Dawn Harden, Courtroom Deputy
Counsel may utilize a self-calendaring procedure for the scheduling of motions requiring 30 minutes or less of court time (time estimate must include estimates for the entire hearing). This procedure will allow counsel to self-select available dates and times on the appropriate judge's calendar and serve notice without contacting the courtroom deputy for a hearing setting. The court strongly encourages the use of this self-calendaring procedure when appropriate. Courtroom deputies are available, by email or telephone,to schedule non-self calendared hearings as needed.
The self-calendaring procedure for Judge Larson is as follows:
Types of proceedings that may be set in accordance with the self-calendar procedure:
The self-calendaring procedure will not be available for the following:
After selecting an available date and time, counsel shall serve proper notice of the matter in accordance with applicable rules.
NOTE: If a motion for relief from stay is set by a party in accordance with the self-calendaring procedure more than 30 days after the date the motion is filed, the court deems that the party has waived the 30-day limitation established by 11.U.S.C. Sec. 362(e) and will enter an order to that effect if requested by debtor.
NOTE: Occasionally there may be instances where self-calendared motion are rescheduled possibly due to docket congestion or unforeseen schedule changes. In these instances, the courtroom deputy will contact counsel for the movant, as soon as possible, so that a notice of rescheduled hearing may be issued and served.
NOTE: Unless otherwise noted, all hearings should be noticed for 14th Floor, Courtroom #2 in Dallas. ALL INQUIRIES SHOULD BE EMAILED TO JUDGE LARSON'S COURTROOM DEPUTY AT MVL_SETTINGS@TXNB.USCOURTS.GOV
Preliminary hearings on Motions for Relief from Stay (all chapters)
Note: Motions to Extend the Automatic Stay may not be set on this docket. Please contact the Courtroom Deputy for a setting by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. ** Contested motions for relief from the automatic stay may NOT be set on this docket if the total time estimate for both sides' presentation to the court will exceed 15 minutes. Instead, you must contact the courtroom deputy for a special setting.
Preliminary Lift Stay Pass Dates - (IF REQUESTING A THIRD PASS, YOU MUST APPEAR IN COURT AT THE PRELIMINARY HEARING.)
PRELIMINARY HEARING DATES
FUTURE PASS DATES
Motions to Extend or Impose the Automatic Stay will be heard as indicated on the chart below.
NOTE: Motions shall be filed and served promptly upon the filing of the petition. Per Clerk's Notice 06-06, motions shall be filed promptly enough that (1) the court may hear the motion within 30 days of the date of the petition and (2) parties may be given 24 days notice of the hearing.
Self-Calendar Dates - Chapter 7 and 11 motions that comply with the self-calendaring requirements may be set on the following dates:
August 4, 2020 at 9:30AM
August 18, 2020 at 9:30AM
September 1, 2020 at 9:30AM
September 22, 2020 at 9:30AM
Trial Docket Call at 1:15PM
The Week of January 13
The Week of February 10
The Week of March 9
The Week of April 13
The Week of May 11
The Week of June 8
The Week of July 13
The Week of August 10
The Week of September 8
The Week of October 13
The Week of November 9
The Week of December 7
Orders requiring immediate attention should be uploaded in ECF and counsel should notify the courtroom deputy by email. Disagreements over the form of an order are discouraged and should be submitted to the courtroom deputy in writing by email prior to the order being uploaded in ECF. A redline form of the order reflecting the disagreements should be submitted to the courtroom deputy with the email, along with an explanation of why one form of order is preferred over the other.
Orders concerning motions that can be considered without a hearing or notice of opportunity for hearing (such as motions to extend time to file schedules and statements, motions to extend deadline to object to discharge, motions to convert from 13 to 7, and a Chapter 7 and 13 debtor’s motion to dismiss case) should be uploaded in ECF when the motion is filed.
Orders concerning motions that include negative notice language should be uploaded after the objection period expires and a certificate of no objection is docketed (provided no objections are filed). If an objection was filed, but subsequently resolved, the certificate of no objection should state this.
Orders regarding motions that require a hearing should be uploaded after the hearing and the court’s ruling.
If your order is rejected, you should receive a resubmit email from the Clerk’s Office with instructions. Please make sure that your orders are in compliance with the Proposed Order Specifications included in the ECF Manual available on the court’s website (http://www.txnb.uscourts.gov/content/proposed-order-specifications) prior to resubmission.
Order turnaround times vary depending on Judge Larson’s availability due to court schedules and travel obligations. Please allow 7-10 business days for the entry of routine orders. Inquiries regarding the status of an urgent order should be directed to the courtroom deputy.
Most settings are scheduled with at least 24 days’ notice. Disclosure statements and Chapter 11 plans are set with not less than 31 days’ notice. Claims objections and trustee’s final account hearings are set with 33 days’ notice.
All settings, except self-calendar matters as set forth below, including emergency and expedited requests, are obtained from the courtroom deputy in advance of the filing of a motion or application. Emergency and expedited hearings will be granted or denied orally, so proposed orders granting the request should not be uploaded in ECF unless otherwise requested by the courtroom deputy. A notice of hearing must be filed and served in order for the motion or application to appear on the court’s calendar. The notice of hearing must be filed within 2 days of service.
Settings requiring 30 minutes or less of total court time may be self-calendared. The court strongly encourages the use of self-calendaring for motions that can be fully disposed of within 30 minutes. Please review Judge Larson's self-calendaring procedures online at: http://www.txnb.uscourts.gov/content/judge-michelle-v-larson
Settings that do not fit within the self-calendaring guidelines may be obtained by emailing the courtroom deputy at email@example.com.
Parties who wish to appear by phone in Judge Larson’s court should contact CourtCall, an independent conference call company that provides conference call services for our court, to arrange the appearance at (866)582-6878, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Deadlines: Participants must contact CourtCall to arrange the appearance at least one hour before the scheduled hearing and join the call no later than ten (10) minutes prior to the hearing time. There is a small fee for the service.
Phone Etiquette: To ensure the quality of the call, a landline should be used if at all possible. The speaker option should not be used. Be cognizant that background noise, such as typing or shuffling papers, will be picked up in the courtroom and can be very distracting. Please use the mute feature on your phone when not speaking, if such feature is available. The Court reserves the right to disconnect or place on permanent mute any line of an attendee that causes any disruption to the proceedings before the Court. On every occasion before speaking, you must identify yourself for the record. Do not put the CourtCall line on hold.
Exceptions to Phone Participation: The court will not allow the presentation of evidence or questioning of witnesses by phone. Counsel wishing to make extensive legal argument and/or examine witnesses will need to appear in person in the courtroom. Additionally, the Court will not allow telephonic appearances at preliminary lift stay hearings, hearings on motions to extend or impose stay, trial docket call settings, or contested hearings on the Chapter 13 docket. Exceptions must be requested via an email to email@example.com and will be considered on a case-by-case basis by Judge Larson.
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The courtroom deputy must be immediately notified by email at firstname.lastname@example.org when filing an emergency motion or motion for expedited hearing. Such motions should be filed in accordance with the procedures outlined in the ECF User Manual which can be found on the court’s website at: http://www.txnb.uscourts.gov/content/cmecf-user-manual.
Out of respect for the court’s time and other parties who need court time, and out of consideration for due process, parties should be thoughtful about whether their matters are genuine emergencies. Requests should specifically state why the relief sought is urgent and cannot wait the required notice period. Certificates of conference are important to the court in evaluating what parties-in-interest have been contacted and do not oppose the request.
After Judge Larson has reviewed the pleadings, a member of Judge Larson’s staff will contact the filing party with setting information. The movant should promptly file and serve a notice of hearing. In most instances a proposed order will not be required; the ECF docket text will be modified to reflect the Court’s ruling.
The United States Trustee’s docket is generally scheduled on the first Thursday of the month at 1:15 p.m. Settings are scheduled by Meredyth Kippes, Office of the United States Trustee.
The Chapter 13 Trustee’s docket is generally held before the court at 2:00 p.m. on the first Thursday of each month. The Chapter 13 Trustee’s office prepares the Chapter 13 docket after the completion of its pre-hearing conferences, and submits a copy to the court prior to the 2:00 p.m. hearing. Settings on the Chapter 13 Trustee docket must be scheduled through the Chapter 13 Trustee’s office.
Chapter 13 matters that require longer evidentiary hearings are generally not set on the court's standing Chapter 13 docket. Counsel should confer with the Chapter 13 Trustee to determine a mutually agreeable hearing date and contact the courtroom deputy for a setting on the court’s regular docket.
Once matters have been noticed for hearing or set by court order, continuances or removals may only be obtained when the interested parties are in agreement to the continuance or by court order. Movant shall either file an agreed motion or send an email to the courtroom deputy at email@example.com with a copy to all interested parties. The Court’s docket will be annotated to reflect the announcement, and counsel will be excused from appearing at the hearing.
If the continuance is opposed, the court will review the motion for continuance, and the courtroom deputy will contact parties if a hearing is necessary. The motion shall establish cause for the continuance and must include a certificate of conference stating whether or not the continuance is contested. In either event, please contact the courtroom deputy immediately upon filing the motion for continuance so that the court may be made aware of the requested continuance. The Court may decide the motion by minute entry or by separate written order.
For settlements and agreed orders obviating the need for a hearing, counsel need not appear at the scheduled hearing if, 2 days prior to the hearing, counsel has notified the courtroom deputy that parties have fully settled the matter and have uploaded an agreed order. Otherwise, the parties shall appear at the scheduled hearing to place the agreement on the record.
Judge Larson requires a hearing on fee applications in excess of $30,000 in Chapter 7 and 11 cases. Fee applications requesting fees and expenses totaling less than $30,000 do not require a hearing if the application includes negative notice language. The hearings may be self-calendared. Fee applications in Chapter 7 cases may be submitted with the trustee’s final report, but the applicant must inform the court on the style of the pleading and submit an order after the 30-day objection period expires.
General Order 2014-03 shall govern hearings on fee applications in Chapter 13 cases.
Notice is mailed by the bankruptcy clerk’s office. No hearing is required for the trustee’s final report unless an objection is filed or the court orders a hearing. If an objection is filed, it will be set for hearing.
Typically, Judge Larson’s trial docket call is scheduled on the first Tuesday of the month at 1:15 p.m. (a list of trial docket call dates is available on the court’s website). The judge will schedule trials, which usually occur the following week, at the docket call.
The courtroom deputy schedules both the trial docket call and trial week, and issues the Standing Scheduling Order, when a complaint is filed. The plaintiff’s attorney shall promptly serve all parties with a copy of the Standing Scheduling Order, along with the summons and a copy of the complaint. Compromise and settlement discussions, as well as stipulations, are expected to have occurred prior to the trial docket call pursuant to the Standing Scheduling Order. Further pursuant to the Standing Scheduling Order:
(i) a single Joint Proposed Pretrial Order shall be filed, served, and uploaded for court entry 7 days prior to trial docket call in accordance with L.B.R. 7016-1(a);
(ii) each party shall file Proposed Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law and separate Pre-Trial Briefs 7 days prior to trial docket call; and
(iii) lists of witnesses and exhibits, except for those being used for impeachment purposes, shall be filed with the court 7 days prior to docket call. Counsel should coordinate so that the parties use different exhibit designations to help establish a clear record at trial (for example, plaintiff will use letter designations, while defendant will use number designations). Please be sure to bring sufficient copies of your exhibits to trial, including at least 1 copy for each for Judge Larson, the Judge’s law clerk, and the witness.
The Standing Scheduling Order issued in each adversary discusses these requirements in more detail.
Trial docket call and trial settings are only reset by motion to continue or oral motion in court. These settings may be taken off the docket for settlements if a letter or email from the attorney of record is received at least 2 days before docket call.
Motions for default judgment always require a hearing. After the Clerk’s Entry of Default has been issued, a party may move for a default judgment at trial docket call or by written motion. Separate settings may be obtained by emailing the courtroom deputy at firstname.lastname@example.org. Unless using the self-calendaring procedures for motions under 30 minutes, a time estimate for the entire hearing should be included with the request.
Motions for summary judgment always require a hearing and shall be set prior to trial docket call. Settings may be obtained by emailing the courtroom deputy at email@example.com. A time estimate for the entire hearing should be included with the request. Please schedule hearings so that there is at least 1 week between the filing of the last pleading and the scheduled hearing.
The court strongly discourages the filing of a single adversary proceeding against multiple, unrelated defendants involving unrelated facts or transfers. To the extent that counsel believes such an adversary proceeding is appropriate and such an adversary proceeding is filed, counsel shall, prior to any docket call thereon, provide the court no later than 2 business days prior to docket call, a list or chart summarizing the status of the adversary proceeding as against each defendant – i.e., whether the defendant has defaulted, whether the defendant has agreed to a settlement, whether the defendant has been dismissed from the lawsuit, etc.
Omnibus Objections to Claims must be set for hearing. A party re-setting an omnibus objection to multiple claims shall provide the court, no later than 2 business days prior to the re-set date, with a list or chart setting forth the claims objections that remain to be determined on the reset date.
In non–small business Chapter 11 cases, no motion or order setting disclosure statement for hearing is required. Once the disclosure statement is filed, please contact the courtroom deputy for a hearing date, and then file a notice of hearing. Once the disclosure statement has been approved by the court, please contact the courtroom deputy for a confirmation hearing date to include in your order approving disclosure statement and setting the confirmation hearing.
In small business Chapter 11 cases where the debtor did not elect treatment under Subchapter V of Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code*, you must contact the courtroom deputy immediately upon filing the initial plan and disclosure statement to ensure that a confirmation hearing can be set within the 45 day deadline imposed by the Bankruptcy Code. In small business Chapter 11 cases where a disclosure statement is required, upon receiving conditional court approval of the disclosure statement, you must confer with the Office of the U.S. Trustee regarding the form of order conditionally approving the disclosure statement and setting the confirmation hearing. Once the Office of the U.S. Trustee has approved the form of order, the order may be uploaded via ECF for the Judge’s signature. When scheduling dates, please note that you must give at least 31 days’ notice of the confirmation hearing from the date you mail out the plan and disclosure statement.
In both regular and small business Chapter 11 cases: (1) the deadline to object to confirmation of the plan and the voting deadline should be the same date, (2) if you file an amended plan or amended disclosure statement, please email redline versions to the courtroom deputy as soon as possible (filing redlines is also permitted), and (3) voting tallies/certifications should be filed at least 48 hours prior to the confirmation hearing. Please advise the courtroom deputy if you have resolved objections prior to the confirmation hearing so chambers does not prepare for issues that will not be going forward. In complex cases, a chart summarizing resolved/unresolved objections would be appreciated.
* For those small business debtors that elected Subchapter V treatment, please see General Order 2020-01 Adopting Interim Small Business Reorganization Act Rules.
Typically, Judge Larson schedules preliminary hearings on motions to lift stay on Tuesday afternoons at 1:30 p.m.
NOTE: Contested motions for relief from the automatic stay may NOT be set on this docket if the total time estimate for both sides' presentation to the court will exceed 15 minutes. Instead, you must contact the courtroom deputy for a special setting.
Preliminary hearings on motions to lift/annul/modify the automatic stay are set on the dates provided in Judge Larson’s self-calendaring procedures available on Judge Larson’s webpage: http://www.txnb.uscourts.gov/content/judge-michelle-v-larson. Hearings shall be scheduled with 17-day notice.
Motions to lift/annul/modify the automatic stay will be removed from the Court’s preliminary lift-stay docket prior to the hearing upon the ECF filing of a Notice of Announcement Regarding Lift Stay Motion to announce an agreement, default, or agreed pass to another preliminary hearing. The deadline for announcements in Judge Larson’s court is 11:59 PM the day prior to the hearing. Announcements received by the deadline will be annotated on the Court’s docket, and counsel will be excused from appearing at the hearing. If a notice of announcement is not filed by the deadline, an appearance at the hearing by the movant’s counsel will be necessary.
Information and instructions re notice of announcement may be reviewed online in the CM/ECF User Manuel GoLive Guide dated February 20, 2015: http://www.txnb.uscourts.gov/content/cmecf-user-manual/
Parties, by agreement, may obtain a setting for a final hearing by emailing the courtroom deputy at firstname.lastname@example.org. For calendaring purposes a time estimate is helpful when sending an email request for a final hearing. Final hearings, by agreement of the parties, may be rescheduled or removed from the Court’s docket by emailing the courtroom deputy. Interested parties should be copied on the email.
Hearings on motions to extend/continue/impose the automatic stay are set on the Court’s preliminary lift stay docket OR the Court’s self-calendar docket. However, if one of those dates does not fit within the 30-day requirement imposed by the Bankruptcy Code with respect to motions to extend the stay, please contact the courtroom deputy at email@example.com.
Please see Clerk’s Notice 06-06 dated April 12, 2016 for requirements for motions to extend/continue the automatic stay pursuant to 11 U.S.C. §362(c)(3)(B). Counsel shall file a motion to shorten notice or a motion to expedite if the hearing is scheduled with less than 23-day notice.
A list of applicable hearing dates and times may be obtained from Judge Larson’s web page at http://www.txnb.uscourts.gov/content/judge-michelle-v- larson
All motions to reinstate must be set for hearing. In Chapter 13 cases, please contact the Chapter 13 Trustee’s office to obtain a setting on the Chapter 13 pre-hearing conference docket. In all other cases, please contact the courtroom deputy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If the case was dismissed for deficient documents and the deficiency has been cured, the Court will review the motion and may reinstate the case without a hearing. An order need not be uploaded. The courtroom deputy will contact the attorney if a hearing is required.
In Chapter 7 and 13 cases, neither negative notice language nor a hearing is required to obtain an extension of the deadline by which Schedules and Statements must be filed. Once the motion is filed, please upload via ECF a proposed form of order that includes the new date by which Schedules and Statements will be filed. The proposed extension date must be at least 7 days prior to the scheduled 341 meeting of creditors.
In Chapter 11 cases, motions to extend time to file schedules and statements should be set for hearing. The motion should state the UST’s position and the proposed deadline should be at least 7 days in advance of the 341 meeting of creditors.
Motions to modify mortgage loan should include negative notice language, have a copy of the loan agreement attached, and otherwise should comply with Amended Clerk’s Notice 14-05. The court will not approve motions that are not in full compliance.
Motions to reopen case for financial management course certificate may be considered without a hearing or notice of opportunity for a hearing. Counsel need not upload an order when the motion is filed. The court will typically decide the motion on the pleadings and enter an appropriate order. If the court finds cause to grant the motion, the order will include a deadline by which the certificate must be filed. If the certificate is not filed by the deadline, the case will be reclosed.
Any matter counsel anticipates will require significant time for the court to review should include briefs provided at least two business days in advance of the hearing. Counsel should provide the court with the documents and supporting briefs.
A complete paper copy of the pleadings listed below, including all attachments thereto, should be sent within 48 hours of electronic filing to Judge Larson’s law clerk’s attention at 1100 Commerce Street, Room 1254, Dallas, TX 75242-1496. Voluminous documents should be 3-hole punched and placed in binders, with all exhibits tabbed.
For all hearings and trials, please provide the court with 2 copies of all exhibits (1 for Judge Larson and 1 for the law clerk or ECRO). This is in addition to any copies to be provided to opposing counsel or for use by witnesses. All exhibits should be clearly tabbed and marked and presented in binders. Please confer with opposing counsel regarding exhibit designations (for example, plaintiff will designate exhibits using numbers, while defendant will designate using letters).
The Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Texas recognizes the importance of providing opportunities for junior lawyers to gain experience and training in courtroom skills. Accordingly, it is the policy of this Court that, where junior lawyers are familiar with the matter before the court, but are not experienced in arguing in court, they should be encouraged to attend and participate. In such circumstances, where it creates an opportunity for a junior lawyer to argue, this Court is amenable to permitting more than one lawyer to argue for a party.
Other opportunities for junior lawyers include attending and participating in first day matters in chapter 11cases and presenting some of the motions before the court, going over the agenda with the court for cases in which more than one hearing is scheduled, and attending to other uncontested matters. On the latter point, this Court does not consider it a waste of judicial time for a junior lawyer to handle in an efficient manner an uncontested matter.
Please note: All inquiries regarding orders and scheduling should be directed to the Courtroom Deputy. Direct contact with Judge Larson’s law clerks is discouraged.
Telephone inquiries to Judge Larson’s chambers should be directed to the following:
Law Clerk (permanent) 214-753-2055
Law Clerk (term) 214-753-2034
Courtroom Deputy 214-753-2059
ECRO Operator 214-753-2006
Courtroom Deputy Email email@example.com