San Bernardino’s Confirmation Hearing Draws Many Attendees

by San Antonio Attorney

San Bernardino City is close to concluding its bankruptcy case as U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Meredith Jury conducted a confirmation hearing which the metropolis and its many creditors have anticipated for the past four years.  During the hearing, almost all of the seats in the courtroom were taken — there were city attorneys, officials and consultants, and there were lawyers who at different points opposed on the plans of the city.

The pressure of the moment was obvious in the court hearing; it is expected that the city will be able to exit from bankruptcy protection in March.

The majority of the bankruptcy plan, which involves paying back certain creditors at only one centavo per dollar they are owed, was confirmed during the hearing.

Jury was convinced that the city had satisfied most of its requisites already.  But she reserved judgment on a couple of important issues, which are interrelated.  The first one concerns a major disagreement between the San Bernardino City and its insurance provider, Big Independent Cities Excess Pool.  The second concerns potential lawsuits related to individual employees, for example, policeman accused of using extreme force on civilians.

Those two major issues will be tackled starting Nov.  15.

One of the city’s lawyers, Paul Glassman, said at the beginning of the hearing that San Bernardino has progressed greatly since its first bankruptcy hearing in 2012.

Jury congratulated the city for its improvement and admitted she was won over by its financial models and pronouncements to illustrate that it could only pay 1 percent of its unsecured debts.  Jury immediately found that the plan was viable — taking into account that there were no objections on the proposal.

Paul Triplett’s legal representative, Duane Folke, did not accept the settlement.

A different court resolute that Triplett should receive $7.7 million after a city police in 2006 fractured Triplett’s ribs, arms, jaw, arm, leg, foot and ankle, leaving him in a state of coma for three days, Folke said.

Since Triplett is an unsecured creditor, he would receive $77,000 under the bankruptcy plan.

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