In Uncategorized on 09/04/2014 at 19:56

I got some sad news about a colleague who got her license suspended for nonpayment of two years’ worth of State income tax, while she had a six-figure income. The Court took pity, and only gigged her six months suspension, but her partner was devastated, as their firm had to tell all their clients the bad news.

Once again, the old story: there but for the grace of you-know-Whom goes any of us.

But at least she never hung up the phone on a judge. However desperate her circumstances, or whatever her delictions, she never crossed that brink.

Not so Chushanrishatham Jeconiah Golightly, Docket No. 11703-10L, filed 9/4/14. ChushJec, apparently impatient with what he conceives, and the Bard characterized, as “the law’s delay, The insolence of office, and the spurns That patient merit of th’ unworthy takes”, doesn’t bother with pretrial memoranda or status reports.

IRS does, however, and so Judge Nega decides to get ChushJec and IRS counsel on the horn and have a pleasant chat, with a view to talk about where the case is going.

Now we combat-hardened practitioners love a conference. We can invoke justice and mercy, walk humbly, ingratiate ourselves, and get a sense of how the judge will deal with us when the green light goes on.

ChushJec, however, is made of sterner stuff.

I’ll let Judge Nega take up the story. “During the telephone conference, Mr. Golightly stated that he did not want to speak with the undersigned judge, and further stated that the Court was part of the IRS. Petitioner abruptly ended the call by ‘hanging up’ the phone with the Court. The Court notes that petitioner appears to be confused about the role of the Tax Court and the Internal Revenue Service.” Order, at pp. 1-2.

That’s not the only thing ChushJec is confused about. Whence I come, it is considered highly unwise to diss someone who can hit you with a $25K penalty on top of whatever else you owe, and let IRS send the US marshals to seize everything but the clothes you stand in to pay the same.

But Judge Nega is forbearing. “We take this opportunity to inform petitioner that the IRS and Tax Court are two separate entities. The Tax Court is an independent Court that handles disputes between the IRS and taxpayers.

“The Court has concluded that the telephone conference was not the best circumstance for giving additional information and instructions that we often give during a telephone conference but that rather we should give that information in writing.” Order, at p. 2.

So Judge Nega tells ChushJec to show up ready to try his case, and exchange witness lists and documents with IRS forthwith.

It’s almost worth the trip to Lubbock, TX, on September 15 to watch this trial. Almost, but not quite.


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