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Memo from Chief Judge Re: Transition Planning for Cases Assigned to Judges Kendig and Harris

Friday, July 1, 2022

The Judges and Clerk’s office staff of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Ohio have been working on transition planning for cases filed in Canton given Judge Russ Kendig’s impending retirement. We know that the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals will not presently be taking steps to fill the judicial vacancy that will arise in Canton on October 1, 2022.

Effective October 1, 2022, and until further notice, the existing and future caseload in Canton will be handled by other judges in the district. Judge John P. Gustafson will handle Chapter 13 cases and related adversary proceedings. Judge Tiiara N.A. Patton will handle Chapter 11 and Chapter 12 cases and related adversary proceedings. Judge Mary Ann Whipple will handle Chapter 7 cases and related adversary proceedings. Chief Judge Whipple will evaluate transferring adversary proceedings, contested matters and mediation requests to the other judges as appropriate on a case-by-case basis. Details about scheduling and procedures in Canton will be forthcoming from the Clerk as they are determined.

The district will have two vacant authorized seats upon Judge Kendig’s retirement, with a potential third vacancy arising when Judge Arthur I. Harris retires effective June 30, 2023. As we work with the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals and the Administrative Office of the United States Courts to address judicial appointments in our district given these significant changes and the imperative to continue addressing our caseload fairly, effectively, and efficiently, further communication will be forthcoming as necessary to inform debtors, creditors, and their lawyers about how their matters will be handled, including upon the retirement of Judge Harris in 2023.

Chief Judge Mary Ann Whipple
July 1, 2022