In Uncategorized on 09/08/2021 at 18:27

The Jersey Boys, and their Great Chieftain Frantic Frank Agostino, are an unending source of blogfodder. When it comes to novel theories and unparalleled envelope-pushing, count on Hackensack as the launching pad to the stars.

Today, Judge Mark V. Holmes confronts the stretch of the year in Malka Yerushalmi, Petitioner, and Joseph Yerushalmi, Janet Baldwin, Next Friend, Intervenor, Docket No. 5520-08, filed 9/8/21*. That 08 is no typo; I’ve drunk good Scotch that’s younger than this case.

Frantic Frank signed aboard only last October, but he’s quick off the mark.

I’ll turn it over to Judge Holmes.

“Intervenor is the debtor in a long-running bankruptcy case, but in 2019 the Bankruptcy Court lifted the automatic stay to allow him to file his own case and to give us the authority to adjudicate together both he and his ex-wife’s tax liabilities for the years 1999 and 2000. We have since consolidated his and her cases.

“Intervenor’s bankruptcy case is ongoing, and the trustee of his bankruptcy estate has filed an adversary proceeding in Bankruptcy Court to authorize the sale of a condominium unit in which both intervenor and petitioner have an interest. Intervenor then moved for a protective order in this Court to stay the sale pending the outcome of this case. The Commissioner quickly made a jeopardy assessment against both petitioner and intervenor, the effect of which would seemingly be to ensure payment of the proceeds of any sale.” Order, at p. 1.

Howbeit, Frantic Frank’s move for a Rule 103 protective order to stay the sale by the Bankruptcy Trustee is truly breathtaking. Exactly how pore l’il ol’ Tax Court has such jurisdiction is above my paygrade.

“Intervenor cites Rule 103 as our authority to grant the order he seeks. That Rule is part of the section of our rules that governs discovery in our Court. It allows us to issue orders to protect persons who are the object of a ‘method or procedure’ of discovery ‘from annoyance, embarrassment, oppression, or undue burden or expense.’ Rule 103(a).

“We see nothing in that rule that would allow us to second guess any decision of the Bankruptcy Court’s to authorize the condominium sale. Intervenor’s stated reason for filing the motion is, moreover, to avoid prejudice to the Commissioner’s ability to apply any equity in the condominium to the Yerushalmis’ tax debt and to prevent petitioner from possibly putting the condominium out of the Commissioner’s reach. The Commissioner has shown he’s capable of protecting his own interest through the jeopardy assessment.” Order, at p. 1.

Judge, a quick check of our New York City Automated City Register Information System shows IRS filed a NFTL on Joe last month for about $2.5 million and two (count ’em, two) on Malka for about twice that. And if I got it right, there are three (count ’em, three) condos in play here. One is on 58th Street and Third Avenue, another on West 80th Street, and a third on Warren Street in the courthouse district, all on this Minor Outlying US Island. With deeds out showing no consideration. My kind of case.

The Commissioner is ultra-capable of protecting the fisc.

But I must give Frantic Frank a Taishoff “Gutsy Move, Hors Classe” for this one.

*Malka Yerushalmi 5520-08 9 8 21


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