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Archdiocese of Milwaukee decision

Archdiocese of Milwaukee decision

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Published by Howard Friedman
Decision on appeal of bankruptcy judge's ruling in Archdiocese bankruptcy
Decision on appeal of bankruptcy judge's ruling in Archdiocese bankruptcy

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Published by: Howard Friedman on Oct 30, 2012
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12/04/2012

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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTEASTERN DISTRICT OF WISCONSIN
In re:ARCHDIOCESE OF MILWAUKEE,Case No. 12-C-580Bankruptcy Case No. 11-20059-svk,Debtor.ARCHDIOCESE OF MILWAUKEE,
Appellant,
-vs-Case Nos. 12-C-28812-C-289JOHN DOES, Claimants A-12 and A-13,
 Appellees.---------------------------------------------------------------------
JOHN DOES, Claimants A-12, A-13, and A-49,
Appellants,
-vs-Case Nos. 12-C-29012-C-29112-C-292ARCHDIOCESE OF MILWAUKEE,
Appellee.---------------------------------------------------------------------
Case 2:12-cv-00580-RTR Filed 10/29/12 Page 1 of 16 Document 7
 
-2----------------------------------------------------------------------
JOHN DOES,
Appellants,
-vs-Case No. 12-C-512ARCHDIOCESE OF MILWAUKEE
,Appellant.
DECISION AND ORDER 
The above-captioned appeals arise out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings for theArchdiocese of Milwaukee. Also before the Court is the Archdiocese’s motion for thedistrict court to withdraw the reference to the bankruptcy court for purposes of claimallowance and disallowance. The underlying claims generally allege that the Archdioceseknowingly permitted pedophile priests to serve in the claimants’ respective parishes withoutwarning the claimants or their families of the dangers posed by those priests. More than 550claims were filed. With respect to certain claimants, the bankruptcy court issued a rulingdismissing the negligence claims and allowing the fraud claims to proceed past summary judgment. The Archdiocese appeals the latter ruling, and the claimants appeal the former.For the reasons that follow, the Court lacks jurisdiction to decide any of these appeals, andthe reference will not be withdrawn.
Case 2:12-cv-00580-RTR Filed 10/29/12 Page 2 of 16 Document 7
 
-3-The Court does have jurisdiction over the appeal of one claimant, whose claim wasdismissed pursuant to a settlement agreement. The bankruptcy court’s decision to dismissthis claim is affirmed.Finally, the claimants move to withdraw an additional appeal relating to the sealingor unsealing of certain documents. The Archdiocese does not oppose this motion, which isgranted.
I.Case Nos. 12-C-288 and 289
The first two appeals relate to the fraud claims of John Does A-12 and A-13. A-12alleges that he was sexually abused by Father Franklyn Becker, the Associate Pastor at HolyFamily Parish in Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin, from 1972 through 1974 when he wasapproximately thirteen to sixteen years old. A-13 alleges that he was sexually abused byRobert Schaefer, the Choir Director at St. Catherine Church in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, from1976 through 1982 when he was approximately ten to sixteen years old. The Archdiocesemoved for summary judgment on these claims, arguing that they were barred by Wisconsin’ssix-year statute of limitations for fraud claims. Wis. Stat. § 893.93(1)(b). The bankruptcycourt denied this motion, holding that the issue of when the claimants discovered or shouldhave discovered their fraud claims is an issue of fact for trial.
 In re Archdiocese of  Milwaukee
, 470 B.R. 495, 504 (Bankr. E.D. Wis. 2012).This is an interlocutory appeal. 28 U.S.C. § 158(a)(3) (“The district courts of theUnited States shall have jurisdiction to hear appeals . . . with leave of the court, from other interlocutory orders and decrees”). In this context, district courts generally apply the
Case 2:12-cv-00580-RTR Filed 10/29/12 Page 3 of 16 Document 7

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