12/06/2013 09:17 EST | Updated 02/05/2014 05:59 EST

Judge: Former owner of landmark Brennan's restaurant in New Orleans bankrupt, to be liquidated

NEW ORLEANS - Brennan's Inc., former owner of the landmark Brennan's restaurant, is bankrupt and must be liquidated, a federal bankruptcy judge has found.

Because Brennan's never responded to a lawsuit creditors filed to force it into Chapter 7 bankruptcy, the bankruptcy will move forward, Judge Jerry A. Brown said in an order signed Thursday.

There was nothing that company director Owen "Pip" Brennan could do to stop the bankruptcy, his attorney Vic Welsh, told The Times-Picayune (, which first reported it. He said the creditors had good reason to file their lawsuit.

Brennan's brother Ted Brennan, who lost his position as company president when Pip Brennan became a director, and Ted Brennan's daughter both think Pip Brennan should have fought the petition, their attorney Todd Slack told the newspaper.

Ted Brennan tried unsuccessfully to halt the bankruptcy proceedings.

Various branches of the Brennan family own numerous restaurants in New Orleans and other cities. The family has been squabbling for decades, in and out of court.

In the spring, cousin Ralph Brennan bought the building that used to house Brennan's at foreclosure. He told The Associated Press in a previous interview that he tried unsuccessfully to reach a lease agreement with his cousins to keep the restaurant.

Brown ordered Brennan's to file a list of all assets and liabilities by Dec. 19 with him and with bankruptcy trustee Ronald J. Hof.