June 9, 2016
Committing rape does not automatically result in a nondischargeable debt for infliction of “willful and malicious” injury under Section 523 (a)(6), according to Judge Sarah A. Hall (Hagmaier v. Cooley, 15-1214 (W.D. Okla. May 12, 2016)
Judge blamed poor lawyering. Judge Hall said that the plaintiff “utterly failed to focus on proving [the perpetrator’s] intent”.
It appears from this case that the perpetrator of rape can discharge the debt that the victim is awarded in damages by showing that there was no intent to harm or anticipate injury. Judge Hall believes that someone can commit rape without intending to injure.
Victims can suffer twice: from the rape itself and the Court’s rulings in Bankruptcy cases.
The plaintiff must show “the subjective intent of the debtor to determine whether the injury was intended or unintended”.
I won a case when a gang member tried to discharge a debt owed to my client. My client was beaten to the point where he cannot walk or talk. I proved there was intent to injure and cannot believe a rape case should be any different. It is important to hire an attorney who takes the matter seriously when handling a bankruptcy case and specializes in bankruptcy.