Proposed Amendments to Local Bankruptcy Rules (Updated)
On March 14, 2013, the court issued a notice of proposed amendments to the local bankruptcy rules, concerning amendments to rules 1007-2, 2091-1, and 9072-1, and new rules 1007-3 and 9037-1. No comments were received. However, rules 2091-1 and 9072-1 have been revised further, as summarized below.
LBR 2091-1 clarifies the procedures regarding withdrawal and substitution of counsel in bankruptcy cases and adversary proceedings, in addition to the previously published changes regarding requirements for attorneys giving notice of a change of address or firm affiliation.
LBR 9072-1 clarifies the procedures regarding submission of proposed orders, in addition to the previously published changes establishing format requirements for orders to be uploaded in CM/ECF.
New Claims Transfer Fee to Take Effect May 1, 2013
Effective May 1, 2013, the bankruptcy courts will begin charging a new fee of $25 for each claim transferred. This fee was approved by the Judicial Conference of the United States at its September 2012 session.
In considering this fee, the Judicial Conference Committees with jurisdiction over bankruptcy fees recognized the impact a transfer of a claim has on the workload of the bankruptcy courts, including impact on court time and resources. Bankruptcy Rule 3001(e) requires the clerk of court to notice a transferred claim, and provides
The fee will be assessed by bankruptcy courts upon the filing of the claim transfer, whether filed by a transferee or transferor. It will apply to partial claims transfers as well. In the event multiple claims transfers are filed at one time by one entity (claims upload or batch filing), the $25 fee will be charged for each individual claim transferred.
The fee must be paid by credit card upon the filing of the claims transfer in CM/ECF using Pay.gov or by whatever means is designated by the court if the claim transfer is not filed electronically. An entity that electronically handles claims transfers must ensure that the individual filing a transfer is authorized to pay this fee by credit card.
Entities that transfer claims should be aware that courts may be reviewing user accounts, account access, and the number of accounts authorized for a particular entity in anticipation of this fee.
Revised Dollar Amounts in National Forms
Revised Dollar Amounts in Official Forms 1, 6C, 6E, 7, 10, 22A and 22C, and Director's Forms 200 and 283, effective April 1, 2013.
When electronically filing a document requiring a fee, payment with a credit card must be made by 6:00 PM HST on the day of filing. The vast majority of filers comply. However, when payments are not made timely, court staff must contact attorneys about outstanding fees. To address this situation, the bankruptcy court will soon be implementing a process in CM/ECF whereby failure to make a timely payment will result in an automatically generated email notifying the filer that his or her login will be disabled for filing documents if the outstanding balance remains due for more than one day. If this occurs, the login will give access only to the Internet payment portion of CM/ECF. Once the outstanding fees are paid, the ability to file documents will be automatically reinstated. See sample message about this "lockout" feature that a filer would receive.
The bankruptcy court is implementing a VOIP phone system. Effective Wednesday, January 30, 2013, the CM/ECF help desk number will change and additional direct lines will be activated. EXISTING DIRECT LINES AND CURRENT EXTENSION NUMBERS WILL NOT CHANGE. However, there will be new direct line numbers for court staff who previously could only be contacted by dialing the main line and then an extension number. Please see the new Clerk's Office phone directory.
Wireless Internet Access
In October, 2011, the bankruptcy court adopted a policy allowing the use of electronic devices such as cellular phones and laptop computers in the courtroom and Clerk's Office. The court is pleased to announce that these devices will now be able to connect to the Internet using a public wireless access (WiFi) network funded by admission fees collected from attorneys and held in the Attorney Admission Fund (no government resources have been used).
Access to the court's public WiFi network (BK_PUBLIC) requires a password that is changed periodically and is available from the courtroom deputy or at the public counter. This WiFi network is intended for use by attorneys and the public for access related to their visit to the court. Users may not use the court's WiFi network for any unlawful or inappropriate purpose.
The court offers WiFi access as a courtesy; there is no entitlement to WiFi use and the clerk may deny or interrupt access at any time. Further, the court provides no technical support to WiFi users and does not guarantee the operability, speed, or security of the network, or the accuracy of any transmissions. Users must take the same precautions regarding viruses and the privacy and confidentiality of transmitted information just as they would with use of any public WiFi network. Use of the court's WiFi network is entirely at the user's own risk.
Payments by Check
Effective Thursday, January 3, 2013, the Clerk's Office will process check transactions using electronic fund transfers. Please read the following notice. (Note that business and personal checks are accepted only from attorneys and the name of the attorney or law firm must be printed on the check.)
Processing of Returned BNC Mail
Effective October 15, 2012, the Bankruptcy Noticing Center (BNC) will begin centralized processing of notices that would otherwise be returned to bankruptcy courts by the US Postal Service. The service will eliminate nearly all manual processing of returned mail currently performed by court personnel and will provide timely notification to debtors' attorneys of returned notices.
Currently, BNC returned mail goes either to the court or to debtors' attorneys. As a cost-savings and efficiency measure, bankruptcy courts have been strongly urged to have most returned mail sent to the debtor's attorney, which provides notice that a better address for such recipient should be provided to the court.
Under the terms of the revised contract, the BNC contractor will have two business days from receipt to process the returned mail, and the contractor's system will autogenerate a Notice of Returned Mail email notification to the debtor's attorney, with a copy of the notice as a PDF attachment, advising of the returned mail by the USPS. If no attorney email address is available or if the debtor is pro se, the Notice of Returned Mail will be sent by US mail to the attorney or pro se debtor, as appropriate.
Thus, beginning this month, debtors' attorneys will start to receive returned mail in bankruptcy cases in two different ways: regular USPS mail for the majority of items where the return address is the debtor's attorney, and email Notices of Returned Mail for returned mail that would have been sent back to the bankruptcy court.
The court is now participating in McVCIS, a nationwide judiciary Voice Case Information System. Dial a toll free number (866) 222-8029 and access code 44 for the District of Hawaii case information, including:
See the VCIS page for more information.
Facebook & Twitter Accounts
The court has created accounts for Facebook and Twitter in an effort to make court news more accessible. Check out the following links:
Attendance at 341 Meetings
Meetings of Creditors
1. Reminder for Debtor identification and Social Security numbers at 341 meetings: