burden of establishing that Paxon had not disposed of the vehicle before their petition
was filed and that Paxon knew of the petition before disposition.
Debtors failed to carry the initial burden. Debtors introduced no evidence or legal
authority to contradict Paxon’s claim that the vehicle was completely disposed of when it
was assigned to Jacksonville Auto Auction without recourse or reserve. Essentially,
Debtors’ failed to show that Paxon exercised dominion over property of the estate after
the petition was filed. The automobile was property of the estate until sold by
Jacksonville Auto Auctions. See Chiodo, 250 B.R. at 409. The question of whether or
not the assignment of property of the estate by Paxon and the sale of property of the
estate by the auctioneer were proper under Florida law is not before the Court at this
time. The only relevant issue before the Court is whether Paxon exercised control over
the vehicle at any moment post-petition. The Court finds that Paxon disposed of the
vehicle completely upon assigning the vehicle over to the auctioneer without recourse
and without reservation. At that point, Paxon no longer exercised dominion over the
vehicle, as it could not retrieve the vehicle from the auctioneer. Debtors had the burden
of showing that Paxon performed some act of control over the vehicle post-petition.
Debtors failed to come forward with any evidence on this point.
Therefore, the timing of the final sale of the vehicle is irrelevant in a proceeding
for sanctions against Paxon for violation of the automatic stay unless Debtors bring
evidence to show that the time of sale, rather than the time of assignment, is dispositive.
Debtors failed to bring forward any evidence to show that Paxon maintained some
dominion over the vehicle until sale by the auctioneer. The assignment of the vehicle to