Annotations 10/2008

(takings claim of property owner whose cabins were mistakenly enrolled in Bureau of Land Management's Adopt-A-Cabin program dismissed; private citizens took the plaintiffs' equipment not the federal government and plaintiffs failed to establish a property interest in the cabin or other structures on the land since at least 1997 due to non-compliance with BLM regulations).

(business concepts falling outside “machine-or-transformation” test for patentability are not patentable; but precise contours of machine implementation or when recitation of a computer suffices to tie a process claim to a particular machine left unresolved (i.e., tax strategy patents)).

(IRS appraisal valuation of facade easement upheld; penalty applied for gross valuation misstatement).

(above-median Chapter 13 debtor's plan must extend for five years; bankruptcy court erred by confirming debtor's plan as a four-year plan; court's holding is opposite the holding in In re Kagenveama, 541 F.3d 868 (9th Cir. 2008))

(Tennessee laws governing the wine industry are an unconstitutional violation of the dormant commerce clause and are affirmed in part, and vacated in part where; portion of laws banning the direct shipment of alcoholic beverages to consumers, including wine, upheld; but Tennessee's Grape and Wine Law is discriminatory on its face; case remanded to fashion an adequate remedy and to allow in-state wineries an opportunity to intervene).

(defendant's issuance of conditional use permit mining permit, approval of rezoning, certification of environmental impact report and approval of cancellation of Williamson Act contract for part of private ranch to be used as hard rock quarry improper; defendant failed to analyze adequacy of mitigation measures to address impacts on water, adequacy of mitigation measures with respect to traffic, cumulative impact on noise levels; and cumulative impacts in general).

(deductions denied for various business and personal expenses due to lack of substantiation, and expenses for which taxpayer’s wife could have received reimbursement from her employer are not deductible; use of portion of residence both for personal and business purposes does not meet exclusive use test; alleged farming activity did not constitute trade or business).

(two separate real estate purchase and sale agreements not enforceable for failure to violate the statute of frauds; inadequate legal description).

(court affirms state Department of Agriculture's order suspending plaintiff's livestock dealers license; plaintiff failed to maintain proper records for infected hogs, made false and misleading statements regarding the health of hogs and failed to disclose the health and physical condition of the hogs).

(Arabian horse breeding activity not engaged in for profit, thus losses not fully deductible; taxpayer had no experience in caring for and riding horses and no experience in the buying, selling or showing of horses and presented no evidence that she had consulted anyone regarding the economic or business aspects of breeding, training or showing horses; taxpayer paid both personal and horse activity expenses from same two or three personal checking accounts; no written business plan created; no financial projections maintained; no expectation of future increase in value of assets; taxpayer had high income as a physician and received a great deal of personal pleasure from the activity).

(defendant has right to clear an 80- foot swath of mature pine trees on plaintiffs' property in order to maintain natural gas pipeline pursuant to 1947 easement even though easement not utilized since 1947).

(case involves road improvement project; plaintiff's claim for damage to fence and vegetation not permitted because deed by which plaintiff obtained title to the property did not convey land within the road right-of-way; but defendant denied summary judgment on plaintiff's claims that project changed certain field access roads and driveway).

(case remanded to state court because only state law claims involved; complaint alleged negligence, private nuisance and trespass actions against defendant arising from disposal of treated sewer sludge on hundreds of acres of land abutting, adjoining or otherwise nearby plaintiffs' property).  

(creates new I.R.C. §9813, effective Oct. 9, 2009; requires health insurers to maintain coverage of dependent college students for up to one year after they begin a medically necessary leave of absence). 

(plaintiff (member of state legislature), unpaid president of board of directors of day-care center, found to be personally responsible for day- care’s unpaid payroll tax liability; plaintiff had significant involvement in day-care’s financial affairs and “willfully” failed to pay taxes; court imposed penalty for willful failure to pay tax).

(landowner who obtained release of owner's lot from terms of easement may construct dwelling on lot and sell the house and lot free of easement restrictions).

(court upholds trial court order which affirmed final order of State Board of Agriculture’s decision granting application for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation Permit). 

(trucking company not liable for employment taxes for its drivers; no employer-employee relationship; company qualified for Section 530 relief because company did not treat drivers as employees).

(plaintiff not entitled to easement by necessity over federal land (in Glacier National Park) to access plaintiff's property because plaintiff still has year-round access to his property, even though such access limited to non-motorized means in winter months; defendant's regulation of access supported by rational basis).

(petitioner conducted horse breeding activity in business-like manner as determined in accordance with nine-factor test; losses at issue incurred during start-up phase and due, in part, to unforeseen circumstances; losses fully deductible).

(defendant's resolution toughening criteria for obtaining exclusion from moratorium on construction of new homes constituted permanent taking of all economically beneficial use and violated state constitutional takings provision; defendant failed to meet burden of justifying moratorium).