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United States of America v. Maria Merritt

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


February 11, 2011

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF,
v.
MARIA MERRITT, DEFENDANT.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Morrison C. England, Jr. United States District Judge

ORDER OF EXPUNGEMENT AND PERMANENT INJUNCTION

For the reasons set forth in the Order adopting the Findings and Recommendations filed by Hon. Magistrate Judge Edmund F. Brennan and granting the United States' Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF No. 31), the Court hereby finds as follows:

(1) Defendant has failed to plead or otherwise defend this case. The Court deems her to have admitted the allegations in the United States' Amended Complaint (ECF No. 4).

(2) Facts presented in the Declaration of Nancy Wong clearly show that defendant Maria Merritt ("Merritt") has filed a UCC Financing statement against an officer of the United States with the Secretary of State for the State of California.

(3) Facts presented in the Declaration of Nancy Wong demonstrate that she, as an officer of the United States, has no relationship with Merritt that would give rise to a legitimate notice of lien. It therefore clearly appears that the lien is frivolous. Furthermore, it clearly appears that the lien was filed solely to retaliate against her for her good-faith efforts to enforce the tax laws against Merritt.

(4) Plaintiff has demonstrated that the entry of this injunction is necessary and appropriate to the enforcement of the internal revenue laws. 26 U.S.C. § 7402(a).

(5) In addition, Plaintiff has demonstrated that continued filings of frivolous liens against its officers would cause it irreparable harm, because federal officers who face personal reprisal through encumbrance of their property and damage to their credit record may be unable to enforce the internal revenue laws vigorously and evenhandedly.

(6) Furthermore, Plaintiff has demonstrated that it has no adequate remedy at law with respect to future frivolous lien filings, because it would suffer the irreparable harm described above during the time in which it would be required to apply to a court to have the lien filings stricken.

(7) The equities weigh in favor of Plaintiff because Defendant has no basis for filing nonconsensual liens against federal officers. Furthermore, an injunction is in the public interest because it will help ensure that federal officers can apply the internal revenue laws free of retaliation and harassment by Defendant.

WHEREFORE, it is hereby ORDERED, ADJUDGED, and DECREED as follows: (1) It is hereby ORDERED that Maria Merritt, as well as any person acting on her behalf, shall be, and hereby is, PERMANENTLY ENJOINED from filing any notices of lien, recording any documents, or otherwise taking any action in the public records which purports to name a federal officer as a debtor, appoint a federal officer as a trustee, or encumber the rights or the property of any federal officer. The injunction in this paragraph shall not apply if Maria Merritt shall first have prior permission to record the document from a United States District Court, which permission shall also be recorded.

(2) For the purposes of the preceding paragraph, "federal officer" shall mean any officer, employee, or agent of the United States or any of the agencies of the United States, or any judge, magistrate judge, judicial officer, or judicial employee of the United States, regardless of whether the officer, employee, or agent is named personally, in his or her official capacity, or in any other capacity.

(3) The Defendant, Maria Merritt, is cautioned and advised that any violation of this injunction imposed by this Judgment may result in the imposition of appropriate civil or criminal sanctions as well as constituting contempt of court.

(4) It is hereby ORDERED that the UCC Financing Statement Filing Number 09-7211735368, filed by the Defendant Maria Merritt with the Secretary of State for the State of California on October 20, 2009, is declared NULL, VOID, and of NO LEGAL EFFECT and shall be stricken and permanently EXPUNGED from the records of the Secretary of State for the State of California.

(5) The United States may record this Judgment in the public records as necessary in order to effectuate paragraphs (1) through (4) of this Judgment.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

Presented on February 8, 2011 by:

20110211

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