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District Court Reviewing Bankruptcy Court’s Proposed Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law Need Not Accept Additional Evidence

In an unpublished opinion, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals held in Waldman v. Stone that a district court is not required to receive additional evidence when reviewing a bankruptcy court's proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law. Waldman had argued that, under Fed. R. Bankr. P. 9033(d), the district court was required to receive additional evidence when conducting a de novo review of the bankruptcy court's findings. The Sixth Circuit disagreed, holding that the language of the rule is permissive and that the district court may, but is not required to, accept additional evidence when conducting a de novo review. The Sixth Circuit also held that a de novo review by a district court may be accomplished by either a review "upon the record" or "after additional evidence" and that the choice of method to employ is left to the discretion of the district court. The case citation is: Waldman v. Stone, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 4668 (6th Cir. 2015).

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