Patriot Coal bankruptcy moved to court in Missouri

A bankruptcy judge in New York on Tuesday transferred Patriot Coal's bankruptcy case from Manhattan court to the Eastern District of Missouri after union workers and bankruptcy regulators lobbied for a transfer.

Judge Shelley Chapman announced the decision in a written order, saying the company's headquarters are in St. Louis, Missouri.

Patriot filed for bankruptcy in July in New York.

Members of the United Mine Workers of America had wanted the case transferred to West Virginia, the hub of most of the company's operations, where they could more conveniently attend hearings.

Patriot had sought to keep the case in New York, a major hub for corporate bankruptcies and the home of most of Patriot's lawyers and bankers.

The U.S. Trustee, a Justice Department arm that regulates bankruptcy proceedings, had also wanted the case moved, but did not state a preferred location, arguing only that Patriot had minimal operations in New York.

Chapman chose St. Louis, where Patriot is headquartered, saying that, while not as convenient for union workers as West Virginia would have been, it still gives them convenient access to court hearings.

(Reporting By Nick Brown; Editing by Bernard Orr)