Plaintiff, holder of two Vermont judgments against defendant, duly scheduled them against defendant in bankruptcy. Later, an effort to have the judgments discharged in a state court was resisted by plaintiff on the grounds that they were for a "willful and malicious injury" within section 17(a) of the Bankruptcy Act, and, therefore, excepted from discharge.' The claim was based on the granting by the original Vermont trial court of plaintiff's motion for a certificate that close jail confinement was justified to enforce his judgments, a procedure authorized by Vermont statute only when the ".... cause of action arose from the willful and malicious act or neglect of the defendant.12 Held: the judgments were discharged. The meaning placed on the words "willful and malicious" by the Vermont court was broader and more inclusive than that ascribed to the same words in the Bankruptcy Act; therefore, the finding of the Vermont court was not res judicata as to the dischargeability of the judgment.
Charles H. Beatty,
Recent Cases: Bankruptcy — Res Judicata — Proof of Non-Dischargeability of Judgment Under Section 17(a),
33 Neb. L. Rev. 88
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