UNITED STATES BANKRUPTCY COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF KENTUCKY
CANNONSBURG ENVIRONMENTAL ASSOCIATES, INC.
DEBTOR CASE NO. 92-10146
MICHAEL THOMAS MOORE
DEBTOR CASE NO. 94-60251
These Chapter 11 cases are before the Court on the issue of whether these debtors are required to pay quarterly fees to the United States Trustee ("UST") pursuant to 28 U.S.C.'1930(a)(6). Effective January 27, 1996, Congress amended that statute to allow the UST to collect post-confirmation quarterly fees. The debtors challenge their obligation to pay because they are operating under Chapter 11 plans which were confirmed before the effective date of the amendment of the statute.
The debtors contend that allowing the UST to collect the quarterly fees from them when their plans were confirmed prior to the amendment of 28 U.S.C.'1930(a)(6) would result in the amendment having a retroactive effect on them. In addition, they contend that their confirmed plans are contracts with their creditors which should not be modified to include payment of quarterly fees after confirmation. The UST takes the position that the debtors owe post-confirmation quarterly fees from January 27, 1996, until their cases are closed by final decree.
The statute in question, 28 U.S.C.'1930(a)(6), was amended by '211 of the Balanced Budget Downpayment Act, I, Pub. L. No. 104-99, 110 Stat. 26, 37-38 (1996), to require the payment of quarterly fees to the UST in every Chapter 11 case until the case is dismissed or converted to another chapter, or closed. Language requiring payment of the fees "until a plan is confirmed" was excised. The statute was further amended by the 1997 Omnibus Appropriations Act, which was signed into law on September 10, 1996, and included the following:
Section 101)a) of Public Law 104-91, as amended by section 211 of Public Law 104-99, is further amended by inserting ":Provided, further, That, notwithstanding any other provision of law, the fees under 28 U.S.C. 1930(a)(6) shall accrue and be payable from and after January 27, 1996, in all cases (including, without limitation, any cases pending as of that date), regardless of confirmation status of their plans" after "enacted into law".
In In re Norman Dean Owens, Case No. 94-50934 (Bkrtcy.E.D.Ky., December 12, 1996), Judge Lee was faced with the same issues. He ruled that the debtor and the debtor's disbursing agent under the confirmed Chapter 11 plan were obligated to resume quarterly payments to the UST as mandated by 28 U.S.C.'1930(a)(6), as amended by Public Law 104-208 September 30, 1996. This Court adopts Judge Lee's opinion in Owens and comes to the same conclusion. Quarterly fees must be paid in every case pending as of January 27, 1996, no matter when its plan was confirmed. An order in conformity with this opinion will be entered separately.
By the Court -
Elizabeth Hardy Brittain, Esq.
W. Thomas Bunch, Esq.