Celotex Corp. v. Edwards, 514 U.S. 300, 9 (1995)

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308

CELOTEX CORP. v. EDWARDS

Opinion of the Court

of words suggests a grant of some breadth. The jurisdictional grant in 1334(b) was a distinct departure from the jurisdiction conferred under previous Acts, which had been limited to either possession of property by the debtor or consent as a basis for jurisdiction. See S. Rep. No. 95-989, pp. 153-154 (1978). We agree with the views expressed by the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Pacor, Inc. v. Higgins, 743 F. 2d 984 (1984), that "Congress intended to grant comprehensive jurisdiction to the bankruptcy courts so that they might deal efficiently and expeditiously with all matters connected with the bankruptcy estate," id., at 994; see also H. R. Rep. No. 95-595, pp. 43-48 (1977), and that the "related to" language of 1334(b) must be read to give district courts (and bankruptcy courts under 157(a)) jurisdiction over more than simply proceedings involving the property of the debtor or the estate. We also agree with that court's observation that a bankruptcy court's "related to" jurisdiction cannot be limitless. See Pacor, supra, at 994; cf. Board of Governors, FRS v. MCorp Financial, Inc., 502 U. S. 32, 40 (1991) (stating that Congress has vested "limited authority" in bankruptcy courts).6

Pipeline Constr. Co. v. Marathon Pipe Line Co., 458 U. S. 50 (1982). The instant case involves the second type of "related to" proceeding.

6 In attempting to strike an appropriate balance, the Third Circuit in Pacor, Inc. v. Higgins, 743 F. 2d 984 (1984), devised the following test for determining the existence of "related to" jurisdiction:

"The usual articulation of the test for determining whether a civil proceeding is related to bankruptcy is whether the outcome of that proceeding could conceivably have any effect on the estate being administered in bankruptcy. . . . Thus, the proceeding need not necessarily be against the debtor or against the debtor's property. An action is related to bankruptcy if the outcome could alter the debtor's rights, liabilities, options, or freedom of action (either positively or negatively) and which in any way impacts upon the handling and administration of the bankrupt estate." Id., at 994 (emphasis in original; citations omitted).

The First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, and Eleventh Circuits have adopted the Pacor test with little or no variation. See In re G. S. F. Corp., 938 F. 2d 1467, 1475 (CA1 1991); A. H. Robins Co. v. Pic-

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