When Appealing, First Seek a Stay (In re Mortgages)

When appealing an order, remember to put on your checklist to first seek a stay of the challenged order.  If not, the appellate court will regrettably inform you “there is nothing we can do for you now”.   That is what happened in In re Mortgages Ltd., — F.3d — (9th Cir. 2014).

In a recently published Ninth Circuit Opinion, the Court held that an appeal by a group of creditors was equitably moot because they never sought a stay of the order that they were appealing from.  The debtor had already acted, and other third parties would be unfairly harmed if the panel were to side with the creditor-appellants.  The Court said, “clawing back money from those investors who already paid their full allocation would be either impossible or inequitable.”

As such, the panel dismissed the appeal citing In re Thorpe, which held that appeals can be dismissed based on mootness when a “comprehensive change of circumstances” has occurred that makes it inequitable for a court to consider the appeal’s merits.  In re Thorpe Insulation Co., 677 F.3d 869 (9th Cir. 2012).

Full Opinion Here: http://cdn.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/opinions/2014/11/12/12-15234.pdf

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