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You've Been (Improperly) Served: Appeals Dismissed in Oregon and Wisconsin for Improper Service

In two procedural cases, appellate courts in Oregon and Wisconsin dismissed taxpayer appeals for using improper service methods, despite the fact that the Department of Revenue in each case actually received the notice of appeal.

The Oregon Sup

September 25, 2012

In two procedural cases, appellate courts in Oregon and Wisconsin dismissed taxpayer appeals for using improper service methods, despite the fact that the Department of Revenue in each case actually received the notice of appeal.

The Oregon Supreme Court dismissed an appeal from the Tax Court, finding that the taxpayer failed to properly serve the notice of appeal even though the taxpayer e-filed the notice of appeal and emailed a courtesy copy to opposing counsel (which they admitted receiving). Ann Sacks Tile and Stone, Inc. v. Dep’t of Revenue, Case No. SC S060039 (Or. 2012).  The court held, based on the procedural rules, that service via the e-filing system is invalid for “initiating” documents, such as a notice of appeal, and that the email service was invalid because the rules required a prior written agreement among the parties allowing email service. 

The Wisconsin Court of Appeals dismissed an appeal by a pro se taxpayer from the Tax Appeals Commission, finding that the taxpayer failed to properly serve the notice of appeal because he only served the Department of Revenue by regular mail instead of certified mail. Lee v. Wisconsin Dep’t of Revenue, Case No. 2011AP2086 (Wis. Ct. App. 2012). The taxpayer had properly served the Tax Appeals Commission via certified mail, but the rules required service by certified mail on both the Commission and the Department of Revenue.

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