Bankr. E.D.N.C.: Mouhtadi v. Sheikh- Failure to Respond to Discovery and Summary Judgment

Summary:

After initially filing Chapter 13, Mr. Sheikh converted to Chapter 7 and Mssrs. Mouhtadi and Khalioui commenced an adversary proceeding asserting claims of common-law fraud, violations of the North Carolina Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act (the “UDTPA”), N.C. Gen. Stat.
§§ 75-1.1 to 75-145, and eeking a determination that the debts related to the case were excepted from discharge pursuant to 11 U.S.C. §§ 523(a)(2) or (a)(4). Mr. Shaikh filed an answer to the complaint, but then failed to respond to numerous discovery requests, including admissions. When Mr. Shaikh still failed to comply with discovery following the entry of an order to compel, Mouhtadi and Khalioui moved for summary judgment. Mr. Shaikh neither responded to that motion nor attended the hearing, at which time summary judgment was granted from the bench.

Prior to entry of a written summary judgment, Mr. Shaikh then filed a Motion to Reconsider, based on his assertion that he was in state district court at the same time. At the hearing on the Motion to Reconsider, Mr. Shaikh appeared , “albeit 43 minutes late”), still having failed to respond to discovery. Despite being mindful that admission are “not intended to be used as a technical weapon to defeat the rights of pro se litigants to have their cases fairly judged on the merits,” Citibank v. Savage (In re Savage), 303 B.R. 766, 772 (Bankr. D. Md. 2003), the bankruptcy court found that Mr. Shaikh had been provided specific details regarding the failure to respond to the motion for Summary Judgment, repeatedly failed to respond to discovery and “habitually declined to appear or participate” in the case. This was sufficient to proceed to summary judgment, with the verified complaints and still undisputed requests for admissions being sufficient to satisfy all claims.

Commentary:

While Mr. Shaikh was represented in the underlying bankruptcy, that representation does not, appear to have persisted into this Adversary Proceeding (or the other three filed), as such can be excluded from representation. The docket also does not indicate whether Mr. Shaikh was referred to the EDNC Pro Bono Program.

For a copy of the opinion, please see:

Mouhtadi v. Sheikh- Failure to Respond to Discovery and Summary Judgment

 

 

About

1. Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from Washington University, 1993.

2. Juris Doctor degree from George Washington University, 1996.

Admissions to Practice of Law:

North Carolina Bar, 1996.
Federal District Courts for the Eastern and Middle Districts of North Carolina.

Specialty Certification:

North Carolina State Bar: Certified as a Specialist in Consumer Bankruptcy.

Areas of Practice:

Practice limited to consumer and business debtor bankruptcy law, 1998 to present.

Memberships:

National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA).
North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers (NCATL).
North Carolina Bar Association, Bankruptcy Section.

Lectures prepared and presented:

North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers seminar on bankruptcy; Topic: Counseling the Consumer Debtor Prior to Court – C.Y.A. Forms to Help ‘Gird They Loins’; 2001.
Middle District Bankruptcy Seminar; Topic: Preparing Chapter 13 Plans; 2002.
NACBA National Convention; Topic: Efficient Office Practices; 2003.
NACBA National Convention; Topic: Chapter 7 vs. Chapter 13 Debates; 2004.
Middle District Bankruptcy Seminar; Topic: Chapter 7 & 13 Hot Issues; 2004.

Positions held:

NACBA National Convention; Convention Chair; 2008.
NACBA National Convention; Panel Moderator: Topic: Basic Bankruptcy Issues; 2008.
NACBA National Convention; Panel Moderator; Topic: Chapter 13-Disposable Income and Other Issues; 2007.
NACBA National Convention; Panel Moderator; Topic: Representing Members of the Military and Their Families; 2007.
NACBA, Member of National Board of Directors, 2006 to present.
NCATL, Chair of the Bankruptcy Section, 2003 to 2007.
NACBA, Chair of the North Carolina Section, 2003 to 2007.
NC Bar Association, Bankruptcy Section, Bankruptcy Council Member, 2004 to present.

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