United States v. Bond, No. 12-4803 (2d Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
The Liquidating Trustee filed a federal income tax refund claim in bankruptcy court. The bankruptcy court ruled that the Liquidating Trustee was entitled to a $3.8 million tax refund, and that the reorganization extinguished the government's setoff rights. The district court affirmed the refund but reversed the setoff rights. On appeal, the Liquidating Trustee sought a mandate directing affirmance of the final order of the bankruptcy court in toto, and argued that the issue of the bankruptcy court's subject matter jurisdiction over the refund claim was waived when the government withdrew its own appeal in this case. The court held that the bankruptcy court lacked jurisdiction over the Liquidating Trustee's refund claim and that the jurisdictional defense was not waived by the government's withdrawal of its appeal. The bankruptcy court lacked jurisdiction to award the refund because Congress authorized a bankruptcy estate, not a plan-appointed estate representative, to administratively exhaust a refund claim before bringing that claim in bankruptcy court, and because the refund claim here was not filed with the IRS by a bankruptcy trustee.