The opinion of the court was delivered by: Richard Mills, District Judge:
The Government went after Bleavins to collect taxes.
This lawsuit is a direct result of that lawful effort.
The Government is entitled to summary judgment in its favor.
In his complaint, Plaintiff claims that the United States
Internal Revenue Service (IRS) willfully violated the Internal
Revenue Code, 26 U.S.C. § 6103, by disclosing tax return
information through the filing of a federal tax lien and the
issuance of various notices of levy. Therefore, Bleavins
argues, he is eligible to receive damages for unlawful
disclosure under 26 U.S.C. § 7431. (He also asserts that the
IRS did not act in good faith because it was aware, through
letters from Plaintiff, that the tax laws did not apply to
Under Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c), summary judgment should be entered
"if the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and
admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show
that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that
the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law."
Unquestionably, in determining whether a genuine issue of
material fact exists, the evidence is to be taken in the light
most favorable to the non-moving party. Adickes v. S.H. Kress &
Co., 398 U.S. 144, 158-59, 90 S.Ct. 1598, 1609, 26 L.Ed.2d 142
(1970). Nevertheless, the rule is also well established that
the mere existence of some factual dispute will not frustrate
an otherwise proper summary judgment. Anderson v. Liberty
Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 247, 106 S.Ct. 2505, 2509-10, 91
L.Ed.2d 202 (1986). Thus, the "preliminary question for the
judge [is] not whether there is literally no evidence, but
whether there is any upon which a jury could properly proceed
to find a verdict for the party producing it upon whom the onus
of proof is imposed." Id. at 251, 106 S.Ct. at 2511 (quoting
Improvement Co. v. Munson, 81 U.S. (14 Wall.) 442, 448, 20
L.Ed. 867 (1872)); see also Celotex Corp. v. Catrett,
477 U.S. 317, 322, 106 S.Ct. 2548, 2552, 91 L.Ed.2d 265 (1986). Applying
this standard, the Court now turns to the case at bar.
First, we will consider the IRS' motion for summary judgment.
Before damages are available under § 7431, a violation of §
6103 must be shown. The IRS maintains that it followed federal
law when filing a lien against Plaintiff's property and the
levy against Plaintiff's income. The IRS notes § 6103(k)(6)
An Internal Revenue officer or employee may, in
connection with his official duties relating to
any audit, collection activity, or civil or
criminal tax investigation . . . disclose return
information to the extent that such disclosure is
necessary in obtaining information . . . or with
respect to the enforcement of any other provision
of this title.
(Emphasis added). In other words, the IRS may disclose
information when attempting to collect taxes. This is precisely
what the IRS did. Maisano v. United States, 908 F.2d 408, 410
(9th Cir. 1990).
When filing a levy under § 6331, the IRS is required to
provide the taxpayer with a demand for payment and notification
ten days prior to the levy. IRS Officer Alexander gave the
notification by registered mail in compliance with § 6331(d).
According to Officer Alexander, Bleavins refused to pay the
taxes that the IRS determined he owed, he further refused to
provide any documentation to support his claim that he was not
required to file income tax returns, and he stated that his
financial information was none of the IRS officer's business.
Assuming Bleavins believes this, he is mistaken. Not only
does the IRS have the right to such information, it is
Bleavins' responsibility to provide the information, if he
wishes to clear up what he claims is IRS error. Otherwise, he
is in no position to complain of that error. A certified copy
of a Certificate of Assessments and Payments is presumptively
accurate and Plaintiff has the burden of discrediting
it. Gold Emporium v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue,
910 F.2d 1374, 1378 (7th Cir. 1990); Ruth v. United States,
823 F.2d 1091, 1093 (7th Cir. 1987); United States v. Pomponio,
635 F.2d 293, 296 (4th Cir. 1980); Psaty v. United States,
442 F.2d 1154, ...