As if the Texas Rangers’ Chapter 11 bankruptcy case couldn’t get stranger, the chief restructuring officer appointed in the Texas Rangers’ Chapter 11 bankruptcy case received threatening phone calls that were so serious that security has been increased significantly. But U.S Bankruptcy Judge Michael Lynn tried to downplay the threats.
“I am not particularly worried about them,” the judge said. “After all, we do get those e-mails from disgruntled fans who believe — as, I understand, do some sports writers — that I should construe the Bankruptcy Code as wished for by the fans.
“I don’t expect anyone to shoot at him or me,” he said. “A baseball through my window is another matter.”
The exact content of the threats has not been disclosed to the public, however, they were serious enough to prompt the placement of Federal Protective Service vehicles at the front entrance of the courthouse during a Texas Rangers bankruptcy hearing. And while the Texas Rangers’ debtors have not directly encouraged fans to express hostility towards the bankruptcy trustee and his appointed chief restructuring officer, they have suggested that if they bankruptcy court does not decide in their favor that they are somehow damaging the baseball franchise and by extension the thousands of fans who support them. It is important that the bankruptcy process is not influenced by outside forces and that both debtors and creditors behave in a civil manner so that the integrity of the bankruptcy court is protected. Once we begin to attempt to influence the trajectory of a bankruptcy case with violence or even threats of violence then we are putting all bankruptcy debtors at risk. Just imagine what would happen if large banks could use their power and influence to sway bankruptcy judges and trustees presiding over personal bankruptcy cases. It would be a nightmare for small individual debtors who depend on the neutrality of the bankruptcy court to win their fresh start. It is important that despite their grievances with the bankruptcy process, that Texas Rangers fans refrain from threats and violence so that we can maintain the civility and neutrality of the bankruptcy process for the benefit of all of us.