|Title||Memorandum Opinion in RE McPherson|
Michelle M. Harner
The Debtor and one of its creditors were involved in a pending arbitration proceeding on the petition date. After the chapter 11 filing, the creditor sought certain relief from the Court, including relief from the automatic stay of section 362(a) of the Bankruptcy Code to continue the prepetition arbitration proceeding. The Debtor opposed the creditor’s requested relief. The parties’ disputes raised several issues for the Court under the Federal Arbitration Act and the Bankruptcy Code. The Court analyzed the various claims and causes of action asserted between the parties and determined that the matter involved both constitutionally core and non-core claims. Based on this determination and under the guidance of the Fourth Circuit’s decision in Moses v. CashCall, Inc., 781 F.3d 63 (4th Cir. 2015), the Court concluded that it must bifurcate the disputes in the matter, with the constitutionally core claims staying in the bankruptcy case and the non-core claims remaining subject to arbitration. The Court further found that limited relief from the automatic stay was warranted given, among other things, the pending prepetition arbitration proceeding and the applicable law concerning the arbitration of non-core claims.