United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
AMENDED ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
BENJAMIN H. SETTLE, District Judge.
This order supersedes and replaces the Court's prior Order Granting Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment (Dkt. 91). This matter comes before the Court on Plaintiff United States of America's ("Government") motion for summary judgment (Dkt. 65). The Court has considered the pleadings filed in support of the motion and the remainder of the file and hereby grants the motion for the reasons stated herein.
I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY
On February 7, 2013, the Government filed a complaint against Defendants Daniel F. Haines, Yoshiko S. Haines, and Tradewind Investments ("Tradewind") seeking a judgment for unpaid taxes. Dkt. 1.
On August 28, 2013, the Clerk entered default against Tradewind Investments. Dkt. 48.
On March 26, 2014, the Government filed a motion for summary judgment against Daniel Haines ("Haines") and for default judgment against Tradewind Investments. Dkt. 65. On June 3, 2014, the Court stayed the matter because Haines filed for bankruptcy protection. Dkt. 76. On September 3, 2014, the Court lifted the stay, renoted the Government's motion for summary judgment, and informed Haines that his response was due no later September 22, 2014. Dkt. 87. Although Haines filed a response, he only objects to the lifting of the stay and fails to contest the merits of the Government's motion. See Dkt. 88. Tradewind Investments did not file a response to the motion for summary judgment.
To the extent that Haines's response is a motion to reconsider the order lifting the stay, the motion is denied. The Court has already considered Haines's arguments and denied his objections. The only changed circumstance is that he has actually filed a bankruptcy appeal with the appellate panel. Such an appeal, however, does not extend the automatic stay provisions of bankruptcy law and Haines has failed to meet his burden to show that a stay is appropriate under any other standard. Therefore, the Court declines to stay this matter and will consider the Government's motion.
II. FACTUAL BACKGROUND
The facts are uncontested and thoroughly set forth in the Government's brief. Dkt. 65.
A. Summary Judgment Standard
Summary judgment is proper only if the pleadings, the discovery and disclosure materials on file, and any affidavits show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c). The moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law when the nonmoving party fails to make a sufficient showing on an essential element of a claim in the case on which the nonmoving party has the burden of proof. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). There is no genuine issue of fact for trial where the record, taken as a whole, could not lead a rational trier of fact to find for the nonmoving party. Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986) (nonmoving party must present specific, significant probative evidence, not simply "some metaphysical doubt"). See also Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e). Conversely, a genuine dispute over a material fact exists if there is sufficient evidence supporting the claimed factual dispute, requiring a judge or jury to resolve the differing versions of the truth. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 253 (1986); T. W. Elec. Serv., Inc. v. P. Elec. Contractors Ass'n, 809 F.2d 626, 630 (9th Cir. 1987).
The determination of the existence of a material fact is often a close question. The Court must consider the substantive evidentiary burden that the nonmoving party must meet at trial - e.g., a preponderance of the evidence in most civil cases. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 254; T. W. Elec. Serv., Inc., 809 F.2d at 630. The Court must resolve any factual issues of controversy in favor of the nonmoving party only when the facts specifically attested by that party contradict facts specifically attested by the moving party. The nonmoving party may not merely state that it will discredit the moving party's evidence at trial, in the hopes that evidence can be developed at trial to support the claim. T. W. Elec. Serv., Inc., 809 F.2d at 630 (relying on ...