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In re Charbono

United States Court of Appeals, First Circuit

June 15, 2015

IN RE KEVIN CHARBONO, Debtor. KEVIN CHARBONO, Appellant,
v.
LAWRENCE P. SUMSKI, Trustee, Appellee

Page 81

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 82

APPEAL FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF NEW HAMPSHIRE. Hon. Steven J. McAuliffe, U.S. District Judge. Hon. J. Michael Deasy, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge.

Michelle Kainen, with whom Kainen Law Office, PC was on brief, for appellant.

Tara Twomey, Ray DiGuiseppe, and National Consumer Bankruptcy Rights Center on brief for National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys, amicus curiae.

Lawrence P. Sumski for appellee.

Before Howard, Selya and Kayatta, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

Page 83

SELYA, Circuit Judge.

This appeal poses the question of whether a bankruptcy court has inherent power to sanction parties for noncompliance with court orders. We hold that it does -- and we reject the debtor's attempt to subsume this power within the bankruptcy court's authority to punish for criminal contempt. After placing the sanction imposed by the bankruptcy court in perspective, we conclude that the district court did not err in upholding it.

Page 84

I. BACKGROUND

Facing straitened circumstances, Kevin Charbono (the debtor) filed a voluntary petition for relief under Chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code. See 11 U.S.C. § § 1301-1330. The bankruptcy court appointed Lawrence P. Sumski as Trustee, and the court ...


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