Friday, July 18, 2008
Court of Federal Claims Lacks Jurisdiction to Hear Whistleblower's Complaint That $139k Is Inadequate Award
John DaCosta and N.B. Salty Miller each received $139,321.01 from the IRS Whistleblower Office for information they provided about alleged tax violations by Margie Geddes. They are unhappy with the award and claim that the IRS already has recovered $2 million in taxes, penalties, and fines from Ms. Geddes and may ultimately recover $50 million. They filed a complaint in the Court of Federal Claims seeking an award of 15% of the amounts recovered by the IRS from Ms. Geddes. The court dismissed the case on the ground that the Tax Court has exclusive jurisdiction over whistleblower claims and that it lacked authority under 28 U.S.C. § 1631 to transfer the case because the Tax Court is not a true "court" for purposes of the statute. John Dacosta v. United States, No. 07-807T (Ct. Fed. Cl. 7/11/08). For a discussion of § 1631 in another context, see Paul L. Caron, Confronting Unforeseen Problems Under 28 U.S.C. § 1631: The Tenth Circuit Struggles to Properly Dispose of Tucker Act Claims Within the Exclusive Jurisdiction of the Claims Court, 1985 BYU L. Rev. 505.