United States Bankruptcy Appellate Panel of the Eighth Circuit
Submitted: June 18, 2019
from United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District
of Missouri - St. Louis
SALADINO, Chief Judge, NAIL and SANBERG, Bankruptcy Judges.
SALADINO, CHIEF JUDGE.
Appellant, Teresa Cedreca Edwards, appeals the order of the
bankruptcy court granting defendant City of Ferguson's
motion for summary judgment and denying Appellant's
motion for summary judgment in an adversary proceeding
alleging, among other allegations, that the defendant
willfully violated the automatic stay provisions of 11 U.S.C.
§ 362(a)(1), (a)(6) and (k)(1); and for discrimination
under 11 U.S.C. § 525(a). We have jurisdiction over this
appeal. See 28 U.S.C.§ 158(b). For the reasons
that follow, we affirm.
review a bankruptcy court's grant of summary judgment de
novo, Mwesigwa v. DAP, Inc., 637 F.3d 884, 887 (8th
Cir. 2011) (citing Anderson v. Durham D & M,
L.L.C., 606 F.3d 513, 518 (8th Cir. 2010)). When an
appellate court reviews a trial court's entry of summary
judgment de novo, it uses the same standard applied by the
trial court pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
56(c). Bremer Bank v. John Hancock Life Ins. Co.,
601 F.3d 824, 829 (8th Cir. 2010). Under Rule 56(c), summary
judgment is proper if the pleadings, affidavits, and other
evidence show there is no genuine issue of material fact and
the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c); Fed.R.Bankr.P. 7056. Once the moving
party has met this initial burden of proof, the non-moving
party must set forth specific facts sufficient to raise a
genuine issue for trial and may not rest on its pleadings;
self-serving allegations or mere assertions of disputed fact
are insufficient to defeat the motion. Matsushita Elec.
Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586-87
(1986); Bass v. SBC Commc'n, Inc., 418 F.3d 870,
872-73 (8th Cir. 2005).
relevant facts are not in dispute. Appellant was issued a
traffic citation on April 16, 2010, by the City of Ferguson
for driving thirty-nine miles per hour in a twenty-five miles
per hour school zone. Appellant failed to appear for her
court date so the municipal judge issued a warrant for her
arrest on June 18, 2010. Appellant was subsequently arrested
and released on her own recognizance on March 26, 2015, and a
new court date was set. Appellant appeared in court on May 7,
2015, pleaded guilty to speeding in a school zone, and agreed
to pay a fine of $149.00.
did not pay the fine, and the court re-issued a warrant for
her arrest. The City of Ferguson also notified the proper
Missouri entities of the outstanding fine, which Appellant
contends is impeding her ability to renew her driver's
license.Since the re-issuance of the arrest warrant
on July 15, 2015, the City of Ferguson has not taken any
affirmative action to enforce the warrant or collect the
February 24, 2016, appellant filed a voluntary petition under
Chapter 13 of the United States Bankruptcy Code and listed
the City of Ferguson as a creditor in her bankruptcy
schedules. On February 25, 2016, Appellant's attorney
notified the City of Ferguson's Municipal Court of the
bankruptcy filing and included a letter requesting release of
the arrest warrant and issuance of a compliance letter to
reinstate Appellant's driver's license. On February
26, 2016, a municipal prosecutor for the City of Ferguson
responded to Appellant's attorney stating the Municipal
Judge had the authority to recall the warrant and suggested
that counsel file an entry of appearance and an appropriate
did not seek relief from the Ferguson Municipal court.
Instead, she filed an adversary proceeding against the City
of Ferguson. The complaint alleged the City of Ferguson
willfully violated the automatic stay by refusing to release
the warrant for Appellant's arrest and refusing to
release Appellant's driver's license without payment
of the fine. Appellant also asserted that since she is
insolvent and unable to pay the fine, the City of Ferguson is
discriminating unfairly against her due to her bankruptcy
filing and is denying her a fresh start. Appellant sought
actual damages, attorney fees, and punitive damages.
parties filed cross-motions for summary judgment, and on
November 7, 2018, the bankruptcy court granted the City of