Tax Court Denies Motion To Compel Discovery Again, And Again.

by: Anthony F. Della Pelle
18 Nov 2020

In a tax appeal involving a newer Quick Check gas station and convenience store, the defendant, Borough of Raritan, moved to compel additional discovery from the plaintiff. The Borough requested statements relating to the business operations at the property.  In support, the Borough argued that the information would assist its appraiser in adjusting comparable properties against the subject property. The court denied the motion finding the Borough failed to provide any evidence to support its argument.

The Borough moved for reconsideration, arguing that the court erred by overlooking an article in a publication by the Appraisal Institute referenced in the brief in support of the initial motion.  The Borough argued that the extraction of business income from realty income for the purpose of valuing a retail fuel station and convenience store has been favorably promoted by the Appraisal Institute.  The court disagreed finding the Borough failed to show how the requested discovery might be useful to its appraiser.  The court noted also that the Borough’s application was not supported by a certification of the appraiser.

In support of its motion for reconsideration, the Borough argued that because the Appraisal Institute saw fit to publish the cited article, the court was bound to accept the mere reference in its reply brief as support for an order requiring the disclosure of plaintiff’s operating statements.  The court disagreed concluding that not “every publication of the Appraisal Institute is, or should be, binding upon this court without more.”  The court found also that the Borough sought to support its motion for reconsideration by expanding the record to include evidence it could have brought in its original motion to compel.

A copy of the court’s decision in 11 QC Raritan, LLC by Quick Check v. Borough of Raritan may be found here.

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