Cassidy, Matter of, No. 89-1121

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
Writing for the CourtBefore FLAUM, MANION and KANNE; FLAUM
Citation892 F.2d 637
Parties-525, 58 USLW 2446, 90-1 USTC P 50,023 In the Matter of Thomas V. CASSIDY, Debtor-Appellant.
Docket NumberNo. 89-1121
Decision Date05 February 1990

Page 637

892 F.2d 637
65 A.F.T.R.2d 90-525, 58 USLW 2446,
90-1 USTC P 50,023
In the Matter of Thomas V. CASSIDY, Debtor-Appellant.
No. 89-1121.
United States Court of Appeals,
Seventh Circuit.
Argued Oct. 3, 1989.
Decided Jan. 4, 1990.
Rehearing and Rehearing En Banc Denied Feb. 5, 1990.

Page 638

Gary R. Allen, Gary D. Gray, Dept. of Justice, Tax Div., Appellate Section, Washington, D.C., L. Lee Smith, Asst. U.S. Atty., Peoria, Ill., Howard M. Soloman, Dept. of Justice, Tax Div., Washington, D.C., David R. Reed, Asst. U.S. Atty., Springfield, Ill., for defendant-appellee.

Timothy J. Cassidy, Cassidy & Mueller, Peoria, Ill., pro se.

Before FLAUM, MANION and KANNE, Circuit Judges.

FLAUM, Circuit Judge.

The Commissioner of Internal Revenue charged that attorney Thomas V. Cassidy had filed fraudulent tax returns for the years 1974 and 1975. A notice of deficiency was sent in June 1980. Cassidy challenged the deficiencies in the United States Tax Court, but before the case came to trial a bankruptcy petition was filed against Cassidy in the Central District of Illinois. The Tax Court proceedings were automatically stayed. 11 U.S.C. § 362(a). Cassidy was discharged from all dischargeable debts on March 13, 1984. 11 U.S.C. § 727. The bankruptcy court issued an order on April 13 lifting the stay to allow the Tax Court proceeding to go forward. 11 U.S.C. § 362(d).

Cassidy was uncooperative in the Tax Court proceeding. He refused to respond to discovery requests, failed to meet deadlines, and generally delayed the proceedings. When the Commissioner sent a Request to Admit under Tax Court Rule 90 (equivalent of Fed.R.Civ.P. 36), Cassidy did not respond within thirty days as required by the Rule. The matters asserted in the Request were therefore deemed admitted. Among the facts admitted by Cassidy's silence

Page 639

was the following: "Petitioner [Cassidy] fraudulently and with intent to evade taxes omitted from his income tax returns for the taxable years ended August 31, 1974 and August 31, 1975, a substantial portion of his gross income." Cassidy v. Commissioner, 51 T.C.M. (CCH) 784, 791 (1986). Although Cassidy did not respond to the Request to Admit, he did file a motion for dismissal or summary judgment based on his bankruptcy discharge.

The Tax Court denied Cassidy's motion, stating:

We summarily denied petitioner's motion because petitioner's contention is on its face inconsistent with the explanatory memorandum attached to petitioner's Discharge of Debtor order and the April 13, 1984, order issued by the same bankruptcy judge lifting the automatic stay to permit this case to go forward in the Tax Court. Moreover, the redetermination of an income tax deficiency has "nothing to do with collection of the tax nor any similarity to an action for collection of a debt * * *." Swanson v. Commissioner, 65 T.C. 1180, 1184 (1976). Accordingly, if there is any question as to the collectability of any income tax deficiencies, which we doubt, that question is beyond the jurisdiction of this Court. Graham v. Commissioner, 75 T.C. 389, 399 (1980).

Cassidy v. Commissioner, 51 T.C.M. (CCH) at 786 n. 3.

At trial in the Tax Court, Cassidy tried to avoid the consequences of his failure to respond to the Request to Admit by claiming that he had not received the Request untU less than 30 days before the case was called for trial, and that the facts should therefore not be deemed admitted. The Tax Court held an evidentiary hearing on that claim, and found that Cassidy "fabricated [his] testimony in an effort to avoid the consequences of [his] continued deliberate disregard for his responsibilities in connection with this case." 51 T.C.M. at 789. The facts involved were deemed admitted under Rule 90(c).

On the strength of those facts considered admitted, the Tax Court held that there was a deficiency as stated by the Commissioner, and that the tax returns were fraudulent, occasioning "additions to tax" under 26 U.S.C. § 6653(b) as a penalty.

Cassidy appealed to this Court. He challenged the Tax Court's ruling concerning the Request to Admit, and also argued that the entire debt was discharged in bankruptcy. In Cassidy v. Commissioner, 814 F.2d 477 (7th Cir.1987) (Cassidy I ), we affirmed the judgment of the Tax Court and ruled as follows: (1) the tax debt was not dischargeable in bankruptcy; (2) the fraud penalties connected with the taxes were not dischargeable; (3) the finding that Cassidy had over 30 days to answer the Request to Admit was not clearly erroneous; and (4) the facts deemed admitted supported the penalty for fraud.

Cassidy then returned to the bankruptcy court with a Complaint to Determine Dischargeability under Bankruptcy Rule 4007. In response to the Commissioner's argument that the Seventh Circuit had already dealt with the question, Cassidy contended that the Tax Court had no jurisdiction to consider dischargeability, and therefore the Seventh Circuit's comments were pure dicta with no preclusive effect. The bankruptcy judge granted the Commissioner's motion to dismiss on the res judicata effect of Cassidy I, stating that he would not second-guess the Court of Appeals.

On appeal to the district court, Cassidy advanced the same arguments. He was partially successful; instead of holding that Cassidy was barred by this court's view of dischargeability under res judicata, the district court held that Cassidy was barred under collateral estoppel by the Tax Court's factual finding of fraud, which dictated a finding of nondischargeability under 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(1)(C).

In this Court, Cassidy raises the same contentions. He also argues that this Court erred in holding that the penalty portion of the debt was nondischargeable in Cassidy I.

DISCUSSION

The district court took what appears to be the most reasonable approach

Page 640

to the resolution of this case: the court can rely on the factual finding of the Tax Court that Cassidy acted fraudulently when he filed his returns, which collaterally estops any contrary contentions. That finding supports the conclusion that the debt was not dischargeable under 11 U.S.C. § 523(a)(1)(C). This makes sense except for one matter not addressed by the parties or the district court: Tax Court Rule 90(f) states that

[a]ny admission made by a party under this Rule is for the purpose of the pending action only and is not an admission by him for any other purpose, nor may it be used against him in any other proceeding.

According to the rule, the admissions from the Tax Court proceeding cannot be used in the bankruptcy proceeding. It follows that the judgment of the Tax Court on that factual issue, which is based solely on the admissions, cannot be a bar in this later proceeding. 1

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304 practice notes
  • Jones v. Nat'l Council of Young Men's Christian Associations of the United States (“ymca of the United States”), an Ill. Not-For-Profit Corp., No. 09 C 06437
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 7th Circuit. United States District Court (Northern District of Illinois)
    • June 18, 2014
    ...in a forum designed for suitors seeking justice, to prevent litigants from ‘playing fast and loose with the courts.’ ” Matter of Cassidy, 892 F.2d 637, 641 (7th Cir.1990) (internal citations and quotations omitted). “Where a party assumes a certain position in a legal proceeding, and succee......
  • Phillips v. U.S. Equal Emp't Opportunity Comm'n, CIVIL NO. 3:15cv565
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Northern District of California
    • September 9, 2016
    ...Corp., 426 F.3d 887, 891 (7th Cir. 2005). The doctrine is designed to "prevent the perversion of the judicial process." In re Cassidy, 892 F.2d 637, 641 (7th Cir. 1990). It is clear that the doctrine of judicial estoppel should apply to bar a debtor from pursuing a claim not disclosed in a ......
  • Levin v. Ligon, No. A109477.
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • June 30, 2006
    ...an advantage by the manipulative assertion of inconsistent positions, factual or legal"]; see also In the Matter of Cassidy (7th Cir.1990) 892 F.2d 637, 641-642; Hardwick v. Cuomo (3rd Cir.1989) 891 F.2d 1097, 1105, fn. 14; Patriot Cinemas, Inc. v. General Cinema Corp. (1st Cir. 1987) 834 F......
  • Beem v. McKune, No. 00-3224.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (10th Circuit)
    • January 27, 2003
    ...of the judicial process." New Hampshire v. Maine, 532 U.S. 742, 750, 121 S.Ct. 1808, 149 L.Ed.2d 968 (2001) (quoting In re Cassidy, 892 F.2d 637, 641 (7th Cir.1990)). Several factors aid a court in determining when to apply judicial estoppel. "First, a party's later position must be `clearl......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
304 cases
  • Jones v. Nat'l Council of Young Men's Christian Associations of the United States (“ymca of the United States”), an Ill. Not-For-Profit Corp., No. 09 C 06437
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 7th Circuit. United States District Court (Northern District of Illinois)
    • June 18, 2014
    ...in a forum designed for suitors seeking justice, to prevent litigants from ‘playing fast and loose with the courts.’ ” Matter of Cassidy, 892 F.2d 637, 641 (7th Cir.1990) (internal citations and quotations omitted). “Where a party assumes a certain position in a legal proceeding, and succee......
  • Phillips v. U.S. Equal Emp't Opportunity Comm'n, CIVIL NO. 3:15cv565
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Northern District of California
    • September 9, 2016
    ...Corp., 426 F.3d 887, 891 (7th Cir. 2005). The doctrine is designed to "prevent the perversion of the judicial process." In re Cassidy, 892 F.2d 637, 641 (7th Cir. 1990). It is clear that the doctrine of judicial estoppel should apply to bar a debtor from pursuing a claim not disclosed in a ......
  • Levin v. Ligon, No. A109477.
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals
    • June 30, 2006
    ...an advantage by the manipulative assertion of inconsistent positions, factual or legal"]; see also In the Matter of Cassidy (7th Cir.1990) 892 F.2d 637, 641-642; Hardwick v. Cuomo (3rd Cir.1989) 891 F.2d 1097, 1105, fn. 14; Patriot Cinemas, Inc. v. General Cinema Corp. (1st Cir. 1987) 834 F......
  • Beem v. McKune, No. 00-3224.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (10th Circuit)
    • January 27, 2003
    ...of the judicial process." New Hampshire v. Maine, 532 U.S. 742, 750, 121 S.Ct. 1808, 149 L.Ed.2d 968 (2001) (quoting In re Cassidy, 892 F.2d 637, 641 (7th Cir.1990)). Several factors aid a court in determining when to apply judicial estoppel. "First, a party's later position must be `clearl......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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