• Eric Nyberg

Ninth Circuit Says Order Granting or Denying Homestead Exemption Is An Appealable Order

The Ninth Circuit, in In re Gilman, Case No. 16-55436, has determined the Supreme Court’s decision in Bullard v. Blue Hills Bank, 135 S. Ct. 1686 (2015) was not fundamentally inconsistent with Ninth Circuit precedent holding that an order granting or denying an exemption constitutes a final appealable order.

The Ninth Circuit had previously held that an order denying an exemption constitutes a final appealable order. Preblich v. Battley, 181 F.3d 1048 (9th Cir. 2008). See also In re White, 727 F. 2d 884 (9th Cir. 1984). In 2015 the Supreme Court decided Bullard. In Bullard, the Supreme Court clarified that a bankruptcy court order is only a final, appealable order if it “alters the status quo and fixes the rights and obligations of the parties.” Id at 1692. The Ninth Circuit in Gilman said that the Ninth Circuit and other circuits have held that orders granting or denying exemptions are final, and thus automatically appealable. The panel concluded that Bullard was not “so fundamentally inconsistent with our existing case law as to require a different result.” So, in the Ninth Circuit, orders denying or granting an exemption remain appealable orders.

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