Ricky Donovan Van Vleet, d/b/a First Financial Centre, Inc. (Van Vleet), filed a voluntary petition for relief under Chapter 11 of the bankruptcy code. Among Van Vleet’s assets were a number of business entities, including Kikula Island Resorts Limited (KIR) and Encom Services Limited (Encom), located in the Republic of Vanuatu, an island-nation in the South Pacific Ocean. Appellant Bailey was Van Vleet’s business associate and one of his creditors. He filed a proof of claim against the bankruptcy estate for $4.06 million in wages owed for his work for KIR.
The bankruptcy court vested broad authority in the Chapter 11 trustee, the appellee here (Trustee), over the bankruptcy estate’s Vanuatu assets, including the power to elect, appoint, and remove the directors and managers of the business entities, and to settle the appeal of a Vanuatu lawsuit that had resulted in a multi-million-dollar judgment in favor of KIR and Bailey against the Vanuatu government (the KIR lawsuit). After removing Van Vleet and Bailey as directors and officers of all the estate’s Vanuatu entities, the Trustee allegedly encountered interference by them and filed a motion to hold them in contempt (Contempt Motion). In the motion, the Trustee claimed, among other things, that at Van Vleet’s direction, Bailey had written letters to the Vanuatu Financial Services Commission repudiating the Trustee’s removal of Van Vleet and Bailey as directors of the Vanuatu entities, and that Bailey had hired Vanuatu counsel to send a letter to the Vanuatu Attorney General disclaiming the Trustee’s authority to settle the KIR lawsuit. The Trustee further asserted that Sean Griffin, an Encom employee whom the Trustee had discharged, claimed to be an Encom shareholder with authority to act on behalf of its directors, sent a letter to the Trustee’s counsel demanding payment of Encom invoices, and had seized two KIR boats. The court set an evidentiary hearing on the Contempt Motion for February 20, 2008, and ordered Bailey, who was then in Vanuatu, to appear in person. On February 5, the Trustee noticed a deposition of Bailey for February 13.
Jurisdiction: U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit
Related Categories: Civil Procedure
|Circuit Court Judge(s)|
|Appellant Lawyer(s)||Appellant Law Firm(s)|
|Garry R. Appel||Appel & Lucas, P.C.|
|James P. Eckels||Appel & Lucas, P.C.|
|Douglas W. Jessop||Jessop & Company|
|Debtor Lawyer(s)||Debtor Law Firm(s)|
|Lee M. Kutner||Kutner Miller Brinen|