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core proceedings. See In re Wood, 825 F.2d, 90, 96-97 (5th Cir. 1987). The state law-based

actions are sufficiently related to these core matters that they should be retained, says the

Committee, adding that the fact that a given matter may be controlled by state law is insufficient

of itself to render the matter noncore. See 28 U.S.C. § 157(b)(3).

In Fairchild Aircraft Corp.,4 this court observed that discretionary abstention should not

be employed in a manner that works to undermine the important bankruptcy policy, expressed in

the Bankruptcy Reform Act of 1978, favoring “a single forum for the adjudication of all matters

relating to the bankruptcy case....”5 As a general rule, the court noted that “[a]bstention is not a

favored doctrine in the federal system...[because] federal courts have a virtually unflagging

obligation to exercise their jurisdiction except in those extraordinary circumstances where the

order to the parties to repair to State court would clearly serve an important countervailing

interest.”6 That said, by the same token, abstention as set out in section 1334(c) serves the

special function of acting as a salutary curb on the otherwise boundless scope of jurisdiction

conferred by section 1334(b). See Matter of Wood, 825 F.2d 90, 93 (5th Cir. 1987).7

Whether permissive abstention is appropriate in a given case will, of necessity, be driven

by equitable considerations germane to that case. The court’s decision to abstain or not will only


1990 WL 119650 (Bankr. W.D. Tex. 1990).


Id. at *2.


Id. (internal quotations omitted).


Said the Fifth Circuit,

The district court [below] expressed its concern that an overbroad interpretation of section 1334 would bring into federal court matters that should be left to state courts to decide. We have also expressed the same concern. There is no necessary reason why that concern must be met by restrictive interpretations of ... section 1334. The [Bankruptcy Amendments and Federal Judges Act of 1984] grants the district court broad power to abstain whenever appropriate “in the interest of justice, or in the interest of comity with State courts ... The abstention provisions ... demonstrate the intent of Congress that concerns of comity and judicial convenience should be met, not by rigid limitations on the jurisdiction of the federal courts, but by the discretionary exercise of abstention when appropriate in a particular case.

See id.; see also S.REP.NO. 95-989, 95th Con, 2nd Sess 154 (1978); H.REP.NO. 95-595, 95th Cong, 1st Sess (1977) (both addressing the intended operation of similar abstention provisions enacted as section 1471(d) of title 28, and making the same observations).


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