This appeal relates to one of two separate, but related, bankruptcy cases. The first case was a voluntary Chapter 11 case filed by Thomas and Mari Grabanski on July 22, 2010. The second case – the one particularly involved here – was an involuntary Chapter 11 case filed by John and Dawn Keeley on December 7, 2010, against the Keeley and Grabanski Land Partnership, in which the Keeleys and Grabanskis were partners. This appeal involves the appointment of a trustee in the partnership’s involuntary case. However, since the decision to appoint the trustee was based in part on Thomas Grabanski’s conduct in his individual case, we discuss the background of both cases here.
Pre-Bankruptcy Factual Background
Thomas and Mari Grabanski are farmers living in North Dakota who own and operate several farms and other agricultural businesses. John and Dawn Keeley are also farmers living in North Dakota. On February 1, 2007, the Keeleys and Grabanskis formed a partnership, the Keeley and Grabanski Land Partnership (“KGLP”). Thomas Grabanski and John Keeley were the managing partners. Thereafter, KGLP purchased several tracts of farmland, including two large tracts in Texas referred to by the parties as the “Lenth Parcel” and the “Unruh Parcel,” both of which are subject to seller-financed mortgages.
On January 1, 2008, the Keeleys and Grabanskis formed G&K Farms, a partnership which would rent farmland owned by KGLP. KGLP was to use the rents paid by G&K Farms to make the payments on the notes secured by the land. In order to conduct its farming operation in 2008, G&K Farms obtained financing from Choice Financial, which required G&K Farms to provide a blanket lien on its property, including crops. In addition, in connection with an extension of this note, Choice Financial later obtained second mortgages on the Lenth and Unruh Parcels as security for G&K Farms’ debt. G&K Farms also obtained credit from United Agri Products in February 2008, to pay for fertilizer for its farming operations.
Judge(s): Arthur Federman
Jurisdiction: U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit
Related Categories: Agriculture , Business Organizations , Finance / Banking , Property
|Circuit Court Judge(s)|
|Trial Court Judge(s)|
|Appellant Lawyer(s)||Appellant Law Firm(s)|
|DeWayne Johnston||Law Office|
|Appellee Lawyer(s)||Appellee Law Firm(s)|
|Lowell Bottrell||Anderson & Bottrell|
|John Dwyer||Kennelly & O'Keeffe|
|Christopher Kennelly||Kennelly & O'Keeffe|
|Timothy O'Keeffe||Kennelly & O'Keeffe|
|Kenneth Corey-Edstorm||Larkin Hoffman Daly & Lindgren Ltd|
|L. Kathleen Harrell-Latham||Larkin Hoffman Daly & Lindgren Ltd|