lease as it had been in before the bankruptcy was filed, and its interest was not voluntarily surrendered but was subject to the partition suit; and 
  • (3) the district court's sheriff's sale constituted a seizure of the property pursuant to Kan. Stat. Ann. § 79-2111, and the county was entitled to the sale proceeds in preference to other claimants.
The court reversed the judgment of the appellate court and remanded the cause for further proceedings.

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