Ryan Hagen, Staff Writer
Posted: 11/30/2012 02:06:25 PM PST

PDFs: San Bernardino’s court filing | Supporting budget documents

Catch up: San Bernardino

Despite its filing for bankruptcy, San Bernardino is making progress toward a workable budget and has met other requirements for bankruptcy protection, so the court should set aside creditors’ objections, the city’s attorneys argue in a response filed Friday with bankruptcy court.

The 24-page document was submitted to U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Riverside along with 122 pages of budget documents, including the pendency plan the City Council passed on Monday.

It will be up to bankruptcy Judge Meredith Jury to decide whether the arguments are valid, said City Attorney James F. Penman, but officials are confident in their arguments that the city qualifies for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection.

“I think it answers both factually and legally the assertions made by CalPERS and some of the others who have questioned the city’s eligibility for bankruptcy,” Penman said. “I think it makes it clear that the law does not require us to file a pendency plan at the same time that we file our petition and, I think, that some of the other objections that were raised similarly are without foundation in federal bankruptcy law.”

Attorneys for the California Public Employee Retirement System had argued that the city not filing or passing – until Monday – a pendency plan earlier was evidence that the city “cannot demonstrate a desire to effect a plan to adjust its debts,” a requirement for bankruptcy.

But the law doesn’t require filing by any specific date, the city said. Jury had indicated the city should include details from the plan in Friday’s submission, which it did.

CalPERS also argued the city didn’t file in good faith because it didn’t meet beforehand with its creditors and required extra attention because of “the appearance of administrative shortfalls.”

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