UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
December 16, 2011
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF,
NORLIN MERRITT AND MARIA MERRITT, DEFENDANTS.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: John A. Mendez 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 Kendall J. Newman (ECF No. 15) and granting the United States' Motion for Default Judgment (ECF No. 16), the Court hereby finds as follows:
(1) The Defendants have failed to plead or otherwise defend this case. The Court deems them to have admitted the allegations in the United States' Complaint (ECF No. 1).
(2) Facts presented in the Declaration of Nancy Wong clearly show that Defendants have 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 Defendants 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 Defendants.
(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 encumbrances of their properties and damage to their credit records 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 Defendants have 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 Defendants Norlin Merritt and Maria Merritt, as well as any person acting on their behalf, shall be, and hereby are, 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 Norlin Merritt and/or 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 Defendants are 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 09-7212900898, filed by the Defendants with the Secretary of State for the State of California on October 31, 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.
John A. Mendez
CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE
IT IS HEREBY CERTIFIED that service of the foregoing has been made by electronic filing through the Court's CM/ECF system on December 16, 2011 and by depositing a copy of the foregoing on December 16, 2011 in the United States mail in a postage prepaid envelope on addressed to: Norlin Merritt 540 Stone Drive Novato, CA 94947 Maria Merritt 540 Stone Drive Novato, CA 94947
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