Guy Marcel Siewe v. Maria Grazia Locci

Case: 17-15014 Date Filed: 05/08/2018 Page: 1 of 16 [DO NOT PUBLISH] IN THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE ELEVENTH CIRCUIT ________________________ No. 17-15014 Non-Argument Calendar ________________________ D.C. Docket Nos. 1:17-cv-02386-CAP; 14-bkc-60345-WLH In re: GUY MARCEL SIEWE, Debtor. ____________________________________________________________ GUY MARCEL SIEWE, Plaintiff - Appellant, versus MARIA GRAZIA LOCCI, Defendant - Appellee. ________________________ Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia ________________________ (May 8, 2018) Case: 17-15014 Date Filed: 05/08/2018 Page: 2 of 16 Before ROSENBAUM, JULIE CARNES, and HULL, Circuit Judges. PER CURIAM: This appeal arises from an adversary bankruptcy proceeding in which the bankruptcy court denied Appellant Guy Marcel Siewe a discharge on the ground that he knowingly and fraudulently made a false oath in connection with the case. See 11 U.S.C. § 727. Specifically, the bankruptcy court found that Siewe falsely denied signing a document (the “Acknowledgement of Debt” or “IOU”) acknowledging a debt of €503,170 (503,170 euros) to Appellee Maria Grazia Locci, who initiated the adversary proceeding. On appeal, Siewe argues that the bankruptcy court abused its discretion in refusing either to abstain from exercising jurisdiction or to grant relief from the automatic stay so he could challenge a 2013 default judgment, which Locci had obtained against him in Georgia state court based on the IOU. Siewe maintains that the default judgment was invalid because he was never served with the complaint, and that the bankruptcy court abused its discretion and violated his due- process rights by preventing him from challenging the default judgment. Siewe also attacks the bankruptcy’s court factual findings as clearly erroneous. We conclude that we lack jurisdiction to review the bankruptcy court’s decision not to abstain and that the bankruptcy court did not abuse its discretion in denying relief from the automatic stay. Further, we find that the factual findings 2 Case: 17-15014 Date Filed: 05/08/2018 Page: 3 of 16 supporting the bankruptcy court’s denial of discharge are not clearly erroneous. Accordingly, we dismiss in part and affirm in part. I. We begin with the undisputed facts. Siewe and Locci are connected through Siewe’s ex-wife, Josephine Chantal Pouassi. Pouassi met Locci in 1997. Pouassi was studying to become a medical doctor in Turin, Italy, where Locci was a practicing pharmacist. Locci rented an apartment to Pouassi and helped take care of Pouassi’s daughter. Locci and Pouassi became close friends and treated each other as mother and daughter. Siewe met Pouassi in 1998 in France, where she was completing a medical- residency program. Siewe was a student at the time. They dated for the next few years, traveling between France and Italy, had a son together in 2001, and married in 2002. They lived in France together once Pouassi graduated medical school. While Pouassi finished her medical studies, Siewe started a renovation company with help from his uncle, Maurice Ngatcha. Siewe would buy residences in and around Paris, renovate them, and then sell or lease them. Siewe created and operated several companies in France before he ...

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