Judicial Estoppel; Standing
Lee v. Owenby & Assoc., Inc. 2006 Ga. App. LEXIS 604 (May 17, 2006)
Prior to filing bankruptcy, the debtor asserted claims against his landlord. After his filing, the trustee entered an appearance in the state action on behalf of the debtor’s estate, and dismissed without prejudice the claims against the landlord. After the bankruptcy case was closed, the debtor attempted to reassert the same claims in state court, arguing that the trustee only represented the estate’s interest and not the debtor’s interest in the claims. Therefore, after the bankruptcy case was closed, debtor argued, the claims could be asserted by him.
The Court of Appeals dismissed the debtor’s case. The legal action was property of the estate and the trustee, who was in debtor’s privy and the real party in interest, dismissed the counterclaims. Therefore, there was a final adjudication of the case. Moreover, the trustee did not abandon any claims back to the debtor.