United States Ninth Circuit

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Hunsaker v. US, 16-35991

Held that the Internal Revenue Service could be liable for emotional-distress damages for willfully violating an automatic stay by sending collection notices to a couple who had filed for bankruptcy. The government argued that it was protected from liability by sovereign immunity. Disagreeing, the Ninth Circuit held that the Bankruptcy Code unambiguously waived sovereign immunity. The panel therefore reversed and remanded with instructions to consider the government's challenge to the merits of the debtors' claims.

Appellate Information

  • Decided
  • Published 2018/08/30


  • Bashant


  • United States Ninth Circuit