Detroit bankruptcy proceedings head back to federal court

DETROIT (WXYZ) - Detroit Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes is hearing 3 cases today that are seeking to have the automatic stay lifted on other cases pending with the City of Detroit. 

The first one is a suit by Deborah Ann Ryan against Detroit, the Police Department and some officers who did not prevent the murder of her daughter, Patricia Williams, on September 22, 2009 by her husband, Detroit Police Officer Edward Williams, who then committed suicide. 

Ryan's case is on hold, as are some 700 other individual cases in Detroit.  

Also, another case seeks permission from Judge Rhodes to allow an Administrative Law Judge to rule on whether the General Retirement System can resume issuing a 13th check to retirees that was banned by the City Council in 2011.  An attorney for the city argues Detroit employee pension underfunding is a critical issue in bankruptcy and the 13th check was an unsound practice that cost the pension fund $1.9 billion dollars. 

Heather Lennox from Jones Day argues the bankruptcy court should decide this issue and that the issue is far-reaching for the city.  

Another item in front of Judge Rhodes is whether a constitutional challenge to the Emergency Manager and Michigan Public Act 436 can proceed before another judge in Federal Court. It was filed by the NAACP and a group of individuals. That case was also automatically stayed by the bankruptcy filing.   

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