Businessman John K. Baldwin has agreed to hold off on his $5-million federal tax refund lawsuit against the U.S. government after both parties agreed to negotiate for settlement in the case.
U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona granted last week the parties’ joint motion to stay the case.
The case will be stayed indefinitely and all deadlines are immediately suspended.
The judge ordered the parties to file a joint status report within 90 days unless they move to dismiss the case by that time.
Baldwin and the U.S. government, through their respective counsels Deborah Deitsch-Perez and Landon M. Yost, informed the court last week that, on Sept. 5, 2012, after several days of settlement discussions and proposals by both sides, Baldwin made a settlement offer to the U.S. government.
The parties said that if the offer is accepted, all of the issues are deemed resolved.
The trial counsel for the U.S. government will recommend acceptance of the settlement offer.
Following the Tax Division’s procedures for reviewing a settlement offer, the offer will then go to the chief of the Trial Section, then to the Office of Review of the Tax Division, the assistant attorney general of the Tax Division, and the Joint Committee on Taxation.
If the Joint Committee on Taxation indicates that it has no adverse criticism of the offer, then the process is complete and the offer would be officially accepted at that point.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit last week ruled that the federal court abused its discretion in ordering a government representative to appear in person for an initial settlement conference in Baldwin’s lawsuit.
Article source: http://www.saipantribune.com/newsstory.aspx?cat=1&newsID=121962