SBRA: ECF Events and Procedures, National Rules, and Local Rule Amendments

Release Date: 
Fri, 02/07/2020

National and Local Rule Changes Implementing the SBRA

The Small Business Reorganization Act of 2019 (the SBRA) becomes effective on February 19, 2020. To implement the SBRA's substantive and procedural changes to the Bankruptcy Code and Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure, the Judicial Conference of the United States authorized the distribution of approved interim bankruptcy rules for adoption by local bankruptcy courts.

General Order 2020-1 adopts the national Interim Rules in the Western District of Washington Bankruptcy Court effective February 19, 2020.

Adoption of the Interim Rules requires corresponding amendments to certain Local Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure, specifically rules 2002-1, 3001-1 (now 3003-1), 3020-1, and 9003-1. These amendments are adopted in General Order 2020-2, also effective February 19, 2020.

Redline versions of the amended local rules are attached below.

Chambers Procedures for Cases under the SBRA

Judges will be implementing additional chambers procedures for cases electing to proceed under Subchapter V.  Additional procedures will address scheduling of the required status conference, setting the claims bar date, and other procedural changes. Procedure changes for chambers will be announced as they become available and will be listed on each judge's Chambers Procedures .

Electronic Filing Events and Procedures for Cases with the SBRA Election

Chapter 11 cases electing to proceed under the Small Business Reorganization Act (Subchapter V cases) will be docketed much like a current "regular" chapter 11 case. If you are using petition preparation software, check with your vendor for updates related to Subchapter V cases.

The following ECF events and procedures apply to cases electing to proceed under Subchapter V in the Western District of Washington:

Form of Voluntary Petition: The Official Forms of Voluntary Petition in Chapter 11 are modified to provide an option for electing to proceed under Subchapter V. See Official Form 101, Individual, Line 13, and Official Form 201, Non-Individual, Line 8.

Means Test Not Required: Interim Federal Rule of Bankruptcy Procedure 1007(b)(5) excepts the Subchapter V debtor from the requirement to file a statement of current monthly income.

Case Opening in ECF: The electronic filer will proceed as with a chapter 11 case, using the event "Open Voluntary Bankruptcy Case." If the debtor is electing Subchapter V in the voluntary petition, the same election must be made in the small business drop down menu in ECF:

Debtor's Pre-Status Conference Report: The debtor will docket the pre-status conference report in a Subchapter V case by using the new ECF event "Bankruptcy Events>Other>Pre-Status Conference Report."

Docketing the Subchapter V Plan: In a Subchapter V case, the plan is docketed using the new ECF event "Bankruptcy Events>Plan>Chapter 11 Small Business Subchapter V Plan."