United States District Court, E.D. California
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER RE: MOTION FOR SUMMARY
WILLIAM B. SHUBB UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
United States brought this action against defendant Daniel L.
Kidwell, arising out of defendant's failure to fully pay
federal taxes assessed against him. The United States now
moves for summary judgment against Kidwell pursuant to
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56. (PL's Mot. (Docket
Factual and Procedural History
case arises out of defendant's failure to fully pay his
self-reported employment tax liabilities for the tax periods
ending on September 30, 2004, and December 31, 2004. During
the applicable time, defendant owned and operated Kidwell
Glass, and he employed several people through this business.
Defendant was required to file Form 941, Employer's
Quarterly Federal Tax Return, for the periods at issue.
941 for the period ending September 30, 2004, was filed on
April 4, 2005, and a Form 941 for the period ending December
31, 2004, was filed on January 31, 2005. (Stevko Decl.,
Ex. 1 ("Sept. 30 Form 4340") at 1; Ex. 2
("Dec. 31 Form 4340") at 1 (Docket No. 12-4) .)
Based on the amounts reported in the Forms 941, the IRS
assessed employment tax liabilities against defendant on
March 28, 2005, and May 23, 2005. (Sept. 30 Form 4340 at 1;
Dec. 31 Form 4340 at 1.) As of January 9, 2017, defendant has
an outstanding tax balance of $96, 532.44. (See
Swain Decl., Exs. E-F (Docket No. 12-6).)
United States initiated this action on March 1, 2016, seeking
to reduce defendant's remaining federal tax assessment to
judgment. (Docket No. 1.) In his Answer, defendant alleges
that the statute of limitations bars the United States'
recovery. (Answer ¶ 17 (Docket No. 5).) The United
States now moves for summary judgment. (Pl.'s Mot.)
judgment is proper "if the movant shows that there is no
genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is
entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P.
56(a). A material fact is one that could affect the outcome
of the suit, and a genuine issue is one that could permit a
reasonable jury to enter a verdict in the non-moving
party's favor. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc.,
477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986) . The party moving for summary
judgment bears the initial burden of establishing the absence
of a genuine issue of material fact and can satisfy this
burden by presenting evidence that negates an essential
element of the non-moving party's case. Celotex Corp.
v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322-23 (1986). Alternatively,
the movant can demonstrate that the non-moving party cannot
produce evidence to support an essential element upon which
it will bear the burden of proof at trial. Id.
the moving party meets its initial burden, the burden shifts
to the non-moving party to "designate 'specific
facts showing that there is a genuine issue for
trial.'" Id. at 324 (quoting then-Fed. R.
Civ. P. 56(e)). The non-moving party must "do more than
simply show that there is some metaphysical doubt as to the
material facts." Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v.
Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586 (1986). "The
mere existence of a scintilla of evidence . . . will be
insufficient; there must be evidence on which the jury could
reasonably find for the [non-moving party]."
Anderson, 477 U.S. at 252.
deciding a summary judgment motion, the court must view the
evidence in the light most favorable to the non-moving party
and draw all justifiable inferences in its favor.
Id. at 255. "Credibility determinations, the
weighing of the evidence, and the drawing of legitimate
inferences from the facts are jury functions, not those of a
judge . . . ruling on a motion for summary judgment . . .
Reducing Tax Liabilities to Judgment
United States first moves for summary judgment on its sole
claim to reduce defendant's tax liabilities to judgment.
"In an action to collect tax, the government bears the
initial burden of proof. The government, however, may satisfy
this initial burden by introducing into evidence its
assessment of taxes due" and providing a "minimal
factual foundation" for the assessment. Oliver v.
United States, 921 F.2d 916, 919-20 (9th Cir. 1990);
see United States v. Janis, 428 U.S. 433, 440-41
(1976); Genry v. United States, 962 F.2d 555, 557
(6th Cir. 1992).
United States submits IRS Certificates of Assessments and
Payments ("Forms 4340") as proof that the United
States assessed taxes against defendant. A Form 4340 is
"probative evidence in and of itself and, xin
the absence of contrary evidence, is sufficient to establish
that notices and assessments were properly made.'"
Hansen v. United States, 7 F.3d 137, 138 (9th Cir.
1993) (quoting Hughes v. United States, 953 F.2d
531, 535 (9th Cir. 1992)); see United States v.
Wright, Civ. No. 2:94-1183 EJG GGH, 1994 WL 715870, at
*7-8 (E.D. Cal. Oct. 25, 1994) (finding Form 4340 satisfied
the government's burden at summary judgment of the
defendant's tax liability amount); see also United
States v. ...