RESPONSE TO RECEIVER MOTIONS FOR FEE APPLICATIONS - Page 1
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS
NETSPHERE, INC., §
MANILA INDUSTRIES, INC., and §
MUNISH KRISHAN, §
§ Civil Action No. 3-09CV0988-F
JEFFREY BARON, and §
ONDOVA LIMITED COMPANY, §
APPELLANT’S OBJECTION AND RESPONSE TO THE RECEIVER'S
MOTIONS FOR FEES DOC 602, DOC 603, DOC 605, DOC 606
Appellant, Jeffrey Baron makes this response and objection to the receiver’s
motions: Doc 602, Doc 603, Doc 605, and Doc 606.
1. From the very start of the receivership, Mr. Baron, through his counsel,
has extended his hand to the receiver in an offer of full cooperation and resolving
the need for any receivership by agreement. The receiver slammed the door on
cooperation and agreement, stating in no uncertain terms that there “is no first step
to reaching any agreement.” The receiver’s fees are massive, unreasonable, and
unnecessary. Docket no. 364 is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.
2. For further cause, if same is necessary: Mr. Baron has appealed the order
appointing the receiver [Doc #136] and NovoPoint, LLC and Quantec, LLC
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(“SouthPac’s LLC companies”) have appealed from the order including the
SouthPac LLC companies into the receivership [Doc #227].
3. The filing of a notice of appeal is an event of jurisdictional
significance— it confers jurisdiction on the court of appeals and divests the district
court of its control. Griggs v. Provident Consumer Discount Co., 459 U.S. 56, 58
(1982). The divesture of jurisdiction of the trial court involves those aspects of the
case appealed. Id.
4. The Court had no jurisdiction over the receivership order after Mr. Baron
filed his appeal. “A district court does not have the power to ‘alter the status of the
case as it rests before the Court of Appeals’.” Dayton Indep. School Dist. v. US
Mineral Prods. Co., 906 F.2d 1059, 1063 (5th Cir. 1990).
5. Accordingly, the order to alter the original receivership order to include
SouthPac’s LLC companies is void for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.
6. The order including SouthPac’s LLC companies into the receivership is
also void for lack of personal jurisdiction over the owner of those LLC companies,
SouthPac. SourthPac is a serious and reputable trustee, recognized by US Courts
of Appeals. The bankruptcy court approved SouthPac to act as trustee and take
possession of the LLC companies. SouthPac has not been served with any process
in this case. Accordingly, by law this Court lacks personal jurisdiction over
SouthPac and is without jurisdiction to seize its property.
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7. The order including SouthPac’s LLC companies into the receivership is
also void for lack of subject matter jurisdiction on the further but significant
grounds that the pleadings do not put their subject-matter at issue. See Cochrane v.
WF Potts Son & Co., 47 F.2d 1026, 1029 (5th Cir. 1931) (since the court had no
jurisdiction over these properties, its order appointing a receiver to take charge of
them was void, in fact, “their proceedings are absolutely void in the strictest sense
of the term”).
8. Moreover, the Fifth Circuit has ruled that the powers of the district court
over a matter appealed from, pending appeal are limited to maintaining the status
quo and do not to extend to the point that the district court can divest the court of
appeals from jurisdiction while the issue is before the Court of Appeals on appeal.
Coastal Corp. v. Texas Eastern Corp., 869 F.2d 817, 820 (5th Cir. 1989).
9. Accordingly, pending appeal the district court is without jurisdiction to
dispose of any of the assets which were seized by the receiver. See e.g., Taylor v.
Sterrett, 640 F.2d 663, 668 (5th Cir. 1981) (“[T]he District Court was divested of
jurisdiction only as to matters relating to the April 27 and May 12 orders and
subsequent orders and, for that reason, fees cannot be recovered for work relating
to these orders”).
10. Further, Mr. Baron has no responsibility for the liabilities or
administrative fees or costs relating to any other receivership entity, and
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SouthPac’s LLC companies have no responsibility for the liabilities or
administrative fees or costs relating to Mr. Baron’s assets. Also, the scope of the
receivership extends to Mr. Baron’s exempt property, and distribution of such
exempt property would be unlawful.
11. Payment to the receiver with respect to SouthPac’s companies is also
improper because the receiver acted as an advocate seeking inclusion of the
companies in the receivership order. A receiver is prohibited from seeking to be
appointed receiver over a company and then charge those companies for its work
as receiver. Rather, by law a receiver must be disinterested. Booth v. Clark, 58 US
322, 331 (1855). Similarly, the receiver’s requested fees must be excluded because
the receiver is not entitled to compensation from receivership assets for his role as
an advocate against a party.
12. The fees run up by the receiver and his law firm are unreasonable and
include fees and charges prohibited by law. For example, the receiver and his law
firm have charged for executing upon property exempt from execution as a matter
of law, such as Mr. Baron’s Roth IRAs, and for the costs of seeking their fees, etc.
13. The fees are also excessive, duplicative, and unnecessary. Mr. Baron
complied with this Court’s injunction order with respect to his assets, even though
it was issued without notice, without supporting affidavit, and without supporting
findings, in violation of the law and rules of procedure. There was no necessity to
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run up fees to obtain the information on Mr. Baron’s accounts—he provided the
information and bank statements to the receiver. The receiver has also run up
substantial fees for matters fabricated by the receiver, and charged for drafting
additional fraudulent filings in ‘defense’ of the receiver’s prior fraudulent filings.
Also, in light of the grossly excessive billing already submitted by the receiver, the
current receiver motions are excessive and unreasonable
14. The billing rate charged by the receiver’s law firm are excessive, the
attorneys working on the matter do not have sufficient experience working on this
particular type of matter, and their hourly fees are excessive. Additionally
attorneys’ fees have been charged for non-legal work.
15. Mr. Baron is an individual; his only material assets are some banking
accounts and two small apartments, one of which is his home. The receiver and his
firm are running up fees at the rate of almost $10,000.00 per business day. The
amount is grossly excessive, unreasonable and inequitable. The entire ‘estate’ of
Mr. Baron involved some US accounts which Mr. Baron himself provided
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16. The receivership was brought on behalf of no claimant to the property of
Mr. Baron. Accordingly, the receivership in place for this Court’s personal desire
to pay attorneys fees from Mr. Baron’s money, is akin to a governmental action to
recover a debt. Accordingly, the maximum statutory fee allowed in such
circumstances– 5 percent of the sums received by the receiver (which themselves
are limited by law to non-exempt assets)– should set the maximum equitable fees
allowed. See 28 U.S.C. §3103(g)(1).
17. Moreover, the entry of a receivership without due process and subject
matter jurisdiction over the property placed into receivership is unconstitutional
and void ab initio. The great mass of weight of clear and controlling Fifth Circuit
and Supreme Court precedent extending back for more than a century that
establishes the unlawful and unconstitutional nature of the receivership order – and
the absence of any controlling precedent to support the receivership order– signed
without notice, without hearing, without affidavits, without supporting findings,
and without lawful cause– makes the receiver’s action under the order
unreasonable and a violation of the receiver’s fiduciary and legal duties to inform
the Court of the illegality and unconstitutionality of the receivership order and
process by which it was entered.
18. For further grounds, should same be necessary, the receiver, his firm and
his ‘professionals’, are estopped from entitlement to payment for fees because at the
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time he was appointed receiver in this Court’s order, he was employed by the
District Court as a special master in this very case. See Docket #37. Notably, Peter
Vogel’s appoint as special master was itself done in clear violation of the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure.
19. The receiver himself recognized that holding both roles was inappropriate
and sought termination of his employment as special master on December 10, 2010.
See Docket#147. Post appointment termination of his employment as special
master, however, is not sufficient. Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 958, Mr. Vogel was legally
ineligible to be appointed as receiver. 28 U.S.C. 958 mandates that a person holding
employed by any judge of the United States may not at the same time be appointed a
20. Similarly, Mr. Vogel undertook to act as a mediator with respect to this
case, and was provided confidential information of Mr. Baron with respect to that
mediation. Accordingly, to then act as an adversary against Mr. Baron in the very
same proceedings and concerning the same subject matter, is a violation of Mr.
Vogel’s fiduciary duties as a mediator in the case. Pursuant to state law, Mr.
Vogel and his law firm, are not entitled to profit from the fiduciary violation and
any fee must be forfeited.
21. For further cause, should same be necessary, the work included in the
fee request was not authorized by the Court’s order appointing receiver.
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22. Mr. Baron would like to respond and object further, but requires access
to his money in order to retain counsel expert in objecting to improper fee requests,
and an expert to offer an opinion as to the unreasonableness of the fees requested.
Mr. Baron objects to the Court’s denial of him access to his own money for these
purposes, and moves to be allowed to have access to such funds and a reasonable
opportunity to further object to the fee motions and provide further evidence in
response to the receiver’s motions.
/s/ Gary N. Schepps
Gary N. Schepps
State Bar No. 00791608
Dallas, Texas 75367
(214) 347-4031 Facsimile
APPELLATE COUNSEL FOR
CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE
This is to certify that this was served on all parties who receive notification
through the Court’s electronic filing system.
/s/ Gary N. Schepps
Gary N. Schepps
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