Attorney-at-Law

THE SHORN LAMB

In Uncategorized on 06/29/2021 at 16:00

Judge Albert G (“Scholar Al”) Lauber adheres to the old saying when it comes to frivolite Jamillah Kamillah Muhammad, 2021 T. C. Memo. 77, filed 6/29/21.

Jamillah Kamillah tries the hackneyed protester jive about Sections 3104 and 3121, the FICA tax, rather than the income tax. And she otherwise strews the usual gibberish.

“Petitioner admitted at trial that she had received payments from the University during [year at issue] but insisted that these payments were not ‘wages.’ When asked whether she had performed services for the University during [year at issue], she refused to answer. When asked what kind of payment the University had made to her, if not wages, she refused to answer. When asked why she did not report the payments as taxable income, she replied that nothing she did in connection with the University was the ‘exercise of Federal privileges.’ When asked why that mattered in determining whether she had received taxable income, she professed reliance on sections 3401 and 3121.” 2021 T. C. Memo. 77, at p. 5.

Jamillah Kamillah also moved in limine to exclude the SNOD IRS gave her, and the wage and tax statement from the W-2 Samuel Merritt University gave her. “Petitioner filed a motion in limine seeking to exclude the first two documents from evidence on the grounds of ‘[h]earsay, lack of foundation, lack of personal knowledge, no opportunity to cross-examine, declaration not signed under penalty of perjury, declaration not dated, irrelevant, [and] calls for speculation.’ She asserted that the notice of deficiency was inadmissible as ‘needlessly presenting cumulative evidence.’ She asserted that her own Form 1040X should be excluded from evidence on the grounds of ‘[i]rrelevan[ce], unfair prejudice, confusing the issues, undue delay, wasting time, and needlessly presenting cumulative evidence.’” 2021 T. C. Memo. 77, at pp. 4-5.

Judge Scholar Al denied the motion. Surprise, surprise. He also spends time on “somber reasoning and copious citation of precedent,” perhaps to convince Jamillah Kamillah that it’s one thing to play the lawyer, but quite another to play the fool. Because anyone who does minimal investigation will discover that her argument is “a time-worn tax-protestor argument that no court has ever accepted.” 2021 T. C. Memo. 77, at p. 8.

 Of course, Jamillah Kamillah was shown the yellow card more than once. “We warned petitioner during the calendar call that she risked a penalty if she advanced frivolous arguments and that ‘wages are not income’ is a frivolous argument. Despite this warning, petitioner persisted throughout the trial on the path on which she had embarked. Counsel for respondent urged that a section 6673 penalty was appropriate, representing that she had repeatedly advised petitioner in pretrial communications that she was advancing a frivolous position.” 2021 T. C. Memo. 77, at p. 11.

So Judge Scholar Al is about to hand Jamillah Kamillah the Section 6673 frivolity chop, when she pleads poverty. And Judge Scholar Al tempers the wind to the allegedly shorn lamb.

“When we advised petitioner at trial that we would consider imposing such a penalty, she stated that she was now unemployed and that a penalty would cause her financial hardship. Taking her at her word, we will impose a modest penalty of $250. But we warn petitioner that she will risk a much more severe penalty if she advances frivolous positions in any future appearance before this Court.” 2021 T. C. Memo. 77, at p. 11.

Far be it from me to seek to curb Judge Scholar Al’s (or any judge’s) charitable impulses.

But there should be a level of consistency in the Section 6673 mulcts. I suggested a year ago that “let’s have a sliding scale. I propose one free kick, then a grand for each succeeding kick, cumulative. With an automatic press after four (Nassau, as the golfers say: bet doubles on the back nine).” See my blogpost “One Free Bite,” 8/28/20.

After all, we have Federal and State sentencing guidelines, whatever their faults (and I’m not going there; my last criminal case was more than thirty years ago, and it can stay that way). Anything else runs the risk of arbitrary-and-capricious or excessive-fines-and-penalties.

Here’s another item for Ch J Maurice B (“Mighty Mo”) Foley’s to-do list.

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