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RULE 16-306.1. SPECIAL INACTIVE BANKRUPTCY DOCKET FOR ASBESTOS ACTIONS

West's Annotated Code of MarylandMaryland Rules

West's Annotated Code of Maryland
Maryland Rules
Title 16. Court Administration
Chapter 300. Circuit Courts--Administration and Case Management
MD Rules, Rule 16-306.1
RULE 16-306.1. SPECIAL INACTIVE BANKRUPTCY DOCKET FOR ASBESTOS ACTIONS
(a) Definitions. In this Rule, the following definitions apply except as expressly otherwise provided or as necessary implication requires:
(1) Asbestos Action. “Asbestos action” has the meaning set forth in Rule 16-306 (a);
(2) Bankrupt Defendant. “Bankrupt defendant” means a defendant in an asbestos action who is in bankruptcy and, as a result, is subject to the protection of a stay of proceedings under 11 U.S.C. § 362 or by order of the Bankruptcy Court.
(3) SIBD. “SIBD” means the special inactive bankruptcy docket created pursuant to this Rule
(b) Applicability. This Rule applies only to asbestos actions in which (1) all claims by all plaintiffs against all non-bankrupt defendants and all claims by non-bankrupt defendants against other non-bankrupt defendants have been fully resolved or abandoned and, (2) but for open claims by or against a bankrupt defendant, final judgment could be entered with respect to the plaintiffs' claims against the non-bankrupt defendants and claims by non-bankrupt defendants against other non-bankrupt defendants.
(c) Notice of Resolution.
(1) Any party to an asbestos action who has reason to believe that the action falls within the ambit of this Rule may file a Notice of Resolution.
(2) To the extent feasible, the Notice shall
(A) include an affirmation by counsel that all claims by all plaintiffs against all non-bankrupt defendants and all claims by non-bankrupt defendants against other non-bankrupt defendants have been, or pursuant to section (e) of this Rule, will be, fully resolved, and
(B) identify all bankrupt defendants by or against whom claims are still pending but cannot be adjudicated because proceedings against those defendants are stayed under Federal bankruptcy law.
(3) The Notice shall be served on all other parties, other than a bankrupt defendant, in accordance with the procedures for service applicable to asbestos actions.
(4) Upon the filing of a Notice of Resolution, the Administrative Judge may cancel or postpone any pending events in the action that may be unnecessary in light of the Notice.
(d) Objection. Any party may contest the Notice of Resolution by filing and serving on all other parties, other than a bankrupt defendant, an objection within 15 days after service of the Notice. If an objection is filed, the court, after an opportunity for a hearing if one is requested, shall determine whether the Notice is valid and further proceedings under section (e) of this Rule should occur.
(e) Ruling; Severance; Transfer.
(1) If the court concludes that an objection has merit and that the action does not fall within the ambit of this Rule, the court shall reject the Notice and state the basis for the rejection.
(2) If no objection to the Notice is timely filed or if, upon the filing of an objection, the court determines that the objection is without merit, the court may (A) cancel pending events in the action, (B) sever all claims by or against the bankrupt defendants and transfer those claims to the SIBD created pursuant to section (f) of this Rule, and (C) enter appropriate judgments with respect to all existing claims (i) by all plaintiffs against all non-bankrupt defendants and (ii) by all non-bankrupt defendants against other non-bankrupt defendants.
(f) Creation of Special Inactive Bankruptcy Docket (SIBD)
(1) By administrative order, the Administrative Judge of the Circuit Court for Baltimore City shall establish a Special Inactive Bankruptcy Docket for Asbestos Actions (SIBD) in accordance with this Rule. The docket shall consist of all claims severed and transferred to it pursuant to section (e) of this Rule.
(2) The severance and transfer of claims to the SIBD shall not affect the substantive status or validity of any claim by or against the bankrupt defendant or any defense to such a claim, whether existing at the time of severance and transfer or filed or raised upon termination of the bankruptcy stay. The purpose of the severance and transfer is solely to permit judgments to be entered on resolved claims against the non-bankrupt defendants.
(3) The plaintiffs are responsible for monitoring periodically the status of the bankruptcy actions and notifying the court upon (A) any lifting of a stay that would permit the action to proceed against a bankrupt defendant or successor that emerges from the bankruptcy, or (B) a discharge or other resolution in the bankruptcy proceeding that would permanently preclude any relief in the circuit court against a defendant or successor. Upon the lifting of a stay that would permit the action to proceed against a bankrupt defendant or its successor, or upon a permanent preclusion of relief in the circuit court against a bankrupt defendant or its successor, the action against that defendant shall be removed from the SIBD in accordance with an appropriate order of the Administrative Judge or a designee of that judge.
(4) Because no proceedings are permissible with respect to any claims by or against a bankrupt defendant while the bankruptcy stay is in effect, actions on the SIBD shall not be subject to Rule 2-507 and shall be deemed to be administratively closed for statistical purposes, including any otherwise applicable time standards, subject to being reopened upon removal from that docket.
Source: This Rule is new.

Credits

[Adopted April 9, 2018, eff. July 1, 2018.]
MD Rules, Rule 16-306.1, MD R CTS J AND ATTYS Rule 16-306.1
Current with amendments received through June 1, 2023. Some sections may be more current, see credits for details.
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