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United States v. Kramer

United States District Court, S.D. Ohio, Eastern Division

August 18, 2017

United States of America, Plaintiff,
v.
Launce B. Kramer, et al., Defendants.

          Elizabeth P. Deavers Magistrate Judge.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          MICHAEL H. WATSON, JUDGE.

         The United States of America ("Plaintiff") brings this action to collect from Launce B. Kramer ("Launce"), [1] individually, the unpaid balance of assessments of federal income taxes, penalties, and interest for tax years 1999, 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009, and the unpaid 26 U.S.C. § 6702 penalties for tax years 1999, 2006, 2007, and 2012, for a total of $182, 605.80, plus interest from and after December 1, 2015. Plaintiff also seeks to collect from Launce and Carmen C. Kramer ("Carmen, " and together, "Defendants"), jointly and severally, the unpaid balance of assessments of federal income taxes, penalties, and interest for tax years 2010 and 2011, for a total of $73, 956.30, plus interest from and after December 1, 2015. Plaintiff seeks a declaration that tax liens have attached to certain property in Washington County, Ohio, and seeks to enforce the liens through a judicial sale of the property. Plaintiff moves for summary judgment, ECF No. 33, and Defendants move to dismiss, ECF No. 30. For the following reasons, the Court GRANTS Plaintiffs motion and DENIES Defendants' motion.

         I. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         The standard governing summary judgment is set forth in Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(a), which provides: "The court shall grant summary judgment if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a).

         The Court must grant summary judgment if the opposing party fails to make a showing sufficient to establish the existence of an element essential to that party's case and on which that party will bear the burden of proof at trial. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986); see also Van Gorder v. Grand Trunk W. R.R., Inc., 509 F.3d 265 (6th Cir. 2007).

         When reviewing a summary judgment motion, the Court must draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the nonmoving party, who must set forth specific facts showing there is a genuine dispute of material fact for trial, and the Court must refrain from making credibility determinations or weighing the evidence. Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986); Pittman v. Cuyahoga Cnty. Dept. of Children and Family Sen/., 640 F.3d 716, 723 (6th Cir. 2011). The Court disregards all evidence favorable to the moving party that the jury would not be required to believe. Reeves v. Sanderson Plumbing Prods., Inc., 530 U.S. 133, 150-51 (2000). Summary judgment will not lie if the dispute about a material fact is genuine, "that is, if the evidence is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986); Barrett v. Whirlpool Corp., 556 F.3d 502, 511 (6th Cir. 2009).

         II. ANALYSIS

In pursuing recovery based on an assessment, plaintiff is awarded an initial presumption of correctness for its assessment, placing the burden of disproving such assessment on the taxpayer. The taxpayer usually has the burden of producing evidence to refute the validity of an assessment. In addition, the taxpayer has the burden of persuasion by a preponderance of the evidence that the assessment is not correct.

United States v. Banks, No. 2:08-cv-638, 2010 WL 3365922, at *2 (S.D. Ohio Aug. 24, 2010) (internal quotation marks and citations omitted).

         In support of its motion for summary judgment, Plaintiff submitted a declaration from IRS Revenue Officer Elizabeth Granados ("Granados"), Granados Deck, ECF No. 33-3, and various IRS transcripts for the pertinent tax periods, Trans., ECF Nos. 33-4-33-14. In her declaration, Granados states that she has reviewed the IRS's records of Defendants, that her statements are based on her review of the records, and that the filed transcripts reflect the assessments made against Defendants. Granados Decl. ¶¶ 1-2, ECF No. 33-3. She also certifies that the transcripts are true and correct copies of IRS's official records. Id. ¶ 2.

         She further states that the records show that on the following dates, a delegate of the Secretary of the Treasury of the United States made the following assessments against Launce for unpaid federal income taxes, penalties, and interest for the following taxable years, in the following amounts, with the following balances due (with accrual and costs), as of December 1, 2015:

Period Ending

Assessment Type

Assessment Date

Assessment Amount

Balance Due as of 12/1/2015

12/31/1999

Tax

06/14/04

$20,997.00

$66,954.88

Estimated Tax Penalty

06/14/2004

$1,008.36

Late Filing Penalty

06/14/2004

$4,724.33

Interest

06/14/2004

$7,939.19

Failure To Pay Tax Penalty

06/14/2004

$5,249.25

Interest

12/09/2013

$24,292.76

12/31/2006

Tax

1 l/24/2OO8

$2,418.00

$4,079.48

Interest

11/24/2008

$283.56

Interest

12/09/2013

$538.38

Failure To Pay Tax Penalty

12/09/2013

$604.50

12/31/2007

Tax

08/01/2011

$29,001.00

$53,515,33

26U.S.C.§6662 Accuracy Penalty

08/01/2011

$5,800.20

Interest

08/01/2011

$5,367.78

Interest

12/09/2013

$3.01X89

Failure To Pay Tax Penalty

12/09/2013

$7,250.24

12/31/2008

Tax

02/07/2011

$7,082.00

$12,478.84

26 U.S.C. § 6662 Accuracy Penalty

02/07/2011

$1,416.00

Interest

02/07/2011

$630.90

Interest

12/09/2013

$860.49

Failure To Pay Tax Penalty

12/09/2013

$1,770.50

12/31/2009

Tax

10/25/2010

$6,884.99

$11,435.32

Late Filing Penalty

10/25/2010

$1,621.25

Interest

10/25/2010

$173.27

Interest

12/09/2013

$875.74

Failure To Pay Tax Penalty

12/09/2013

$1,621.24

Granados Deck ¶ 3, ECF No. 33-3.

         Additionally, Granados states that the records show that on the following dates, a delegate of the Secretary of the Treasury of the United States made the following assessments against Launce and Carmen for unpaid federal income taxes, penalties, and interest for the following taxable years, in the following ...


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