Gordon & Rees's Washington, DC Senior Counsel Julia Whitelock won summary judgment on behalf of Gordon & Rees’s client, an auction company, in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City, Maryland.
Corporate plaintiff owned two properties which were deemed vacant by the District Court of Baltimore City. Individual plaintiff was the managing member of the corporate plaintiff. The District Court appointed a Vacant Building Receiver, which retained the auctioneer to perform the public auction. At some point prior to or during the process of the auctioneer preparing the properties for public auction, corporate plaintiff filed for bankruptcy. When auctioneer was notified, the auction was immediately stopped and the properties were not sold. Both plaintiffs alleged trespass, wrongful eviction, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Whitelock argued on summary judgment that the claims were barred by collateral estoppel because the District Court previously determined the issue of rightful ownership and possession of the two properties. Whitelock further argued that a bankruptcy stay does not apply to the court’s enforcement of its orders related to its police powers, and by extension, those enforcing the court’s orders. Whitelock also argued that the individual plaintiff had no real property rights and that the corporate plaintiff could not suffer emotional distress. The Court granted Gordon & Rees’s client’s motion for summary judgment.