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Hysell v. Internal Revenue Service

United States District Court, D. Columbia.

April 9, 2014


Douglas William Hysell, Plaintiff, Pro se, Coalings, CA USA.

For Internal Revenue Service, Defendant: Timothy E. Broomhead, LEAD ATTORNEY, U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, Washington, DC USA.

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RICHARD W. ROBERTS, Chief United States District Judge.

This matter is before the Court on Defendant's Renewed Motion for Summary Judgment [ECF No. 24]. For the reasons discussed below, the motion will be granted.


A. Douglas-William:Hysell and DOUGLAS WILLIAM HYSELL©

Plaintiff identifies himself as " Douglas-William of the Hysell Family, [A.K.A. Hysell, Douglas William and Douglas-William:Hysell]," who " is a real Natural Man upon the soil of the California Republic." Compl. at 1. He " is the Secured Party/Creditor and Holder-In-Due-Course of the Title to the Artificial Being/Entity, Ens Legis: DOUGLAS WILLIAM HYSELL® , and the only one with a valid claim, and registered priority security interest and priority lien, on DOUGLAS

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WILLIAM HYSELL® , ENS LEGIS." Id. According to plaintiff, " DOUGLAS WILLIAM HYSELL© . . . is separate and distinct from Douglas-William:Hysell, the natural, sentient, real flesh-and-blood human being/Man." Opp'n to Def.'s Renewed Mot. for Summ. J. [ECF No. 25] (" Pl.'s Opp'n" ) at 1; see id. at 3 (describing DOUGLASS WILIAM HYSELL as " a straw man, or dummy corporation created by the government . . . without the knowledge or intent of . . . Douglas-William Hysell" ).[1]

Plaintiff alleges that the Internal Revenue Service (" IRS" ) possesses " documents that contain information on DOUGLAS WILLIAM HYSELL® , EN LEGIS, with the Social Security Number [redacted]," Compl. at 3, and has not released them, see generally id. at 1-2, in response to any of his five requests, see generally id. at 2-3. He brings this action under the Freedom of Information Act (" FOIA" ), see 5 U.S.C. § 552, and now demands release of all the records he requested, see Compl. at 3.

B. The Master File and Non-Master File

To understand the handling of plaintiff's FOIA requests, it is helpful first to review defendant's descriptions of the relevant IRS systems of records. " The Master File is the IRS's official repository of taxpayer data" maintained on computers and microfilm. Def.'s Mem. of P. & A. in Supp. of its Renewed Mot. for Summ. J. [ECF No. 24] (" Def.'s Mem." ), Second Decl. of Mark G. Spiry (" Second Spiry Decl." ) ¶ 7. Its Non-Master File (" NMF" ) maintains " taxpayer accounts that the other master files cannot process." Second Spiry Decl. ¶ 16. " For example, the IRS uses the [NMF] when a taxpayer's account has too many transactions or dollar amounts that are too large for the other master files to handle." Id.

When the IRS " receives a return from a taxpayer, makes a tax assessment, receives a payment, makes a refund, or takes other actions related to a taxpayer," data is entered into the Master File and " is stored in a record referred to as an 'account' or a 'tax module,'" depending on the action taken. Id. ¶ 7.

Within the Master File " are repositories for specific types of taxpayers," such as the Individual Master File (" IMF" ) for " individual account and return data," and the Business Master File (" BMF" ) for corporations and other non-individual taxpayer data. Id. ¶ 8. The Master File also contains other databases, including the Audit Information Management System (" AIMS" ) for " records related to taxpayer examinations or audits." Id. ¶ 9.

One retrieves information from the Master File through " the IRS's Integrated Data Retrieval System (IDRS)," a computer system developed in the 1970s, " by entering a 'command code' into IDRS with a taxpayer identification number," such as a Social Security Number (" SSN" ) or an Employer Identification Number (" EIN" ). Id. ¶ 10. A command code is five or six letters in length, id. ¶ 11, and it may be an acronym or abbreviation " that roughly describe[s] the output information." Id. ¶ 14. " For example, the IMFOL command code stands for Individual Master File On-Line," and when it is used in conjunction with a SSN, " the system returns basic taxpayer identifying information and account

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information from the [IMF] for that individual." Id. A command code determines which database IDRS searches and the data IDRS retrieves. Id. ¶ 11. Search results appear " in a computer-created record referred to as a 'transcript'" viewable either on a computer screen or in hard copy form. Id. A transcript is a coded document, that is, " a collection of fields that are populated with data about the taxpayer" that the user deciphers by " consult[ing] a guide that tells . . . what the codes stand for and what information is in each field." Id.

" Depending on the command code entered into IDRS, [the user] can retrieve data from the Master File, which includes data from the Individual Master File, the Business Master File, [and] the Audit Information Management System," among other databases. Id. ¶ 12. Also accessible via IDRS are Wage and Information Returns Processing (" IRP" ), Pay Master, and Taxpayer Information Files (" TIF" ). IRP " contain[s] data from 'information returns," which are returns provided to the IRS by a third party that provide information regarding a taxpayer's possible tax liability." Id. ¶ 17. An example is a Form 1099-INT from a bank to report interest paid. See id. The Pay Master File " includes information regarding disclosures made by the IRS of taxpayer information protected by the Privacy Act." Id. ΒΆ 19. TIF " includes information regarding ...

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