November 1, 2014

Kentucky Court of Appeals Reiterates Administrative Agencies Are Not Indispensable Parties to Judicial Appeals

Written By

by Erica Horn & Jordan Green

In Eye v. Board of Tax Appeals, Ky. Ct. App., No. 2013-CA-000170-MR (Oct. 31, 2014) (not to be published), the Kentucky Court of Appeals affirmed the circuit court’s dismissal of various administrative parties named in a taxpayer’s property tax appeal and the dismissal of the taxpayer’s request for declaratory and injunctive relief. The Court held including such parties in the appeal and addressing such claims was unnecessary for the circuit court to grant the relief requested by the taxpayer.

Jason Eye, the taxpayer, appealed to the Jefferson Circuit Court the decision of the Kentucky Board of Tax Appeals (“Board”), which denied his request to vacate a settlement agreement he reached with the Jefferson County Property Valuation Administrator (“PVA”) on the grounds that the Board’s hearing officer caused him to sign the agreement under extreme duress. As parties from whom he sought relief, Eye named various administrative agencies including the Board, the Department of Revenue, and the Jefferson County Local Board of Assessment Appeal (the “Local Board”), as well as certain individuals and officials of those agencies. The Court affirmed the circuit court’s dismissal of the administrative agencies and the individuals based on LWD Equipment, Inc. v. Revenue Cabinet, 136 S.W.3d 472 (Ky. 2004), in which the Kentucky Supreme Court held that naming an agency as a party on appeal is unnecessary because the agency would be bound by the decision of the reviewing court.

The Court further upheld the circuit court’s dismissal of Eye’s separate request for declaratory and injunctive relief finding that the relief sought could have been obtained by Eye at the circuit court by that court remanding the case to the Board. Therefore, the relief sought was superfluous.