Casey Anthony wins partial victory in bankruptcy court

Casey Anthony leaves the federal courthouse in Tampa, after a bankruptcy hearing in March. Brian Blanco / AP

A Florida bankruptcy judge granted, in part, Casey Anthony’s request to dismiss the charges filed against her by a nonprofit organization that aided in the search for her daughter.

The plaintiff, Texas EquuSearch, organizes search efforts for missing persons and claims that in 2008, it spent over $100,000 searching for Anthony’s daughter, Caylee Marie Anthony, who was presumed missing at the time. 

In documents provided by the court, Texas EquuSearch stated that Anthony enlisted the organization’s help in the search for her daughter even though she knew at the time the 2-year-old girl was dead.

Caylee's body was later found discovered, at which point Anthony claimed her daughter had drowned in the family’s swimming pool.

Anthony was charged with Caylee’s murder but was acquitted in a high-profile trial in 2011. She was convicted of four misdemeanors, two of which were reversed on appeal, for lying to law enforcement.

Texas EquuSearch was in the process of suing Anthony when she filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy earlier this year.

In early June, Anthony’s lawyer David L. Schrader filed to have the case dismissed, arguing that Anthony was not responsible for the search company's involvement and that the debt should be discharged under the bankruptcy code’s policy of providing debtors with a “fresh start.”

Peter D. Russin, Texas EquuSearch's lawyer, argued that Anthony’s bankruptcy did not nullify her debt of the over $100,000 that the organization spent “searching for a missing child, who was not actually missing.”

 “[Anthony] stated directly [to TES] that Caylee had been abducted and was still alive,” wrote Russin “…These statements later proved to be blatantly false as [Anthony] knew at the time she made these statements that Caylee had actually died in the family swimming pool at the residence on June 16, 2008.”

Judge K. Rodney May partially granted Anthony’s motion to dismiss, giving Texas EquuSearch 21 days to amend its complaint against Anthony.