Rule 8018.1 District-Court Review of a Judgment that the Bankruptcy Court Lacked the Constitutional Authority to Enter

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If on appeal, a district court determines that the bankruptcy court did not have the power under Article III of the Constitution to enter the judgment, order, or decree appealed from, the district court may treat it as a proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law.

Committee Notes on Rules—2018

This rule is new.  It is added to prevent a district court from having to remand an appeal whenever it determines that the bankruptcy court lacked constitutional authority to enter the judgment, order, or decree appealed from.  Consistent with the Supreme Court’s decision in Executive Benefits Ins. Agency v. Arkison, 134 S. Ct. 2165 (2014), the district court in that situation may treat the bankruptcy court’s judgment as proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law.  Upon making the determination to proceed in that manner, the district court may choose to allow the parties to file written objections to specific proposed findings and conclusions and to respond to another party’s objections, see Rule 9033; treat the parties’ briefs as objections and responses; or prescribe other procedures for the review of the proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law.