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United States v. Wroblewski

January 16, 2009

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF,
v.
GERALD J. WROBLEWSKI, ET AL., DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Honorable Barry Ted Moskowitz

ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

The United States of America ("United States") has filed a motion for summary judgment against Defendants Gerald J. Wroblewski ("Mr. Wroblewski") and Sharon M. Wroblewski ("Mrs. Wroblewski") (collectively "the Wroblewskis"). For the reasons discussed below, the United States' motion for summary judgment is GRANTED IN PART AND DENIED IN PART.

I. FACTS

The United States commenced this action to reduce to judgment federal income tax assessments against the Wroblewskis, individually and jointly, and to foreclose federal tax liens against property located at 1269 Farmington Place, San Marcos, California, 92078 ("Subject Property"). The United States does not seek to collect "protective assessments" that were made against the Wroblewskis in tax years 1994, 1995, and 1996. The United States also does not seek to reduce to judgment penalties and interest on penalties that were assessed against the Wroblewskis because these amounts were arguably discharged in bankruptcy in 2006. (The Wroblewskis filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition in 2005.)

Excluding the protective assessments, penalties, and interest on penalties, the United States seeks to reduce to judgment the following amounts:

Individual Assessments Against Mr. Wroblewski  Tax Year 1994:$6,758.90 Tax Year 1995:$7,264.72 Tax Year 1996$22,011.41 Total:$36,035.03 plus interest accruing after 9/5/08

Individual Assessments Against Mrs. Wroblewski  Tax Year 1994:$7,275.08 Tax Year 1995:$8,249.21 Tax Year 1996:$32,466.34 Total:$47,990.63 plus interest accruing after 9/5/08

Joint Assessments Against the Wroblewskis  Tax Year 1997$42,610.70 Tax Year 1998$89,581.92 Tax Year 1999$69,455.50 Tax Year 2000$11,213.26 Tax Year 2001$8,306.36 Tax Year 2002$4,611.55 Total:$225,779.29 plus interest accruing after 9/5/08

II. DISCUSSION

The Wroblewskis do not claim to have paid the amounts that the United States seeks to reduce to judgment. Instead, the Wroblewskis question the computation of their individual tax liabilities and contend that their individual and joint liabilities (with the exception of their joint liabilities for 2002) were discharged in bankruptcy. However, as discussed below, the Wroblewskis have failed to raise a triable issue of material fact with respect to either the amount or nondischargeability of their liabilities.

A. Computation of Individual Liabilities

As discussed above, the United States does not seek to collect the "protective assessments" that were assessed against Mr. and Mrs. Wroblewski, individually, for tax years 1994, 1995, and 1996. Nevertheless, the Wroblewskis argue that it is unclear how the protective assessments were made and how they were corrected. In response to this argument, the United States clarified that: (1) Mr. Wroblewski was assessed tax based on 100% of his community property income; (2) Mrs. Wroblewski was assessed tax on 50% of her community property income; (3) the following protective assessments were made against Mr. Wroblewski: 1994: $9,715; 1995: $10,810; 1996: $45,419; (4) the following protective assessments were made against Mrs. Wroblewski: 1994: $96,475; 1995: $9,318.50; 1996: $3,622.50; (5) these protective assessments are excluded from the total unpaid balances that the United States seeks to reduce to judgment. (Decl. of Rosanna Savala in Support of Reply, ¶¶ 7-9.) The United States has provided sufficient information regarding how the protective assessments were calculated and how they have been excluded from the amounts sought in this action.

The individual assessments against Mr. and Mrs. Wroblewski are supported by Certificates of Assessments and Payments (Exs. A-G to Decl. of Rosanna Savala.) The introduction of Certificates of Assessments and Payments establishes a prima facie case for the United States. United States v. Jones, 33 F.3d 1137, 1139 (9th Cir. 1994). The burden then shifts to the taxpayer to show that he or she is not liable for the assessment.

The Wroblewskis generally argue that there is uncertainty regarding the computation of the assessments and complain that when they have asked the IRS for payoff numbers, they have been given different answers. However, the Wroblewskis do not point to any specific inaccuracies in the United States' computations, nor do they provide calculations of their own.*fn1 Therefore, the ...


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