The opinion of the court was delivered by: BLANCHE MANNING, District Judge
The parties' cross-motions for summary judgment are before the
court. For the following reasons, Janet Sei's motion for summary
judgment is denied and the United States' motion for summary
judgment is granted.
The following facts are drawn from the parties' joint statement
of material facts and are undisputed. Janet and Keith Sei were
married on December 1, 1984. During their marriage, Keith founded
four businesses: (1) Midwest Surgical Assistants, Inc.; (2) The
National Surgical Billing Association, Inc.; (3) Midwest Surgical
Assistants Northeast Region, Inc.; and (4) Midwest Surgical
Assistants Mid America Region, Inc. (collectively, "the
businesses"). Starting in 1998, Keith failed to pay employee
withholding taxes from the businesses.
Prior to 2001, the Seis owned a home in South Barrington.
Around September of 2001, the Seis purchased a home at 1309
Montclaire Place in Schaumburg, Illinois. Although Janet contends that she was unaware that she and Keith owned the
Schaumburg home as tenants-by-the-entireties, the deed for the
Schaumburg home stated that the Seis owned the property as
tenants-by-the-entireties. No documents exist which state that
the Seis did not own the Schaumburg home as
tenants-by-the-entireties. After the Seis purchased the
Schaumburg home, they sold the South Barrington home and used the
proceeds to pay off the mortgage on the Schaumburg home.
In 2001, Janet learned that the four businesses were having
problems paying their federal tax liabilities. On or about May 3,
2002, both of the Seis executed a $285,000 mortgage on their home
in Schaumburg. No documents exist which reflect that Janet bought
out Keith's interest in the home at any time.
On May 13, 2002, May 14, 2002 and December 9, 2002, under
26 U.S.C. § 6672, a delegate of the Secretary of the Treasury made
assessments against Keith for a total of $1,306,144.78 (including
interest and penalties) as a responsible person for the
businesses who had failed to collect or truthfully account for
and pay over income and Federal Insurance Contribution Act
("FICA") taxes withheld from the businesses' employees. Keith
received notices of the assessments on or about the time that
they were made. In addition, notices of federal tax liens were
filed with the Recorder of Deeds for Cook County relating to the
The Seis divorced and a Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage was
entered in March of 2003. The judgment stated that title to the
Schaumburg home is "presently held jointly by the parties." A
quit claim deed that was contemplated by the judgment stated that
Keith would deliver a properly executed quit claim deed to Janet
"conveying to [Janet] all of [Keith's] interest, if any, in the title to the [Schaumburg home]." No quit
claim deed of any type relating to the Schaumburg home was
executed by Keith or recorded by Janet.
On August 4, 2003, the Schaumburg property was sold. The
Settlement Statement which described the sale listed the sellers
as Keith and Janet Sei. The escrow agent released half the
proceeds of the sale ($113,001.40) to Janet. Keith owes the
government $1,306,144.78 in back taxes. In the present action to
quiet title, the parties disagree as to who gets the remaining
half of the proceeds from the Schaumburg home.
A. Standard for A Motion For Summary Judgment
Summary judgment is proper when the "pleadings, depositions,
answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with
the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue of
any material fact." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c); Celotex Corp. v.
Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986). The party opposing the
summary judgment motion "may not rest upon the mere allegations
or denials of the adverse party's pleading"; rather, it must
respond with "specific facts showing that there is a genuine
issue for trial." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e). "The evidence of the
non-movant is to be believed, and all justifiable inferences are
to be drawn in his favor." Valenti v. Qualex, Inc.,
970 F. 2d 363, 365 (7th Cir. 1992). A court should grant a motion for
summary judgment only when the record shows that a reasonable
jury could not find for the nonmoving party. Id.
B. Keith and Janet's Claim to the Proceeds
Keith has been served and has failed to appear and defend, and
the government has submitted admissible evidence showing that he
owes the government $1,306,144.78. The court thus finds that entry of a judgment in the amount ...