EFH Bankruptcy Contempt Enforcement Sought


Energy Future Holdings’ affiliate Reorganized Texas Competitive Energy Holdings (TCEH) filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court a motion for contempt enforcing the October 3, 2017 order and directing the plaintiff to pay the Reorganized TCEH Debtors an award for plaintiff’s civil contempt and/or for a portion of the Reorganized TCEH Debtor’s costs and attorney’s fees incurred in connection with this matter – both amounts to be determined by the Court in its discretion and , if requested, after an in camera review of the relevant professional invoices.

The motion explains, “The Reorganized TCEH Debtors will donate any recovery to TXU Energy Aid, which helps approximately 20,000 low income and elderly customers each year with bill-payment assistance to keep their homes powered and safe….To impose a civil contempt order, there must be a showing that (1) a valid order of the court exists, (2) the contemnors had knowledge of the order, and (3) the contemnors disobeyed the order. Significantly, no showing of wilfulness is required to impose civil contempt sanctions….First, there is no question that the Enforcement Order is a valid order of this Court, and the period to appeal has expired. Second, Plaintiff had knowledge of the Enforcement Order because he filed a motion for rehearing. His Counsel, Mr. Ponder, had knowledge of the Enforcement Order because he received three letters about it and had multiple telephone conversations with counsel to the Reorganized TCEH Debtors. Third, Plaintiffs has disobeyed the Enforcement Order.”

In addition, “It required the prompt dismissal with prejudice of the non-Experian defendants in the Oklahoma action. Despite 44 days to do so, multiple attempts by the Reorganized TCEH Debtors to resolve it consensually, and the expiration of the period to appeal it, Plaintiff has not compiled with the Enforcement Order….Here, a monetary sanction is appropriate because Plaintiff’s wilful disregard of this Court’s Enforcement Order has necessitated further litigation – at the expense of this Court and the Reorganized TCEH Debtors. A monetary sanction will also serve as an important reminder and deterrent to those, like Plaintiff, who seek to flout this Court’s orders.”

The Court scheduled a December 11, 2017 hearing to consider the motion, with objections due by November 30, 2017.

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