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United States v. Woodruff

United States District Court, District of New Hampshire

February 28, 2014

United States of America
v.
Robert P. Woodruff individually and d/b/a Arrow Painting, and Patricia Woodruff Opinion No. 2014 DNH 039

Andrea A. Kafka, Esquire

Robert P. Woodruff, pro se

Patricia Woodruff, pro se

ORDER

Landya McCafferty United States District Judge

The United States of America (“the United States” or “the government”) has sued to reduce to judgment unpaid federal tax assessments against Robert Woodruff (Count I), and to enforce tax liens against all of Woodruff’s property, including real property located at 65 Valley Street, Keene, New Hampshire (Count II). Before the court is the government’s motion for summary judgment. Woodruff has not objected. For the reasons that follow, I grant the government’s motion.

The Legal Standard

“Summary judgment is warranted where ‘there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.’” McGair v. Am. Bankers Ins. Co. of Fla., 693 F.3d 94, 99 (1st Cir. 2012) (quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a); citing Rosciti v. Ins. Co. of Penn., 659 F.3d 92, 96 (1st Cir. 2011)). “In determining whether a genuine issue of material fact exists, [the court] construe[s] the evidence in the light most favorable to the non-moving party and make[s] all reasonable inferences in that party’s favor.” Markel Am. Ins. Co. v. Díaz-Santiago, 674 F.3d 21, 30 (1st Cir. 2011) (citing Flowers v. Fiore, 359 F.3d 24, 29 (1st Cir. 2004)).

Discussion

Woodruff did not respond to a set of requests for admissions propounded by the government, nor did he object to the government’s motion for summary judgment. Accordingly, the facts upon which the court relies in the following discussion are either admitted, see Fed.R.Civ.P. 36(a)(3), or deemed admitted, see LR 56.1(b).

With regard to the claim stated in Count I, Woodruff has admitted that: (1) he failed to fully pay his federal income-tax liabilities for the years ending December 31, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010; (2) he failed to fully pay his federal employment-tax liabilities for the quarters ending December 31, 2002, June 30, 2008, December 31, 2008, June 30, 2009, September 30, 2009, and December 31, 2009; (3) assessments were made against Woodruff by a delegate of the Secretary of the Treasury for unpaid federal income taxes, unpaid federal employment taxes, penalties, and interest; (4) as of December 15, 2013, the balance due on the assessments related to federal income taxes was $132, 136.11; and (5) as of that same date, the balance due on the assessments related to federal employment taxes was $14, 892.64.

With regard to the government’s request, in Count II, for enforcement of tax liens on the real property located at 65 Valley Street, Woodruff has admitted that: (1) he acquired the property in August of 1990; and (2) in February of 2012, he conveyed it, by quitclaim deed, to himself and Patricia Woodruff, as joint tenants with rights of survivorship. In accordance with 26 U.S.C § 6323(f), delegates of the Secretary of the Treasury filed Notices of Federal Tax Liens against 65 Valley Street on nine occasions between November of 2005 and January of 2012. Several of those Notices were refiled, none later than January of 2012.

Based upon the foregoing, the United States seeks the following relief: (1) “a judgment against Woodruff in the amount of [$147, 028.75], plus interest and other statutory additions from January 1, 2013, ” Compl. (doc. no. 1) 9; (2) a judgment that its tax liens against 65 Valley Street are valid; (3) an order stating that it may enforce those liens through a judicial sale; and (4) its costs of litigation.

A. Count I

Count I is the government’s request for a money judgment against Woodruff. “The district courts of the United States at the instance of the United States shall have such jurisdiction . . . to render such judgments and decrees as may be necessary or appropriate for the enforcement of the ...


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