WASHINGTON, February 7, 2015—New Mexico’s Eddy County Sheriff Scott London notified the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) via letter that the sale of county resident Kent Carter’s property is canceled until Carter receives due process of law and his appeal is heard.The basic facts of the story are:
- The IRS won a tax judgment against one Kent Carter
- Mr. Carter is appealing that judgment
- Mr. Carter can't afford a lawyer and is representing himself
- Mr. Carter didn't know he had to file a special form to keep his property from being sold while he appealed the case, because he's not a lawyer
- The case is going to get an hearing
- In the mean time the IRS sent armed marshals out to seize the land in question and the local sheriff (our hero) Scott London was called out to protect the people living in a trailer on the land in question.
- The marshals threatened to jail the sheriff but he didn't back down
- The property seized in this manner is sold at what is known as a "sheriff's auction"
- The sheriff still refuses to allow the property to be auctioned until the case works its way thru the appeals process and Mr. Carter receives his full due process rights
Sheriff London's point, that he had to make in the face armed men who were threatening him, is that a citizen has a right to due process before his property can be taken from him. Good on Scott London. It would have been easier to go along to get along. The easy way and nominally legal route out of a tricky situation would have been to cave in to the feds. Thank you for standing your ground and doing the right thing.