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Duggan v. United States

United States District Court, E.D. Washington

August 11, 2017

PHILIP A. DUGGAN, Plaintiff,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Defendant.

          ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT, GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT, GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART ECF NO. 78, AND GRANTING ECF NO. 82

          Salvador mendoza, jr.United States DistricNiidge

         Before the Court, without oral argument, are the parties' cross motions for summary judgment. ECF Nos. 48 & 53. Each party moves for an order from this Court granting it a favorable decision on the remaining claims in this case-counts three through seven. ECF Nos. 48 & 53. Having reviewed the pleadings and the entire file in this matter, including numerous filings on the instant motions, the Court is fully informed and for the reasons detailed below denies Plaintiff's motions and grants the United States' motion.

         I. BACKGROUND

         This case concerns a dispute between Plaintiff Duggan and Defendant the United States of America over penalties assessed against Duggan for allegedly filing frivolous tax returns to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). See generally ECF No. 1. Specifically, Duggan alleges that, pursuant to 26 U.S.C. § 6702, the IRS incorrectly assessed and imposed penalties against him for filing frivolous tax submissions. ECF No. 1 at 3. He filed suit asking “for reallocation and then, if applicable, refund of taxes taken through levy and erroneously applied to defective, improperly or otherwise unjustly assessed penalties.” ECF No. 1 at 1. Duggan's complaint lists thirteen separate counts identifying payments he made toward penalties he asserts were incorrectly assessed and imposed against him. Id. at 18- 35. Following a motion to dismiss filed by the United States, ECF No. 6, the Court dismissed counts eight through thirteen because the Court lacked subject-matter jurisdiction over those claims. ECF No. 22. Subsequently, the United States filed another motion which challenged the Court's subject-matter jurisdiction as to counts one and two. ECF No. 43. The Court granted that motion and affirmed its decision following Duggan's motion for reconsideration. ECF Nos. 47 and 89.

         Now, each party urges the Court to grant it summary judgment on the remaining counts. ECF Nos. 48 and 53. Counts three through seven of the complaint are very similar. ECF No. 1 at 20-26. In each count Duggan alleges that he erroneously paid penalties and interest to satisfy defectively assessed penalties pursuant to 26 U.S.C. § 6702 and confirmed payment for each in a Form 843. ECF No. 1 at 20-26. However, each individual count in three through seven alleges that the payments were made at different time periods. ECF No. 1 at 20-26. Duggan also alleges that he has exhausted his administrative remedies for each count. ECF No. 1 at 20-26.

         Following the parties' extensive briefing of the summary judgment motions, the parties filed two motions that the Court also addresses in this order: (1)

         Duggan's Motion for Leave to File Addendum to Plaintiff's Response to United States of America's Motion for Summary Judgment and to Shorten Time, ECF No.

         78; and (2) the United States of America's Motion to Strike Affidavit, ECF No. 82.

         These motions pertain to information the Court could take into account in deciding the summary judgment motions, and therefore the Court rules on them before addressing the merits of the motions for summary judgment.

         A. Duggan's Motion for Leave to File Addendum to Plaintiff's response to United States of America's Motion for Summary Judgment and to Shorten Time is denied in part and granted in part.

         Through this motion Plaintiff Duggan seeks leave to file an addendum to his response to the United States' summary judgment motion to “correct a statement and an important form number error.” ECF No. 78 at 1. He also seeks to respond to two case cites and add a relevant case cite of his own. Id. at 2. The Unites States opposes the request arguing that it would be prejudiced as it has already fully briefed the summary judgment motions and that it would not have the opportunity to respond to any new allegations raised by the Plaintiff. ECF No. 81.

         The Court has fully reviewed the issue and agrees that the United States would be prejudiced by new information or arguments Duggan raises in the proposed addendum. However, to the extent he seeks to correct information contained within his previous filing at ECF No. 67, to which the United States has already responded, the Court considers that information. The Court does not, however, consider new information since the underlying summary judgment motions have already been fully briefed. Accordingly, Duggan's motion, ECF No. 78, is granted in part and denied in part.

         B. The United States of America's Motion to Strike Affidavit is granted.

         The United States moves the Court to strike the affidavit, ECF No. 80, Duggan submitted in support of his motion for summary judgment. ECF No. 82. The United States objects to this filing as untimely because Duggan's motion for summary judgment has been fully briefed and considering the affidavit ...


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