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In re Beaumont

October 15, 2009

IN RE: SAMUEL KENNEGTH BEAUMONT, SR., DEBTOR.
SAMUEL KENNEGTH BEAUMONT, SR., PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,
v.
DEPARTMENT OF VETERAN AFFAIRS, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, EX REL., DEFENDANT-APPELLEE.



APPEAL FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF OKLAHOMA. (D.C. No. 6:08-CV-346-FHS).

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Murphy, Circuit Judge

PUBLISH

Before LUCERO , Circuit Judge, BALDOCK, Senior Circuit Judge, and MURPHY, Circuit Judge.

We are asked to decide in this case whether the recoupment doctrine applies to the Department of Veteran Affairs' (VA) withholding of disability benefits to plaintiff, Samuel Beaumont, after Mr. Beaumont's bankruptcy filing and discharge. After learning of a large inheritance that Mr. Beaumont received in 2001, the VA determined that it had overpaid his disability benefit by approximately $18,000 and consequently reduced his monthly benefit payment in an effort to recoup this amount. Mr. Beaumont filed an adversary proceeding in his bankruptcy case, arguing that the VA's reduction of his monthly benefit violated the Bankruptcy Code's automatic stay and discharge injunction provisions. See 11 U.S.C. §§ 362 and 524. The Bankruptcy Court disagreed, concluding that the VA's payment obligations and Mr. Beaumont's obligation to return the overpayment arose from a single transaction and therefore the VA's recoupment violated neither the automatic stay nor the discharge injunction. After losing his appeal in the district court, Mr. Beaumont filed an appeal with this court. We have jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1291 and § 158(d)(1). We agree fully with the bankruptcy court's well-reasoned opinion of August 7, 2008, and it would serve no purpose for us to restate its analysis here. Accordingly, as we have done on other appropriate occasions, we formally adopt its decision, attached as an appendix hereto, as our own.*fn2 See, e.g., Lang v. Lang (In re Lang) , 414 F.3d 1191, 1194 (10th Cir. 2005).

AFFIRMED.

Dated: August 07, 2008

The following is ORDERED:

IN THE UNITED STATES BANKRUPTCY COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF OKLAHOMA

In Re: Samuel Kennegth Beaumont, Sr., Case No. 05-72121 Chapter 7 Debtor. Samuel Kennegth Beaumont, Sr., Plaintiff, v. Adv. No. 07-08023 United States of America, ex rel., Department of Veterans Affairs, Defendant.

OPINION

This adversary proceeding came on for trial on April 18, 2008. Appearances were entered by Richard Walden, attorney for Plaintiff, and Cheryl Triplett, attorney for Defendant. The trial was continued to June 18, 2008, at which time the parties requested that this case be submitted to the Court based upon the pleadings, stipulations, and briefs previously submitted to the Court. The Court took this matter under advisement and now enters its findings and conclusions in conformity with Rule 7052, Fed. R. Bankr. P., in this core proceeding.

FINDINGS OF FACT

The parties have agreed that there are no material facts in dispute, and have provided the Court with a Statement of Stipulated Facts. The Court adopts these stipulated facts, and notes Defendant's statement that it has no personal knowledge of the facts listed below in paragraph numbers 3, 4, 5, and 6, but does not contest ...


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