Attorney-at-Law

A MODEST PROPOSAL

In Uncategorized on 12/06/2019 at 20:45

I take the title of this blogpost from a much finer writer than I, but I suggest the proposal is nonetheless valid.

I wish I had a better order than Francis Anthony Gallo, Jr., Docket No. 19986-19, filed 12/6/19, but I’ll take my blogfodder as I find it. Francis didn’t bother signing his petition from a SNOD, but Ch J Maurice B (“Mighty Mo”) Foley, already in a holiday mood, has given Francis until 12/30 to ratify, unlike the Ch J’s usual one-week toss. Maybe Francis sent in the sixty smackers, to prove he was for real. The order does not state.

Howbeit, Francis now wants out, moving to dismiss his (unsigned) petition.

“In his Motion petitioner states/indicates that he no longer wants to have the Court redetermine the proposed … income tax liability determined by respondent (the IRS) against him in the … deficiency notice upon which this case is based.” Order, at p.1.

Well, we’ve seen this before. See my blogpost “Good Call,” 7/14/17, when then-Ch J L Paige (“Iron Fist”) Marvel warned a pro se that, by dropping the petition, he forfeited his chance to try his case in Tax Court. The ninety days gone, no petition for redetermination of a SNOD lies, and a CDP doesn’t help, because the pro se had a chance to contest and didn’t. One swing at the baseball, chaps.

As I said then “(A)nd Ch J Iron Fist’s second chance language should get into every order when a pro se asks to drop the case to talk to IRS. This ‘drop the case and we’ll talk’ stuff should be retitled ‘come into my parlor, said the spider to the fly.’”

So I modestly propose the following.

Rather than just denying the motion to dismiss and telling the pro se to sign the petition, with a reminder that if he doesn’t he loses his chance to fight the deficiency in Tax Court, put the case on report track, with a quick-kick reporting schedule.

IRS and pro se are ordered to work to resolve and submit decision document in thirty (count ‘em, thirty) days. If they can’t file a decision document, a joint report (or separate if they can’t agree), stating what facts to which they can stip, what principles of law ditto, and a schedule for going forward to resolve whatever they haven’t yet been able, on or before Day Thirty, then the Court will decide what to do, including without in any way limiting the generality hereof, tossing the petition for want of prosecution.

If there are any signs of stalling or gameplaying at Day Thirty, the Judge can toss or sanction, as the facts may appear.

I understand Ch J Mighty Mo wants to move cases; that’s his job. And he’s not teaching a law school class in Tax Court law and practice; that’s not his job. But there’s no Tax Court Office for the Self-Represented deer-in-the-headlights pro ses. So maybe that’s my job.

 

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