Gambino v. Koonce

Federal 7th Circuit Court
Civil Court
Collateral Estoppel
Case Number: 
No. 13-2756
Decision Date: 
July 2, 2014
Federal District: 
N.D. Ill., E. Div.
Bankruptcy Ct. did not err in granting plaintiff-creditor’s requested relief in adversary proceeding seeking declaration that debt established in prior state court judgment, in which creditor had prevailed in action alleging that debtor used forged documents to gain title to creditor’s properties, was non-dischargeable pursuant to 11 USC section 523(a)(2)(A), after finding that debtor was collaterally estopped from re-litigating issue of his intent in obtaining creditor’s properties. Ct. rejected debtor’s contention that collateral estoppel did not apply because his fraudulent intent was not actually litigated in prior state court action, where Ct. observed that state court could not have rendered judgment in favor of creditor without deciding that debtor obtained said properties in fraudulent manner. Moreover, state court’s finding of fraudulent intent was necessary to its judgment in creditor's favor.