UNITED STATES BANKRUPTCY COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF KENTUCKY
MICHAEL CLIFFT ROBERTSON CASE NO. 97-60339
KEVIN L. SHEHEE PLAINTIFF
VS: ADV. 97-6018
MICHAEL C. ROBERTSON DEFENDANT
OPINION AND ORDER
This matter is before the Court upon a Motion to Dismiss the case filed herein by the defendant, Michael C. Robertson. The substance of the motion is that this adversary proceeding should be dismissed because there is pending in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky at London a civil action, Shehee v. Robertson, et al, and being Civil Action 96-173 which is an action in which the plaintiff seeks to establish liability on the part of the defendant and other defendants therein on his claims against them. This adversary proceeding presently before the Court seeks to determine dischargeability of the claims the plaintiff makes against the defendant Robertson in that District Court action.
The defendant=s Motion to Dismiss herein is premised upon the fact that the United States District Court case is still pending and no adjudication has been made in that action and asserts that this Court lacks jurisdiction to decide the allegations at this point. The defendant recites there has been no monetary award and any debt to the plaintiff is only a Apotential debt@ in this proceeding. The plaintiff has responded asserting that any recovery he might have against the defendant in the civil action pending before the District Court would be nondischargeable under 11 U.S.C. '523(a)(6).
While the plaintiff has used a broad brush to describe the potential causes of action in his complaint in this matter, the Court must look at the provisions of 11 U.S.C. '523(a) to determine if this action to find the debt nondischargeable may proceed. The language of that statute requires that there be a debt. The word Adebt@ is defined in 11 U.S.C. '101(12) as a Aliability on a claim@. The word Aclaim@ is defined at 11 U.S.C. '101(5) to mean a Aright to payment, whether or not such right is reduced to judgment, liquidated, unliquidated, fixed, contingent, matured, unmatured, disputed, undisputed, legal equitable, secured, or unsecured . . . .@ Clearly, the fact that the claim has not been liquidated does not mean that it is not a valid claim and hence a debt (if the district Court determines that there is liability) the dischargeability of which may be determined by this Court.
A review of the record in this matter clearly indicates that the appropriate Court for determination of the existence of a claim by the plaintiff against the defendant is the United States District Court which presently has before it the suit by the plaintiff, Shehee, against this debtor and other defendants. Upon conclusion of that matter, and if that Court determines liability exists, then this Court can determine the dischargeability of any such liability.
For the foregoing reasons, the Court orders as follows:
Dated this _____ day of January, 1999.
BY THE COURT
Hugh M. Richards, Esq.
Kevin L. Shehee, pro se
Maxie Higgason, Esq.