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United States v. Eskel

United States District Court, D. New Hampshire

October 2, 2019

United States of America
v.
Joseph R. Eskel, Carel M. Eskel a/k/a Carol M. Eskel, Bon Accord, and Town of Danville

          Bon Accord, pro se, Philip L. Bednar, Esq., Carel M. Eskel, pro se, Joseph R. Eskel, pro se, William S. Gannon, Esq.

          ORDER

          Joseph A. DiClerico, Jr. United States District Judge.

         The United States filed a complaint against Joseph and Carol Eskel, Bon Accord, and the Town of Danville to reduce to judgment unpaid federal tax liabilities owed by the Eskels and to enforce federal tax liens against property that is held by the Town of Danville.[1] The Eskels, proceeding pro se, filed a “Notice of Motion to Show Cause.” The United States has filed its response.[2]

         In the document attached to the Eskels' motion, which is titled “Verified Show Cause Denial of Jurisdiction, ” the Eskels challenged the subject matter jurisdiction of this court to decide the claims brought against them and the court's personal jurisdiction over them. The United States demonstrates in its response that both subject matter jurisdiction and personal jurisdiction exist in this case. The Eskels did not file a reply to the United States's response.

         Background

         In the complaint, the United States alleges that the Eskels reside in Rockingham County, New Hampshire. The United States also alleges that a delegate of the Secretary of the Treasury has made assessments against Joseph Eskel for income taxes, penalties, and interest, along with civil penalties and interest, for more than $10, 000, 000.00 that accrued for tax periods from 2004 through 2007. The specific dates and amounts are provided in the complaint.

         Further, the United States alleges that Joseph Eskel previously paid income taxes and earned income from his business for the tax years 2004 through 2007. Eskel purchased illegal tax promotion tools that represent that taxpayers can remove themselves from the federal tax system. He also participated in a frivolous tax refund scheme, failed to cooperate with the Internal Revenue Service's examination of his federal tax liability, and filed other frivolous paperwork. He has refused to pay his tax liabilities to the United States.

         With respect to Carol Eskel, the United States alleges that a delegate of the Secretary of the Treasury made assessments against her for civil penalties and interest for the tax years of 2003 through 2007. She also has refused to pay her liabilities, which totaled $35, 667.48 as of March of 2019.

         The Eskels and Bon Accord filed an answer to the complaint. The Eskels each identify as “Priority Creditor, a Lawful Person, Land and Soil Jurisdiction” in Danville, “New-Hampshire State.” Doc. no. 10, at *1. In response to the claims against them, the Eskels state: “You have made a mistake, so we claim ‘exemption' under your ‘2012 version' of Title 50, section 7, Subsection c and e. Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act:” and list twenty items. Id., at *3-*4. They also assert, among other things, that they are not United States citizens and instead are “living Souls and not a dead entity written in all upper-case letters on a piece of paper or bond paper being claimed as a vessel owned by another living or dead entity.” Id. at *4.

         I. Subject Matter Jurisdiction

         In support of their motion, the Eskels provide a variety of unsupported theories about the source and existence of the jurisdiction of courts. Despite those theories, the Eskels provide no legal basis to challenge subject matter jurisdiction.

         The United States explains that under 26 U.S.C. § 7402(a) this court has jurisdiction to issue orders and render judgments as may be necessary to enforce the internal revenue laws. 26 U.S.C. § 7403 provides that the United States Attorney General or his delegate may have a civil action filed in a district court of the United States to enforce the lien of the United States for payment of tax liabilities. In addition, 28 U.S.C. § 1331 provides that subject matter jurisdiction exists in federal district courts over all civil actions arising under the laws of the United States. 28 U.S.C. § 1340 provides subject matter jurisdiction in federal district courts for civil actions “arising under any Act of Congress providing for internal revenue.” And, if any more were needed, 28 U.S.C. § 1344 provides that federal district courts have jurisdiction over civil actions brought by the United States.

         Therefore, the court is satisfied that it has subject matter ...


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