Hearing calendar for Puerto Rico bankruptcy cases revised
SAN JUAN – Federal Judge Laura Taylor Swain has ordered changes to the calendar of omnibus hearings on Puerto Rico’s bankruptcy cases under Title III of the Promesa law.
According to the new itinerary, the next omnibus hearing will take place Wednesday, Oct. 4, at 9:30 a.m., one week after the originally set date. Judge Swain also added six additional omnibus hearings to the agenda, the last of which is slated to take place Sept. 12, 2018.
The dates for the omnibus hearings on the bankruptcy process of Puerto Rico this year are Oct. 4, Nov. 15 and Dec. 20. For 2018, the agenda includes hearings on Feb. 7, March 7, April 25, June 6, July 25 and Sept. 12.
During the omnibus hearings, the court addresses pending motions, petitions and actions ahead of the hearing date that are related to the commonwealth’s Title III cases. To date, the fiscal control board has initiated Title III cases for the central government, the Sales Tax Financing Corp. (Cofina by its Spanish acronym), the Employees Retirement System (ERS), Highways & Transportation Authority (HTA) and the Electric Power Authority.
Judge Swain recently held the second omnibus hearing, on Aug. 9, while the first one took place June 28, both in San Juan’s federal court building.
Both Judge Swain and Magistrate Judge Judith Dein, who assists the former with the Title III cases, may hold additional hearings on specific issues related to the island’s bankruptcy process.
That is the case with a hearing set for Aug. 22 in Boston, when Magistrate Judge Dein will specifically hear a group of creditors that requested the authorization of a discovery process aimed at investigating the island’s public debt and the role of certain financial institutions in its fiscal crisis.
As for Judge Swain, who is in charge of the government’s bankruptcy cases, she held an evidentiary hearing on Aug. 8 related to the HTA’s Title III case. Most recently, the judge convened a hearing for Aug. 23 to hear a petition from parents seeking compensation from the commonwealth for legal expenses related to a special education case under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).