By: Scott B. Riddle, Esq.

Dierkes v. Crawford Orthodontic Care, Inc., Adv. No. 05-6022; Crawford Orthodontic Care, Inc. v. Dierkes, Adv. No. 05-6122 (Bankr. N.D. Ga. March 22, 2007) (Diehl).

Debtor and a creditor each filed adversary proceedings against each other, alleging "related to" causes of action and seeking monetary damages.  After Debtor’s case was converted to a Chapter 7, Debtor received his discharge and the trustee abandoned the estate’s interest in the claims against the creditor.  The Trustee also entered a Report of No Distribution, indicating that no assets were available to distribute to creditors.  Based upon these facts,  the resolution of the adversary proceedings could not possibly affect the administration of the estate.  Thus, the Court did not have subject matter jurisdiction over the proceedings.

Further, the discharge injunction of Section 524 of the Code may not bar the creditor’s set-off of a pre-petition claim when raised as a defense to claims made by a debtor.