Hoffman v. Connecticut Department of Income Maintenance Page 15

Hoffman v. Connecticut Department of Income Maintenance general information

Media for Hoffman v. Connecticut Department of Income Maintenance

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - April 19, 1989 in Hoffman v. Connecticut Department of Income Maintenance

Martin W. Hoffman:

Only in a Chapter 7.

Byron R. White:

Yes, and they are allowed for that.

Martin W. Hoffman:

They are allowed in a Chapter 11.

Byron R. White:

Yes.

And if they... and if you allow them a certain amount and the state hasn't come in, it's nevertheless stuck.

It's bound by the... by the court's determination.

Martin W. Hoffman:

Unless the trustee objects to it.

Byron R. White:

Yes, exactly.

Mr. Hoffman, before you leave, could... could you tell me... you... you said that your brief contained those sections that you think would be covered by (c) but are not covered by 1(b).

What pages in your brief are they?

Martin W. Hoffman:

It's a footnote, Your Honor, which... it's a little footnote that says 545 and 545(a).

But there's an amicus brief by In re Inslaw which goes into it in much greater detail.

I might say that.

In addition to the... the specific language of the statute, Senator DiConcini in his remarks when 106(c) was eventually enacted clearly said you could look... you can go after preferences.

I mean, there can't be any clearer words in the legislative history.

He takes the situation and says here's a special... here's a situation where I'm telling you you can go after it.

Not... and he also has words in it that it says there's other situations, too.

Now, the... the case of Fitzpatrick versus Bitzer does deal with the Fourteenth Amendment, and certainly there is nothing that has dealt with the Article I, section... with the bankruptcy clause.

But then, again, this code section has only been in existence for 10 years, and prior to that it would not have come up.

But I say this, with the vast scheme that Congress is looking to... after all, we have our senators, representatives.

They can decide whether or not they want a bankruptcy code, whether or not they should have all the creditors be involved, whether or not one creditor can stand aside and say yes, you can determine what we owe, but there's no way you can ever collect it.

As an example, in the Eastern case, if the state is owed money, there's nothing to stop them from going after it.

William H. Rehnquist:

Thank you, Mr. Hoffman.

The case is submitted.

The honorable court is now adjourned until monday next at ten o'clock.