UNITED STATES BANKRUPTCY COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF KENTUCKY
TROY L. BROOKS
SANDRA S. BROOKS CASE NO. 97-20572
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
This matter is before the Court on the trustee=s Objection to Amended Proof of Claim filed on January 16, 1998 objecting to the claim of Quail Run Preserve, Inc. in the amount of $28,153.90. That claim is filed as a priority claim to the extent of $10,153.90 claimed by the creditor for various services rendered in connection with a horse which was property of the estate and as an unsecured pre-petition claim for the balance.
Prior to the filing of the petition herein, the creditor had executed on and had possession of the horse by the name of Sultan=s New Toi. After the petition was filed, the trustee moved to sell the horse, and after hearing by the Court upon the response of Quail Run, the Court ordered the horse sold at public auction.
The sum of $10,153.90 is claimed as an administrative expense pursuant to the provisions of 11 U.S.C.'503. The creditor=s claim is based upon the upkeep and care of the horse after the filing of the petition and up until the time of its sale. The claim is composed of several elements which the Court will consider seriatim.
The claimant first claims the sum of $1,733.90 for 120 days housing and feeding of the horse after the filing of the petition and prior to the auction of the horse. That claim, in the amount of approximately $14.45 per day appears to be reasonable in amount. Certainly the trustee, had he had physical possession of the horse, would have had to board and pay for the care and feeding of the horse at a rate similar to this during the proceedings. The Court will, therefore, allow that sum as claimed.
The next category is for transportation costs, repossession and to stable and legal fees and costs in the sum of $2,600. While the estate may have had some benefit from the actions of the creditor other than simply the upkeep of the animal, the creditor=s actions were primarily taken for its own benefit and to assert its own claim and the benefit to other creditors and the estate has been incidental to the creditor=s self serving actions. Further, the sum claimed is not broken down into identifiable costs to allow the Court to further evaluate if any particular cost is allowable. Therefore, this claimed sum is not allowable pursuant to 11 U.S.C. '503.
The next two categories are grooming and exercise and trainer fee in preparation for showing at sale. The figures claimed are $3,600 and $750, respectively. There is no attachment to the proof of claim identifying specific payments made in these categories to any individual in order to authenticate the round number figures claimed by the claimant in this regard. Therefore, these claimed sums will be disallowed.
The next category of claim is for show shoes in the amount of $80. It is normal to have animals properly shod in preparation for sale and this sum would appear to be an allowable expense, and while verification of payment of that sum has not been made, it appears that the expense should be allowed as part of the priority expense claim.
The final category is for advertising, mailer prep and printing costs for sale in the amount of $1,390. The amount claimed in this category would appear to be excessive in light of the value of the animal involved, and absent some verification, should be disallowed.
IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that the objection to the claim is SUSTAINED as to the priority expenses claimed, with the exception of the housing and feeding and show shoe portions of the claim which total $1,813.90, and the claim should be allowed as a priority expense claim in that sum pursuant to 11 U.S.C.'503(a).
Dated this _____ day of _________________, 1998.
BY THE COURT
James A. Nolan, Esq.
Dennis R. Williams, Esq.