CalPlant I, LLC - Preference and Fraudulent Transfer Defense Lawyer

Beginning on October 4, 2023, Plaintiff Lance Miller, as Liquidating Director for the Liquidating Trust of CalPlant I, LLC began filing complaints, thus opening adversary proceedings, seeking: (1) to avoid certain alleged transfers as preferential under Section 547 and/or fraudulent under Section 548 of the Bankruptcy Code, and recover under Section 550 and (2) to disallow the claim(s) held by individual defendants under Section 502.  Approximately 59 such complaints have been filed so far.

Prior to the Effective Date of the Plan, the Debtors in these chapter 11 cases were as follows: CalPlant I Holdco,
LLC and CalPlant I, LLC.

The bankruptcy case and these adversary actions are before Judge John T. Dorsey.

Background as alleged in the Complaints:

     "the Debtors constructed the world’s first plant capable of manufacturing MDF from rice straw. Located in Willows, California, approximately 85 miles north of Sacramento, the Debtors’ plant (the “Plant”) was intended to convert rice straw—a waste product of rice farming — into high-quality, environmentally friendly, and competitively priced MDF. The Debtors’ goal in developing the Plant and its underlying manufacturing processes was born in environmental conservation. The Plant was intended to contribute to the elimination of more traditional methods of rice straw disposal, which historically involved the incineration of leftover rice straw and currently necessitates the reincorporation of straw into the soil, followed by flooding the field with water and chemicals to hasten decomposition. The Debtors’ method, if successful, would not only reduce methane emissions and water consumption, but also offer rice farmers a less expensive, less labor-intensive, less water-intensive, and more sustainable means to dispose of waste. Further, using rice straw as feedstock (rather than wood fiber, which is the typical feedstock) would reduce the need to cut down trees that filter CO2 from the atmosphere."

Procedural History:
On October 5, 2021, each of the Debtors commenced a voluntary case under chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code.

Subsequently, the Debtors remained in possession of their assets and continued to operate and manage their businesses as debtors-in-possession to implement the wind down of the Debtors’ operations and the liquidation of the Debtors’ assets.

On June 2, 2023, the Debtors filed their Combined Disclosure Statement and Joint Chapter 11 Plan.

On August 15, 2023, the Bankruptcy Court entered the Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, and Order (I) Approving Disclosure Statement on a Final Basis and (II) Confirming the Third Amended Combined Disclosure Statement and Joint Chapter 11 Plan Proposed by CalPlant I Holdco, LLC and CalPlant I, LLC Pursuant to Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code (the “Confirmation Order”).

Pursuant to the Confirmation Order, on the Effective Date, the Debtors transfered all of their rights, title, and interest in and to the Debtors’ Assets to the Liquidating Trust, including causes of action under chapter 5 of the Bankruptcy Code not previously sold or transferred, or not otherwise compromised or settled pursuant to the Plan or a Final Order of the Bankruptcy Court.
The Confirmation Order further provides that the Liquidating Trust shall be governed by the Liquidating Trust Agreement and administered by the Liquidating Director.

Lance Miller was appointed as the Liquidating Director for the Liquidating Trust.

On September 29, 2023, the Effective Date of the Plan occurred, and the Plan was consummated.

On October 2, 2023, the Court entered the Final Decree Closing the Chapter 11 Case of CalPlant I Holdco, LLC.  

Common Defenses in Preference Actions

The United States Bankruptcy Code provides many affirmative defenses to preference actions, contained within Section 547(c). For example, the most common defenses that may be available to a Defendant under Section 547(c) may include:

    •    the transfer was a contemporaneous exchange for new value given to the debtor (i.e., the debtor received something of value in exchange for the transfer); 11 U.S.C. §547(c)(1);

    •    after such transfer, Defendant gave new value to or for the benefit of the debtor (i.e., the Defendant extended additional credit to the Debtor after receiving the transfer) 11 U.S.C. §547(c)(4); or

    •    the transfer was in payment of a debt incurred by the debtor in the ordinary course of business or financial affairs of the debtor and the recipient (i.e., Defendant made the transfer under ordinary business terms). 11 U.S.C. §547(c)(2).

For more information, see our page on Preference Defense Litigation:

The following Adversary Proceedings were filed in the bankruptcy of CalPlant I, LLC, Case No. 21-11303-JTD on October 4, 2023 (unless a different date is specified below).

23-50660-JTD    Miller v. A&M Transport, LLC
23-50661-JTD    Miller v. Advanced Logistics & Distribution System, LLC
23-50662-JTD    Miller v. AFCO Credit Corporation
23-50663-JTD    Miller v. Airgas USA, LLC
23-50664-JTD    Miller v. Allied Crane LLC
23-50665-JTD    Miller v. Ananta USA, Inc
23-50666-JTD    Miller v. ASW Machinery, Inc.
23-50667-JTD    Miller v. Axiom Logistics, Inc
23-50668-JTD    Miller v. BASF Corporation
23-50669-JTD    Miller v. Baxter Welding & Fabrication, LLC
23-50675-JTD    Miller v. Compost Solutions, Inc.
23-50676-JTD    Miller v. Creative Composition Inc.
23-50677-JTD    Miller v. Direct Energy Services, LLC
23-50678-JTD    Miller v. Empire Group Unlimited Inc
23-50679-JTD    Miller v. Fastenal Company
23-50680-JTD    Miller v. Ferreira Water Service, Inc.
23-50681-JTD    Miller v. Fluid Gauge Company
23-50682-JTD    Miller v. Flynn's Welding & Machine Shop
23-50683-JTD    Miller v. Forest Economic Advisors, LLC
23-50684-JTD    Miller v. Gerlinger Steel & Supply Co.
23-50685-JTD    Miller v. Gish Sherwood & Friends Inc.
23-50686-JTD    Miller v. Honor Logistics, LLC
23-50687-JTD    Miller v. Hudson Saw And Tool LLC
23-50688-JTD    Miller v. Huntsman Corporation
23-50689-JTD    Miller v. Hydra Distribution & Rail Services, Inc.
23-50690-JTD    Miller v. Industrial Finishes & Systems Inc.
23-50691-JTD    Miller v. Industrial Projects Consulting LLC
23-50692-JTD    Miller v. Jusda Supply Chain Management Corporation
23-50693-JTD    Miller v. K & S Spreading & Hauling Inc.
23-50694-JTD    Miller v. Kaman Industrial Technologies Corp.
23-50695-JTD    Miller v. Kimball Midwest
23-50696-JTD    Miller v. Leitz Tooling Systems LP
23-50697-JTD    Miller v. Mccorkle Farms, Inc.
23-50698-JTD    Miller v. Medina's Trucking LLC,
23-50699-JTD    Miller v. Metcalf Construction Services, LLC
23-50700-JTD    Miller v. Motion Industries, Inc.
23-50701-JTD    Miller v. N&S Tractor Co.
23-50702-JTD    Miller v. New York Life Insurance Company
23-50703-JTD    Miller v. North Coast Fabricators, Inc.
23-50704-JTD    Miller v. Northern Logistics, Inc.
23-50705-JTD    Miller v. O & M Industries
23-50706-JTD    Miller v. Pacific Gas and Electric Company
23-50707-JTD    Miller v. PNC Equipment Finance, LLC
23-50708-JTD    Miller v. Premium Ag Services LLC
23-50709-JTD    Miller v. Procore Technologies, Inc.
23-50710-JTD    Miller v. Raven Logistics, Inc.
23-50711-JTD    Miller v. Rexel, Inc.
23-50712-JTD    Miller v. Runners Plus Inc.
23-50713-JTD    Miller v. Samuel, Son & Co.
23-50714-JTD    Miller v. Stiles Machinery Inc.
23-50715-JTD    Miller v. Sunrise Ag Labor, Inc.
23-50716-JTD    Miller v. TBA Construction
23-50717-JTD    Miller v. Tetrad Services Inc.
23-50718-JTD    Miller v. TP Trucking LLC
23-50719-JTD    Miller v. Troy Farms Hay Sales & Delivery
23-50720-JTD    Miller v. Uber Freight LLC,
23-50721-JTD    Miller v. United Parcel Service, Inc.
23-50722-JTD    Miller v. United Rentals (North America), Inc.
23-50723-JTD    Miller v. Valley Pacific Petroleum Services, Inc.
23-50724-JTD    Miller v. Valmet, Inc.
23-50725-JTD    Miller v. Walker Emulsions Inc.
23-50726-JTD    Miller v. Williams Scotsman, Inc.
23-50727-JTD    Miller v. W.W. Grainger, Inc.
23-50728-JTD    Miller v. Morgan Trails Transport & Logistics LLC
23-50729-JTD    Miller v. Chem-Trend L.P.
23-50730-JTD    Miller v. ClearFreight Inc.
23-50731-JTD    Miller v. CNH Industrial Capital America LLC
23-50732-JTD    Miller v. Columbia Water Technology LLC
23-50733-JTD    Miller v. Composite Panel Association Inc.

If you conducted business with  CalPlant I, LLC or any of its affiliated debtors and especially if you have received a demand letter, or if a complaint has been filed against you or your business, even if not served yet, contact us here, email us at or call the firm’s Wilmington offices directly at (302) 655-5303 to schedule an initial consultation. We can explain the situation you are facing and your options and share with you our initial observations at no charge to you.
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