Conforte v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, No. A-584

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Writing for the CourtJustice REHNQUIST
Citation459 U.S. 1309,103 S.Ct. 663,74 L.Ed.2d 588
PartiesJoseph CONFORTE v. COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE
Docket NumberNo. A-584
Decision Date12 January 1983

74 L.Ed.2d 588
103 S.Ct. 663
459 U.S. 1309
Joseph CONFORTE

v.

COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE.

No. A-584.
Jan. 12, 1983.

Justice REHNQUIST, Circuit Justice.

This controversy began when the IRS issued tax deficiencies and penalties against applicant and his wife for the years 1973 through 1976. The Confortes filed tax returns for the years in question stating a "net income," but without disclosing their gross income and deductions; they claimed these details would be incriminating. Based on projections of income and expenses, the IRS determined that the Confortes had a greater tax liability than their "net income" revealed.

The Confortes petitioned to the Tax Court for a redetermination. That court sustained the calculations made by the IRS. 74 T.C. 1160 (1980). Pursuant to 26 U.S.C. § 7482 (1976 & Supp.IV 1980), the Confortes appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. 692 F.2d 587 (1982). On November 5, 1982, the Court of Appeals affirmed in part and re-

Page 1310

versed in part as to Mrs. Conforte. Applicant's appeal, however, was dismissed. Applicant seeks a stay of that dismissal.

The Court of Appeals found that applicant is a fugitive from justice for convictions on four counts of willfully attempting to evade federal employment taxes. See United States v. Conforte, 624 F.2d 869 (9th Cir.1980). Relying on this Court's decision in Molinaro v. New Jersey, 396 U.S. 365, 90 S.Ct. 498, 24 L.Ed.2d 586 (1970) (per curiam), the court held that as a fugitive from justice applicant should not be allowed to prosecute an appeal in the federal courts.

The court rejected applicant's argument that Molinaro only applies to appeals from criminal convictions. The court noted that "the rule should apply with greater force in civil cases where an individual's liberty is not at stake," 692 F.2d, at 589, and cited a series of cases from the Courts of Appeals so holding. See Doyle v. Department of Justice, 668 F.2d 1365 (CADC 1981) (per curiam ), cert. denied, --- U.S. ----, 102 S.Ct. 1636, 71 L.Ed.2d 870 (1982); Broadway v. City of Montgomery, 530 F.2d 657 (CA5 1976); United States v. Commanding Officer, 496 F.2d 324 (CA1 1974). The court also said it need not determine whether Molinaro would apply where the criminal conviction and the civil appeal are unrelated because here the issues of the two cases "are each related components of a general tax evasion scheme." 692 F.2d, at 590. Finally, relying on its own decisions in United States v. Wood, 550 F.2d 435 (9th Cir.1976), and Johnson v. Laird, 432 F.2d 77 (9th Cir.1970), the court held that Molinaro is not limited to discretionary appeals.

The Court of Appeals did not leave applicant without recourse. The court ruled that "[i]f within 56 days he submits himself to the jurisdiction of the District Court of Nevada [the court from which he is a fugitive], he may move to reinstate his appeal." 692 F.2d, at 590. With a three day extension because of the New Year's Eve holiday, the 56 days expired on January 3,...

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18 practice notes
  • Prevot, In re, Nos. 94-5854
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (6th Circuit)
    • 7 Septiembre 1995
    ...Brinlee v. U.S., 483 F.2d 925, 926 (8th Cir.1973). See also Conforte v. Commissioner, 692 F.2d 587, 590 (9th Cir.1982), stay denied, 459 U.S. 1309, 103 S.Ct. 663, 74 L.Ed.2d 588 (1983). B. Disentitlement of access to appellate courts. The doctrine was first applied in the federal courts by ......
  • Mondy v. Secretary of Army, No. 86-5644
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (District of Columbia)
    • 26 Abril 1988
    ...equities may not weigh in favor of a plaintiff who counts on "same day service," Conforte v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, 459 U.S. 1309, 1311, 103 S.Ct. 663, 664, 74 L.Ed.2d 588 (1983), Mondy's behavior did not set up any such photo-finish. The Army does not assert that it ha......
  • U.S. v. Forty-Five Thousand Nine Hundred Forty Dollars ($45,940) in U.S. Currency, FORTY-FIVE
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
    • 11 Julio 1984
    ...F.2d 1365 (D.C.Cir.1981) (per curiam), cert. denied, 455 U.S. 1002, 102 S.Ct. 1636, 71 L.Ed.2d 870 (1982) ]." Conforte v. C.I.R., 459 U.S. 1309, 103 S.Ct. 663, 664, 74 L.Ed.2d 588 In Doyle v. Department of Justice, supra, the appellant failed to appear for service of his sentence. A be......
  • State of Md. Deposit Ins. Fund Corp. v. Billman, No. 143
    • United States
    • Maryland Court of Appeals
    • 17 Octubre 1990
    ...U.S. 1086, 106 S.Ct. 863, 88 L.Ed.2d 901 (1986); Conforte v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, 692 F.2d 587 (9th Cir.1982), stay denied, 459 U.S. 1309, 103 S.Ct. 663, 74 L.Ed.2d 588 (1983) (Rehnquist, J., opinion in chambers); Arana v. United States Immigration & Naturalization Serv., 6......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
18 cases
  • Prevot, In re, Nos. 94-5854
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (6th Circuit)
    • 7 Septiembre 1995
    ...Brinlee v. U.S., 483 F.2d 925, 926 (8th Cir.1973). See also Conforte v. Commissioner, 692 F.2d 587, 590 (9th Cir.1982), stay denied, 459 U.S. 1309, 103 S.Ct. 663, 74 L.Ed.2d 588 (1983). B. Disentitlement of access to appellate courts. The doctrine was first applied in the federal courts by ......
  • Mondy v. Secretary of Army, No. 86-5644
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (District of Columbia)
    • 26 Abril 1988
    ...equities may not weigh in favor of a plaintiff who counts on "same day service," Conforte v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, 459 U.S. 1309, 1311, 103 S.Ct. 663, 664, 74 L.Ed.2d 588 (1983), Mondy's behavior did not set up any such photo-finish. The Army does not assert that it ha......
  • U.S. v. Forty-Five Thousand Nine Hundred Forty Dollars ($45,940) in U.S. Currency, FORTY-FIVE
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (2nd Circuit)
    • 11 Julio 1984
    ...F.2d 1365 (D.C.Cir.1981) (per curiam), cert. denied, 455 U.S. 1002, 102 S.Ct. 1636, 71 L.Ed.2d 870 (1982) ]." Conforte v. C.I.R., 459 U.S. 1309, 103 S.Ct. 663, 664, 74 L.Ed.2d 588 In Doyle v. Department of Justice, supra, the appellant failed to appear for service of his sentence. A be......
  • State of Md. Deposit Ins. Fund Corp. v. Billman, No. 143
    • United States
    • Maryland Court of Appeals
    • 17 Octubre 1990
    ...U.S. 1086, 106 S.Ct. 863, 88 L.Ed.2d 901 (1986); Conforte v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, 692 F.2d 587 (9th Cir.1982), stay denied, 459 U.S. 1309, 103 S.Ct. 663, 74 L.Ed.2d 588 (1983) (Rehnquist, J., opinion in chambers); Arana v. United States Immigration & Naturalization Serv., 6......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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