The Gilbert Hyatt Case Inches Forward

Remember Gilbert Hyatt? Mr. Hyatt is the inventor who fled the Bronze Golden State seeking lower taxes. He filed a lawsuit against the Franchise Tax Board alleging that the FTB “…directed “numerous and continuous contacts … at Nevada” and committed several torts during the course of the audit, including invasion of privacy, outrageous conduct, abuse of process, fraud, and negligent misrepresentation.” This case was filed in 1998 and will finally go to trial in April.

Why did it take so long? Because the FTB claimed that it was immune from the lawsuit. That issue was litigated up to the US Supreme Court which ruled that the lawsuit could go forward.

We got some more news about the case in a roundabout way. The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported last week that the Clark County District Court is modernizing its computer system so that only sealed information is withheld from online computer records. Previously, if any information was sealed in a case all of the records were sealed. The first case chosen to see the public light was the Gilbert Hyatt case.

Everyone seems to be happy about the additional information becoming available. I am pleased because the Hyatt case is one where the FTB is alleged to have overreached and it will be interesting to see what happens when the case is tried.


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