In Snead v. Aurora Loan Services, LLC, 2012 WL 3756887 (E.D.Cal. 2012), Judge Drozd applied judicial estoppel to prevent a consumer litigant from bringing a consumer protection claim (wrongful foreclosure) that the consumer did not list in her bankruptcy schedules.
“Judicial estoppel will be imposed when the debtor has knowledge of enough facts to know that a potential cause of action exists during the pendency of the bankruptcy, but fails to amend his schedules or disclosure statements to identify the cause of action as a contingent asset.” Hamilton, 270 F.3d at 784. “[T]he duty of the bankruptcy petitioner to disclose the existence of a potential claim is not a formalistic duty predicated on the procedural status of a claim, but is a duty of candor that accrues from the time the facts that give rise to the potential claim are known.” Rose v. Beverly Health and Rehabilitation Services, Inc., 356 B.R. 18, 25 (E.D.Cal.2006). See also Cannata v. Wyndham Worldwide Corp., 798 F.Supp.2d 1165, 1173 (D.Nev.2011) ( “Debtors have a continuing duty during bankruptcy proceedings to amend their sched-ules and add potential claims as assets.”); Monroe County Oil Co., Inc. v. Amoco Oil Co., 75 B.R. 158, 162 (S.D.Ind.1987) (“Among other things, the debtor must disclose any litigation likely to arise in a non-bankruptcy context.”); cf. In re Brown, 363 B.R. 591, 605 (Bkrtcy.D.Mont.2007) ( “Moreover, the accrued cause of action is property of the estate even if the debtors were unaware of the claim when they filed for bankruptcy protection.”). ¶ Here, the undersigned takes judicial notice of In re Lance Vincent Snead, Bankruptcy Case No. 10–45345 (E.D.Cal.2010), a bankruptcy case in which plaintiff filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition on September 23, 2010, and in which a discharge order was entered on January 10, 2011.FN2 In the course of those bankruptcy proceedings plaintiff did not dis-close as potential assets any of the claims asserted in the complaint filed in this action. (RJN, Ex. C (Doc. No. 7–1) at 29–80.) Moreover, after reviewing the allegations found in the complaint, it is apparent that plaintiff had knowledge of sufficient facts prior to the discharge order in his bankruptcy proceeding to know that there existed potential causes of action that should have been disclosed as assets. [FN2. Defendants have filed a request for judicial notice of the bankruptcy petition filed in that case. (RJN, Ex. C (Doc. No. 7–1) at 29–80.) A court may take judicial notice of its own files and documents filed in other courts. Reyn’s Pasta Bella, LLC v. Visa USA, Inc., 442 F.3d 741, 746 n. 6 (9th Cir.2006); Burbank–Glendale–Pasadena Airport Auth. v. City of Burbank, 136 F.3d 1360, 1364 (9th Cir.1998); Hott v. City of San Jose, 92 F.Supp.2d 996, 998 (N.D.Cal.2000).] ¶ . . . In this regard, plaintiff’s complaint characterizes the Notice of Default recorded on September 7, 2010, prior to plaintiff’s filing of his bankruptcy petition, as the beginning of defendants’ wrongful acts, alleging that “[t]he illegal foreclosure activity by Defendants started … when a Notice of Default was recorded” on September 7, 2010, and that the defendants were thereafter “acting through the recorded yet defective Notice of Default …” (Id. at. 9, 17.) Moreover, plain-tiff’s complaint alleges that the later recorded Notices of Trustee sale are “void and of no legal effect” be-cause they arise “from [a] defective Notice of Default …” (Id. at 10.) The complaint also alleges that the defendants acted fraudulently by “obfuscating or misrepresenting the later steep monthly payments and rate increases” associated with plaintiff’s mortgage loan, and that there is a dispute “regarding [the parties’] respective rights and duties concerning the terms of the subject loan …” FN4 (Id. at 14–15.) ¶ Based on these allegations, it is clear that plaintiff had knowledge of enough facts prior to the discharge order entered in his bankruptcy on January 10, 2011, to know that the causes of action alleged in this action should have been disclosed as assets during those bankruptcy proceedings. Plaintiff had a continuing duty to disclose the potential claims alleged in this action as potential assets during the bankruptcy proceedings and failed to do so. “That shortcoming is clearly inconsistent with the instant lawsuit, where [p]laintiff asserts claims not properly disclosed in his bankruptcy proceedings.” Arruda v. C & H Sugar Co., Inc., No. 2:06–cv–2308–MCE–EFB, 2007 WL 754627, at *4 (E.D.Cal. Mar.8, 2007). Moreover, the bankruptcy court accepted plaintiff’s initial position. See Cannata v. Wyndham Worldwide Corp., 798 F.Supp.2d 1165, 1171 (D.Nev.2011) (“Judicial acceptance may be shown by confirmation of a debtor’s reorganization plan.”); Arruda, 2007 WL 754627, at *4 (“The fact that Plaintiff was granted a no-asset discharge by the bankruptcy court suggests that the court was unaware of the potential value of Plaintiff’s claim and accepted his representations (or lack there-of) in that regard.”). Finally, the undersigned finds that if plaintiff were permitted to maintain this action, he would have unfairly received the benefit of debt relief from the bankruptcy court at the expense of his creditors who were unaware of plaintiff’s potential claims that he has asserted in this action.