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socrateaser
socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: Tax
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Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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The Hawaii Tax Appeal Court ruled in my favor regarding property

Resolved Question:

The Hawaii Tax Appeal Court ruled in my favor regarding property tax assessments made outside law, but refused to hand down judgment. The County failed to redress,citing lack of judgment, and did not refund excessive taxes paid, and place lien on property. What can i do to protect my property from illegal actions by the County?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  socrateaser replied 2 years ago.
You would file a motion for preliminary injunction to prevent the county from attempting to foreclose the lien against you, pending the outcome of your complaint. This is a fairly commonplace occurrence, but it is not a particularly easy motion to file. You must show the court that you are more than likely to prevail on the merits of your claim at trial. It may be that the tax court's previous ruling could provide you with the necessary evidence.

Hope this helps.

NOTICE: My goal here is to entertain while educating the public about the law. Your positive feedback to the website is appreciated. If you need to contact me again, please put my user id at the beginning of your question ("To Socrateaser"), and the system will send me an alert. Please Click the following link for IMPORTANT LEGAL INFORMATION. Thanks and best wishes!
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
To socrateaser The County has responded to the petition with a motion for dismissal, claiming that the Circuit Court lacks jurisdiction. Although the County has violated my civil rights since 2007, it claims that I had to challenge the illegitimate assessments for each and every year. Since I have proved to the Tax Appeal Court that the assessments were invalid and cannot be enforced, the onus is the County to redress. While I appreciate your response, I do not believe it is detailed enough, because historically, and from my limited experience, Motions for preliminary injuctions rarely suceed, particularly in such instances.
The trial is set 6 months from now ,because I am a Canadian snowbird. The attorneys for the County are very subversive, with creative interpretations, and a pension for circumventing and "cherry picking" the law. They managed to get the Tax Appeal Court to agree to a" modestly" retro active application of newly promulgated rules for part time residents, in a recent challenge.
Expert:  socrateaser replied 2 years ago.
Thanks for your additional info, however, I don't see a question.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I have just received in recent days, a proposed " stipulated judgment" from the County attorney, which waves the right to further action or claims for damages, attorney fees or costs. I have suffered 5 years of illegitimate tax billings, at least 3 years of illegitimate assessments which cannot be enforced, and a fraudulent lien on my home.I did my due diligence by going to the Tax Appeal Court, but the Court failed to follow thru and hand down a judgm,ent after ruling,with no reason given. Do I not have some legal recourse to collect damages from the County for flouting the law even after a clear ruling from the Court. Is there any legal basisfor the County position that it cannot restore the " Home Exemption" and redress the illegalities without a judgment?
Expert:  socrateaser replied 2 years ago.
Do I not have some legal recourse to collect damages from the County for flouting the law even after a clear ruling from the Court.

A: Damages come in two basic flavors: compensatory, which is the recovery that makes the plaintiff whole for his/her injuries, and punitive, which is the means by which a defendant is discouraged from future wrongful action. Compensatory damages would be a refund of the taxes, interest and penalities unlawfully paid, and reasonable attorney's fees and costs, if allowed by statute. Punitive damages against the government would require proof of willful and malicious acts by a specific person or persons, undertaking within the scope of government authority. This is nearly impossible to obtain, because the government can almost always successfully argue that either its actions were not willful or malicious, or that the acts of the individual were outside the scope of their lawful authority -- so, you would have to sue them as an individual to collect punitive damages (and the individual may not have the money to pay a judgment, leaving you as having wasted your time).

Is there any legal basis for the County position that it cannot restore the " Home Exemption" and redress the illegalities without a judgment?

A: Property tax protests generally must be made separately for each year where an error is alleged (on or before Jan 15, based upon the county assessment previously sent on or before Dec 15), and failure to do so, operates as a bar to recovery. So, without your having challenged the county during each tax year, there could be no recovery on any exemption.

Note: The fact that the county is offering a stipulated judgment suggests that it may view a risk of substanital loss if you proceed with the case. However, it could also be simply a means of reducing the litigation cost of defending the case.

Your circumtances are extremely complex. I would need to review the entire case file to be more specific. And, that's out of scope for this forum.

Hope this helps.

NOTICE: My goal here is to entertain while educating the public about the law. Your positive feedback to the website is appreciated. If you need to contact me again, please put my user id at the beginning of your question ("To Socrateaser"), and the system will send me an alert. Please Click the following link for IMPORTANT LEGAL INFORMATION. Thanks and best wishes!

socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 34860
Experience: Retired (mostly)
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