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Davis v. United States

August 5, 2008

CARL R. DAVIS ET AL., PLAINTIFFS,
v.
UNITED STATES ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Ricardo M. Urbina United States District Judge

Document Nos: 9, 18, 19

MEMORANDUM OPINION GRANTING THE DEFENDANTS'MOTION TO DISMISS; DENYING THE PLAINTIFFS'MOTION FOR JUDICIAL NOTICE; DENYING AS MOOT THE PLAINTIFFS'MOTIONS FOR A FAIR AND IMPARTIAL HEARING,TRIAL OR RULING;ORDERING THE PLAINTIFFS TO SEEK LEAVE OF COURT BEFORE FILING FURTHER COMPLAINTS

I. INTRODUCTION

The plaintiffs Carl Roger Davis and Jo Elaine Davis are suing the United States, the Department of the Treasury, the Internal Revenue Service ("IRS"), the Department of Justice, James "Tony" Strother, Timothy Noonan, Does 1 though 5 and three sections of the Internal Revenue Code ("IRC").*fn1 Before the court are the defendants' motion to dismiss and the plaintiffs' motions for judicial notice, for a fair and impartial hearing, trial or ruling and to expedite ruling. Because the court lacks jurisdiction to grant declaratory or injunctive relief regarding the enforcement of the IRC, the court dismisses those claims seeking such relief. Additionally, because the statute of limitations bars the plaintiffs' claims seeking monetary damages, the court dismisses those claims. The court denies the plaintiffs' motion for judicial notice because the pendency of bills in Congress is irrelevant to these proceedings. As there is no additional relief the court can grant the plaintiffs, their motions for a fair and impartial hearing, trial or ruling and to expedite ruling are moot. The court further orders the plaintiffs to seek leave of the court before filing any additional complaints regarding the enforcement of the IRC or the actions of the IRS.

II. FACTUAL & PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

The plaintiffs allege that between October 2000 and January 2005, the IRS, through Special Agents Noonan and Strother and Does 1 through 5, conducted a series of investigatory activities regarding the plaintiffs' taxes from 1992-2000. First Am. Compl. ¶¶ 1-20. On September 28, 2007, the plaintiffs filed this action, their fourth essentially identical suit, attacking the validity of several section of the IRC and the IRS. They seek to enjoin the defendants from continuing this investigation and ask the court to declare various sections of the IRC unconstitutional. Id. ¶¶ 33, 40, 47, 71, 93, 108, 119, 123. The defendants filed a motion to dismiss in early December, after which the plaintiffs filed their first amended complaint. The defendants filed a new motion to dismiss on January 2, 2008. The plaintiffs timely filed an opposition and the defendants replied.

In February, the plaintiffs filed proposed findings of fact largely reiterating the allegations in their complaint. On March 3, they filed a "mandatory judicial notice" which the defendants promptly opposed. In late March, the plaintiffs filed a "motion for fair and impartial rulings." On April 4, the federal government initiated criminal proceedings against the plaintiffs for tax evasion, and the plaintiffs filed a "motion to expedite ruling" in this court on June 2. The court now addresses the pending motions.

III. ANALYSIS

A. The Court Lacks Jurisdiction to Grant Declaratory or Injunctive Relief

1. Legal Standard for Rule 12(b)(1) Motion to Dismiss

Federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction and the law presumes that "a cause lies outside this limited jurisdiction." Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins. Co. of Am., 511 U.S. 375, 377 (1994); St. Paul Mercury Indem. Co. v. Red Cab Co., 303 U.S. 283, 288-89 (1938); see also Gen. Motors Corp. v. Envtl. Prot. Agency, 363 F.3d 442, 448 (D.C. Cir. 2004) (noting that "[a]s a court of limited jurisdiction, we begin, and end, with an examination of our jurisdiction"). Because "subject-matter jurisdiction is an 'Art. III as well as a statutory requirement[,] no action of the parties can confer subject-matter jurisdiction upon a federal court.'" Akinseye v. District of Columbia, 339 F.3d 970, 971 (D.C. Cir. 2003) (quoting Ins. Corp. of Ir., Ltd. v. Compagnie des Bauxite de Guinea, 456 U.S. 694, 702 (1982)). On a motion to dismiss for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction pursuant to Rule 12(b)(1), the plaintiff bears the burden of establishing by a preponderance of the evidence that the court has subject-matter jurisdiction. Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife, 504 U.S. 555, 561 (1992). The court may dismiss a complaint for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction only if "it appears beyond doubt that the plaintiff can prove no set of facts in support of his claim which would entitle him to relief." Empagran S.A. v. F. Hoffman-Laroche, Ltd., 315 F.3d 338, 343 (D.C. Cir. 2003) (quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 45-46 (1957)).

Because subject-matter jurisdiction focuses on the court's power to hear the claim, however, the court must give the plaintiff's factual allegations closer scrutiny when resolving a Rule 12(b)(1) motion than would be required for a Rule 12(b)(6) motion for failure to state a claim. Macharia v. United States, 334 F.3d 61, 64, 69 (D.C. Cir. 2003); Grand Lodge of Fraternal Order of Police v. Ashcroft, 185 F. Supp. 2d 9, 13 (D.D.C. 2001). Thus, the court is not limited to the allegations contained in the complaint. Hohri v. United States, 782 F.2d 227, 241 (D.C. Cir. 1986), vacated on other grounds, 482 U.S. 64 (1987). When necessary, the court may consider the complaint supplemented by undisputed facts evidenced in the record, or the complaint supplemented by undisputed facts plus the court's resolution of disputed facts. Herbert v. Nat'l Acad. of Scis., 974 F.2d 192, 197 (D.C. Cir. 1992).

2. The Court Cannot Issue Injunctive or Declaratory Relief Because the AIA & DJA Override the APA

The plaintiffs assert that the Administrative Procedures Act ("APA"), 5 U.S.C. §§ 701 et seq., provides jurisdiction for their claims. First Am. Compl. at 4, 8-9. The defendants argue that the APA is inapplicable here and, therefore, the plaintiffs have failed to establish jurisdiction. Defs.' Mot. at 5-6. Specifically, they contend that the APA cannot provide jurisdiction because it does not waive sovereign immunity in tax cases. This is because the Anti Injunction Act ("AIA"), 26 U.S.C. § 7421, and the Declaratory Judgment Act ("DJA"), 28 U.S.C. § 2201, override the APA's waiver of immunity and deny district courts the ability to issue injunctive and declaratory relief. Id. at 7. In response, the plaintiffs argue that they raise their claims under the APA, which is absolute. Pls.' Opp'n at 9, 15-16. They also maintain that their ...


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