In Uncategorized on 10/08/2021 at 08:45

Memory calls me back seventy years to a sidewalk in The Bronx (and it’s always “The Bronx”; even tourists know that, although, barring the Zoo and the Botanical Gardens, tourists never go there). We played a simple child’s game whose echoes reached even to the Moon (“One Giant Step for Mankind”). Oh, the Steps, the  Baby Steps, the Umbrella Steps, and the Giant Steps! And Neil Armstrong didn’t have to ask “Mother, may I?”

But Earthlings approaching The Glasshouse in the City nonState are required to ask, and are oftentimes rebuked by the Ch J, for taking the wrong steps. And inasmuch as not all such steps are to be found in the Rules, Ch Js must spend a considerable amount of judicial time and effort in directing litigants into right pathways, playing Mother.

Here’s Julee H. Hafner, Docket No. 11144-20S, filed 10/8/21.* Ch J Maurice B. (“Mighty Mo”) Foley again expends scarce judicial resources on such as this.

“… the parties filed a Proposed Stipulated Decision. Upon review, the Court notes that the filing improperly incorporates both a Proposed Stipulated Decision and a Settlement Stipulation as a single submission. Conversely, the two items should be filed separately.” Order, at p. 1.

I cannot discern why the Heavens would fall if these were filed together. In any case, I’m confused. Rule 91(a)(2) says stipulations are to be “comprehensive.” They must embrace all facts, however obtained. The process of stipulation has more than once been described as “the bedrock of Tax Court litigation.”

So why must the parties be ordered to “…file, as separate docket entries, a Proposed Stipulated Decision and a Settlement Stipulation containing a statement of account (Form 3623)”? Order, at p.1.

Granted that IRM (9/3/19) prescribes that form for computing the amount of any settlement at Appeals, and granted same may contain personally identifiable information (although the IRM instructions for preparation thereof are ambiguous, as SSAN is not included), it would be simple enough to seal the entire decision and everything with it. The Genius Baristas do that all the time, with no need for instruction from Ch J Mighty Mo. They even seal orders and opinions that are publicly available on the internet.

*Julee H Hafner 11144-20S 10 8 21


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