Under Bankruptcy Rules, an adversary proceeding may be filed in a debtor’s bankruptcy action for certain specific reasons. Creditors may initiate adversary proceedings to determine the validity or priority of a lien, to determine the validity of a debt, to obtain an injunction, or to subordinate a claim of another creditor.
Under the Bankruptcy Code, a voluntary or involuntary case is commenced by filing a petition with the bankruptcy court. A Chapter 7 or 11 bankruptcy case may be initiated by a voluntary filing by the debtor or by an involuntary filing by the debtor’s creditors. Cases under all other chapters may be initiated only by a voluntary petition.
Only a "municipality" can file for relief under chapter 9. The term "municipality" is defined in the Bankruptcy Code to mean a political subdivision or public agency or instrumentality of a State. The definition is broad enough to include cities, counties, townships, school districts, and public improvement districts. It also includes revenue-producing bodies that provide services that are paid for by users rather than by general taxes, such as bridge authorities, highway authorities, and gas authorities.
The commencement of a voluntary, joint, or involuntary bankruptcy petition automatically creates an "estate." The estate is comprised of all the property that is described in section 541 of the Bankruptcy Code. It includes all legal or equitable interests of the debtor in property, wherever located, as of the commencement of the case. To determine a debtor’s rights in property, a court examines state law.
Bankruptcy Appellate Panels or "BAPs"