In re Gene D. Balas and Carlos A. Morales

Memorandum of Decision


"This is a case about equality, regardless of gender or sexual orientation, for two people who filed for protection under Title 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code."

Debtors were legally married under California law prior to the passing of Proposition 8. They filed a joint petition for relief under Chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code and the United States Trustee moved to dismiss. In a well reasoned 26 page decision, the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California, Judge Thomas Donovan presiding, held, among other things, that DOMA did not meet the heightened scrutiny standard and would not prevent these two debtors from filing a joint petition and seeking relief as joint debtors under Title 11.

In addition to Judge Donovan, 19 other judges of the Central District of California signed. Judge McManus of the Eastern District of California had recently held that a same sex married couple would not be prevented by DOMA from seeking relief under Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code.

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Published In: Bankruptcy Updates, Civil Rights Updates, Constitutional Law Updates

Reference Info:Decision | Federal, 9th Circuit, California | United States