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Guralnik v. Comm'r

United States Tax Court

June 2, 2016, Filed

Docket No. 4358-15L.


 [*231]  LAUBER, Judge: This collection due process (CDP) case is before the Court on a motion by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS or respondent) to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction on the ground that the petition was not filed within the 30-day period prescribed by section 6330(d).2 On May 28, 2015, the motion was as-signed for disposition to Special Trial Judge Armen, who recommended that it be denied. On August 24, 2015, his Recommended Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law were served on the parties pursuant to Rules 182(e) and 183(b).

On October 7, 2015, respondent filed a response that concurred with Judge Armen's findings of fact but objected [**2]  to his  [*232]  conclusions of law. On November 6, 2015, petitioner filed a response that agreed with Judge Armen's recommendation and advanced additional legal theories to support it. On November 19, 2015, we granted a motion by the Harvard Federal Tax Clinic to file a memorandum amicus curiae in support of petitioner, to which both parties have responded.

Petitioner and amicus curiae have advanced four distinct theories to sustain our jurisdiction in this case. We conclude that at least one of these arguments supports our jurisdiction. That argument is based on rule 6(a)(3) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (Civil Rules), captioned "Inaccessibility of the Clerk's Office."

] Civil Rule 6(a)(3)(A) provides that, "if the clerk's office is inaccessible * * * on the last day for filing * * * , then the time for filing is extended to the first accessible day that is not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday." Rule 25(a) of our Rules, dealing with computation of time, does not address how time shall be computed when the Clerk's Office is inaccessible. Rule 1(b) of our Rules does, however, provide: "Where in any instance there is no applicable rule of procedure, the Court or the Judge before whom the matter is pending may prescribe the procedure, giving particular weight to the Federal Rules of [**3]  Civil Procedure to the extent that they are suitably adaptable to govern the matter at hand."

The last date for filing the petition in this case was February 17, 2015, a day on which all Federal offices in the District of Columbia, including the Tax Court, were officially closed for business because of Winter Storm Octavia. This Court does not maintain an after-hours "drop box" for filing documents. And the petition could not be filed electronically that day because the Court, at the time, did not permit petitions to be filed electronically. The Court's Clerk's Office was thus "inaccessible" for the entire day.

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146 T.C. 230 *; 2016 U.S. Tax Ct. LEXIS 16 **; 146 T.C. No. 15


Disposition: An order will be issued denying respondent's motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction.


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