Legal Memorandum: Waiver of Strict Compliance with an OIC

Issue: Under federal law, may a court conclude that the IRS has waived its right to seek strict compliance with an Offer in Compromise (OIC)?

Area of Law: Tax Law
Keywords: Waive strict compliance; Compromise agreements; Offer in Compromise (OIC)
Jurisdiction: Federal
Cited Cases: 372 F.2d 352; 108 A.D. 330; 180 F.2d 878; 101 A. 1002; 286 F.2d 258; 316 A.2d 394; 450 A.2d 351; 95 F.2d 622; 152 Cal. Rptr. 98
Cited Statutes: None
Date: 04/01/2014

Due to the sovereign immunity of Native American tribes, it is frequently unlikely that suit may be brought in either state or federal court.  The case of Cohen v. Little Six, Inc., 543 N.W.2d 376 (Minn. Ct. App. 1996), concerned a casino patron who filed a personal injury action against the tribal corporation that operated a casino (Mystic Lake) on the tribe’s reservation.  As the plaintiff in that case entered Mystic Lake and attempted to sit on a chair in front of a slot machine, the chair “snapped from underneath her,” and Cohen fell to the floor.  Id. at 378.  Cohen claimed that the fall caused injuries requiring hospitalization, and she brought a personal injury action against Little Six, Inc. (LSI), a corporation created by tribal ordinance and owned and controlled by the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community.  The community is a federally-recognized Indian tribe, which operates under a constitution approved by the Secretary of the Interior, and the casino is located on reservation land.  The principal issue before the appellate court turned on whether LSI enjoyed the same immunity as the tribe.  The court held that it did not matter that the corporation was named as the defendant rather than the tribe itself, because the corporation stood in the same shoes as the tribe for purposes of sovereign immunity.  Id. at 382.

The trial court in the Cohen case had dismissed Cohen’s lawsuit for want of jurisdiction on immunity grounds, and the appellate court affirmed.  […]

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