In Uncategorized on 05/11/2020 at 16:23

I hesitate to draw a sweeping conclusion from a single instance. Except our commonlaw system is a “wilderness of single instances.”

So perhaps STJ Lewis (“Gets It Right Every Time”) Carluzzo’s designated hitter today is more than just another voice crying in the wilderness.

Here’s Salvador Vasquez, Docket No. 10386-19S, filed 5/11/20.

Sal never responded to IRS’ multitudinous pretrial approaches to ready his case for trial. So IRS wants to dismiss Sal’s petition from a SNOD for want of prosecution.

“The failure of a party: (1) properly to prosecute; or (2) to comply with Court Rules or orders; or (3) to appear for trial, are grounds for dismissal. See Rules 104(c)(3), 123(b) and 149(a).” Order, at p. 1. (Footnote omitted). No quarrel with that.

But it is the severest and harshest sanction known to Tax Court Rules. You’re out, and since by the time you’re tossed the magic 90 (or 150) days to petition the SNOD is gone, never to return.

So since trial was set for June 1, but the trial session was postponed sine die, “(U)nder the circumstances and at this stage of the proceedings, we are reluctant to impose the harsh sanction that respondent requests.” Order, at p. 1.

However, lest Sal become too elated, like a much more exalted personage he gets a thorn in his flesh: “Our reluctance, however, to impose the sanction at this time in this case should not in any way be taken as a suggestion that a party’s behavior, as petitioner’s behavior is described in respondent’s motion, could not support such a sanction under appropriate circumstances.” Order, at p.1.

I know this is a small-claimer, unreviewed, off-the-cuff, don’t-quote-me, nonprecedential.

But something in me asks: Is it time for a verse or two of the late great Steve Allen’s 1954 hit? “This could be the start of something big”?




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