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Dwight v. United States

UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS SECOND CIRCUIT.


decided: March 9, 1964.

L. CLYDE DWIGHT, LILA E. HOUSE DWIGHT, AND DORA H. SCHOENECK, EXECUTOR OF THE ESTATE OF LAURA E. HOUSE, PLAINTIFFS-APPELLANTS,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, DEFENDANT-APPELLEE.

Before SWAN, MOORE and SMITH, Circuit Judges.

Per Curiam.

Plaintiffs appeal from a judgment dismissing their complaint in an action against the United States for refund of federal income taxes. They are transferees of a corporation, L. House & Sons Co., Inc., which realized a capital gain on condemnation of its real estate in Syracuse, N.Y. They contend that the gain was not realized until February 1958, when the condemnation award was paid, and that the gain was exempted from taxation by section 337 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, 26 U.S.C.A. ยง 337.*fn1 The United States contends that the gain was realized in February 1956 when the property was condemned. Judge Brennan so held in an opinion reported in 225 F. Supp. 933.*fn2

The present appeal is governed by this court's recent decision in Wendell et al. v. C.I.R., 2 Cir., 326 F.2d 600 (1964). There the condemnation was by the City of New York and the procedure was such as to give the property owner notice of the intended condemnation. Here, condemnation of the corporation's property was effected under section 30 of the Highway Law, 24 McKinney's Consolidated Law of New York Annotated, c. 25, by filing a map and description of the property in the office of the county clerk of Onondaga County on February 6, 1956. Hence the corporation had no opportunity to adopt a plan of liquidation before condemnation, and the conditions of section 337 could not be met. This may appear a harsh result, but if it is to be corrected Congress must act; the courts have no power to do so.

The judgment is affirmed on the authority of the Wendell decision.


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