Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Maloney v. Tunnell

filed: January 25, 1955.

WILLIAM J. MALONEY, APPELLANT,
v.
JAMES M. TUNNELL, SR., AS ADMINISTRATOR CUM TESTAMENTO ANNEXO OF THE ESTATE OF NORMAN COLLISON, FORMERLY COLLECTOR OF INTERNAL REVENUE FOR THE COLLECTION DISTRICT OF DELAWARE, SUBSTITUTED APPELLEE, AND ERNEST E. KILLEN, PRESENT COLLECTOR OF INTERNAL REVENUE FOR THE COLLECTION DISTRICT OF DELAWARE, AND FRANCES P. GRAHAM, PRESENTLY DIRECTOR OF INTERNAL REVENUE, WILMINGTON, DELAWARE OFFICE, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, INTERVENOR.



Author: Goodrich

Before GOODRICH and KALODNER, Circuit Judges, and LORD, District Judge

GOODRICH, Circuit Judge.

This is a family partnership case. The Commissioner assessed a deficiency against the taxpayer for the years 1946 and 1947 on the theory that the business carried on under the name Maloney Leather Company was not a partnership for the purposes of the federal income tax law. The taxpayer, William J. Maloney, Sr., paid the assessment and brought suit in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware to recover what he claimed was erroneously assessed against him. The jury returned a verdict for the defendant and the taxpayer appeals.

The trial court, in submitting this case to the jury, asked them a number of specific questions. The fifth interrogatory*fn1 which he asked the jury was:

"Did Mr. Maloney make valid and bona fide gifts to his wife and son which were used and invested in the Maloney Leather Company business?

"You will answer that question 'yes' or 'no' as to each of the two persons as follows:

"(a) As to Mrs. Maloney:

...

(Answer 'Yes' or 'No')

"(b) As to Mr. Maloney, Jr.:

...

(Answer 'Yes' or 'No')"

The jury returned a negative answer as to both Mrs. Maloney and Mr. Maloney, Jr. These two persons were the other members of the alleged partnership in addition to the taxpayer.

Appellant's theory now is that there was evidence from which the jury could have come to a conclusion favorable to him upon this fifth interrogatory. If so, he says, a finding of partnership would have been required. The jury was prevented from doing so, the appellant argues, because of errors which were committed by the district court in the course of the trial.

The appellant first complains of various errors made by the court in its charge to the jury. It is a serious question whether the appellant is in a position to complain of these alleged errors. Through his counsel he made a blanket objection to almost all the requests for instructions to the jury which the defendant submitted and the court granted.*fn2 It is clear under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 28 U.S.C., that a general objection without giving reasons therefor is insufficient. Fed. Rules Civ.Proc. rule 51. It appears, from the list of instructions asked for by the plaintiff, that the parts of the charge now objected to were contained in such request for instructions. This is emphatically not a case where there is such obvious miscarriage of justice that the court should listen to objections pointing out what now appears to be error although not noticed at the time of the trial.

Even if we do not turn our backs upon the complaint concerning the instructions because of the rule just discussed the appellant fares no better.

There are three points here. The first is that the trial judge had imposed upon plaintiff the burden*fn3 of proving "that the business was benefited" by its change from individual ownership to partnership form. The best answer to this is to look and see just what the judge said. Here it is:

"When I speak of a 'business purpose', I mean whether any purpose for the benefit of the partnership was served by the alleged inclusion of the wife and son as partners herein."

We do not see in this statement a requirement that the business enterprise must be benefited by or improved by changing into a partnership. We think rather that the understanding of the jury or anybody else from the words quoted is that the formation of the partnership must be to conduct a business enterprise, which is certainly what a commercial partnership is. We see no basis for the ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.