Understand the complexities and nuances of the Bankruptcy Code to better advise clients and prepare for court.
By Daniel Gill
Dec. 5 — Infamous “shoe bomber” Richard Reid sent a letter to the court that convicted him, asking the court to declare him bankrupt in order to discharge $256,082 in debt arising from his attempt to blow up a passenger aircraft in 2001 ( USA v. Reid , D. Mass., No. 1:02-cr-10013, Motion to Declare Bankruptcy 11/15/16 ).
The U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts docketed the letter, entitled a “movement,” as a motion and set a time table for responses to be filed by the U.S. Attorneys’ office. An attorney for the National Consumer Law Center told Bloomberg BNA Dec. 2 that he expects that the bankruptcy motion will be denied as procedurally defective.
Richard Reid achieved international infamy when passengers and crew foiled his attempt to ignite explosives hidden in his boots while airborne on a flight from Paris to Miami on Dec. 22, 2001.
As set forth in the judgment entered against him, Reid pleaded guilty to eight criminal counts, including attempted murder, attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction, and attempted destruction of aircraft, for which he received a life sentence plus additional years, and he was fined $250,000 plus more than $6,000 for restitution.
In his “motion,” Reid said that he couldn’t pay his fines. “I hereby request that as I am not now, nor will I—I believe—ever be, able to pay this fine that a declaration of bankruptcy be entered in my favor and that this fine be vacated in keeping with that.”
John Rao, an attorney with the National Consumer Law Center, with a focus on consumer debt and bankruptcy matters, told Bloomberg BNA Dec. 2 that dismissal is the most obvious outcome.
Reid did not file a proper petition for bankruptcy in the bankruptcy court, requesting a chapter of relief (different chapters, such as Chapter 7, 11 or 13 are available to individuals seeking protection under the Bankruptcy Code).
Even if the District Court were to refer the matter to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Massachussetts, dismissal would still be the likely eventuality, Rao told Bloomberg BNA. None of the information typically included in a bankruptcy petition—identifying the chapter of relief, listing creditors and assets, for example—was included, nor was there a declaration that Reid had undergone the credit counseling course required by the Code.
As recently as Nov. 22 a district court held that even incarcerated debtors are required to complete the credit counseling and financial management course prerequisite of being a debtor.
To contact the reporter on this story: Daniel Gill in Washington at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jay Horowitz at JHorowitz@bna.com
Full text of the motion is at: http://www.bloomberglaw.com/public/document/USA_v_Reid_Docket_No_102cr10013_D_Mass_Jan_16_2002_Court_Docket
Copyright © 2016 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)