Connecticut Nat. Bank v. Germain, 503 U.S. 249 (1992)

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certiorari to the united states court of appeals for the second circuit

No. 90-1791. Argued January 21, 1992—Decided March 9, 1992

In a suit by respondent Germain, the trustee of a bankrupt debtor's estate, seeking to hold petitioner Connecticut National Bank (CNB) liable for various torts and breaches of contract, the Bankruptcy Court denied CNB's motion to strike Germain's demand for a jury trial, and the District Court affirmed. The Court of Appeals dismissed CNB's attempted appeal for lack of jurisdiction, holding that a court of appeals may exercise jurisdiction over an interlocutory order in bankruptcy only when the district court issues the order after having withdrawn the case from the bankruptcy court, and not when the district court acts in its capacity as a bankruptcy court of appeals.

Held: An interlocutory order issued by a district court sitting as a court of appeals in bankruptcy is appealable under the unambiguous language of 28 U. S. C. 1292. That section provides for review in the courts of appeals, in certain circumstances, of "[i]nterlocutory orders of the district courts," and does not limit such review to orders issued by district courts sitting as bankruptcy trial courts rather than appellate courts. Title 28 U. S. C. 158(d)—which gives the courts of appeals jurisdiction over, inter alia, appeals from all final orders of district courts sitting as appellate courts in bankruptcy, but is silent as to review of interlocutory orders—does not limit the unadorned words of 1292 by negative implication. Contrary to Germain's contention, giving effect to 1292's companion provision, 1291—which confers jurisdiction over appeals from "final decisions of the district courts" acting in any capacity—would not render 158(d) wholly superfluous. Although 1291 and 158(d) do overlap, 158(d) also confers jurisdiction over the final decisions of bankruptcy appellate panels, such that each section reaches cases that the other does not. Redundancies across statutes are not unusual events in drafting, and where, as here, there is no positive repugnancy between two laws, a court must give effect to both. Pp. 251-254.

926 F. 2d 191, reversed and remanded.

Thomas, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Rehnquist, C. J., and Scalia, Kennedy, and Souter, JJ., joined. Stevens, J., filed


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