Criminal Law & Bankruptcy

Briefing of the Case

Bullard v. , case number 14-116 decided on May 4, 2015, after its first mention on April 1, 2015.

Summary of Facts

The case involved Bullard as the petitioner after he had submitted a proposal for a payment plan following the filing for Chapter 13 bankruptcy at the Bankruptcy Court in Massachusetts. Blue Hills Bank, the respondent in the case had refused the plan, which then pushed the bankrupt bank into objecting to the proposal (Bullard v. Blue Hills Bank, 2015). The action by the court caused Bullard to appeal against the decision to the BAP to which the BAP concluded that the denial was not the final. The matter took another turn after the BAP heard the appeal on the perspective that allowed interlocutory appeals, which concurred with the court that the plan that Bullard had submitted was invalid.

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Holding of the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court held that the decision of the Court of . Chief Justice Roberts considered that the rules of bankruptcy cases were different from other litigations involving a District Court. For this case, the district court can disassociate itself after the final decision of the ordinary cases. However, the bankruptcy case entails a compilation of individual controversies that would have stood as single cases. The court acknowledged that Congress allows for an immediate appeal should the parties dispel their disputes within the case (LII, 2015). The Supreme Courts task in the case was to interpret the immediately appealable clause of the bankruptcy laws.

Sources and Purpose of the Jurisdiction in the Case

Chief Justice Roberts of the Supreme Court gave the opinion of the court concerning the case by interpreting chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code. This clause of the same legislation states that individuals that have unvarying incomes can take relief in terms of their debts and keep their property. However, the same law obliges the debtor to recommend an order, which will enable them to repay their debts in a period of between three to five years. Therefore, the law obliges debtors to be responsible for their debts, failure upon which it becomes a criminal offense. The case interested me because it related Bankruptcy to Criminal Law, instead of its jurisdiction as a bankruptcy law case. There was the realization that the law obliges debtors to take responsibility for what they owe.

Criminal liability refers to what the courts require to prove that a petitioner, in any case, is guilty of the criminal charges against them (Ashworth and Horder, 2013). Therefore, the courts should prove that the defendant both committed the crime as and did do out of a criminal mindset. Criminal liability relates to the case because the Massachusetts court ruled that Bullard was intentionally trying to slice the case too thin. There was a chance that the entire ligation would terminate once after the acceptance of the plan. The court considered that the order that hindered confirmation was not the final if it continued letting the debtor have the chance of making another plan. In the field of law, mens rea means a guilty mind, which is the defendants state of mind at the time they engage in the crime (LII, 2015). Additionally, is the criminal act defined by the violation of the criminal law while concurrence is the requirement that two other elements be present before one becomes guilty of an offense. The Supreme Court found that Bullard was liable to slow the process and that he was doing it intentionally.

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