MarcStevens.net | Do federal courts have jurisdiction over every civil complaint filed by the IRS?
It’s alleged by some lawyers, including federal judges, the federal courts have jurisdiction over every IRS complaint to enforce an IRS summons. If you suggest otherwise, you’ll be denounced as a wacko and a blathering idiot. If you present the law to a federal judge showing the IRS complaint does not present a controversy and the court lacks jurisdiction, then they will rule against you and call it “sophistry” and “patently frivolous.” It’s not that you’re just incorrect on the law, it’s “frivolous” and couldn’t possibly have any merit at all.
But is it true? Are federal judges always correct; is the suggestion the IRS does not have standing to complain really sophistry? Is it possible the IRS doesn’t have standing to complain and the federal courts don’t have jurisdiction to hear such complaints?
After all, complaints to enforce an IRS summons only request the court to enforce the summons, there’s no claim of injury or that you’re required to comply with the IRS. There are no allegations of wrongdoing. I’m not really interested in the opinion of federal judges, only if the law permits federal courts to hear these IRS civil complaints or not.
Could federal judges be wrong to allow these complaints? Before we analyze and present the law, let me ask this question: are federal judges credible? I don’t think so and there are two related reasons why. And no, the reasons are not because I hate federal judges or I’m bitter about having motions denied. Both reasons are based on irrefutable facts; speculation I leave to the government apologists.
First, no one voluntarily supports judges, they don’t offer their services to the market on a voluntary basis. This is not opinion, it’s the truth and beyond doubt. We’re all forced to pay them; threat, duress and coercion is the MO of federal judges. Do you trust someone who forces you to pay them?
Second, the IRS are the ones who forcibly take our property to pay these judges. Think they are independent and impartial? The fact we’re forced to pay them undermines any credibility a judge may have. These indisputable facts make it clear why a federal judge would rule in favor of the IRS in direct opposition to the law.
I’ll present the law below and do it one point at a time. This way if I’m in error, you’ll be able to point out where I went off course.
1. The jurisdiction of the federal courts is not unlimited, even when the IRS is involved:
“Federal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction. They possess only that power authorized by Constitution and statute, see Willy v. Coastal Corp., 503 U. S. 131, 136-137 (1992); Bender v. Williamsport Area School Dist., 475 U. S. 534, 541 (1986), which is not to be expanded by judicial decree, American Fire & Casualty Co. v. Finn, 341 U. S. 6 (1951). It is to be presumed that a cause lies outside this limited jurisdiction, Turner v. Bank of North-America, 4 Dall. 8, 11 (1799), and the burden of establishing the contrary rests upon the party asserting jurisdiction, McNutt v. General Motors Acceptance Corp., 298 U. S. 178, 182-183 (1936).” Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins., 511 U.S. 375 (1994).
In my experience federal judges have never presumed an IRS complaint was outside the limited jurisdiction of the federal courts. They’re too busy chanting “frivolous” over and over.
2. Let’s examine those limits. To start, we need to examine why there are governments, the PR is they are only to protect rights. From the Declaration of Independence “To Secure these Rights, governments are instituted among Men…” and various constitutions, such as Arizona: “established to protect and maintain individual rights.”
I do this because we’ll see a logical progression with what I present and why; one point leads to the next. You’ll also see why the arguments the courts may hear IRS complaints to enforce summons are irrational. You’ll see how government apologists have to disregard the limitation of the courts and start pretending.
3. For federal courts, we find, consistent with the purpose for government, the following from Article III § 2 of the US constitution: “The judicial power shall extend to all cases, in law and equity, arising under this Constitution, the laws of the United States, and treaties made…to controversies to which the United States shall be a party…”
This is the “case and controversy clause”. It’s pretty clear; the federal courts are limited to only cases and controversies. This has been always been held by the supreme court:
“As we have already seen, by the express terms of the Constitution, the exercise of the judicial power is limited to “cases” and “controversies.” Beyond this it does not extend, and unless it is asserted in a case or controversy within the meaning of the Constitution, the power to exercise it is nowhere conferred.” Muskrat v. United States, 219 U. S. 346.
4. There are no exceptions there for any particular agency or complaining party. Either there is a case or controversy or the court has no jurisdiction.
5. I wrote this is consistent with the purpose of government because a case and controversy always involves the violation of a right, without the violation of a legal right, there is no case or controversy:
“damnum absque injuria…Damage without wrong, the sense of the expression being that there is no cause of action. 1 Am j2d Actions § 78.” Ballentine’s Law Dictionary, page 304.
“damnum et injuria…Loss and wrong, the two essential elements which must exist in combination as essentials of a cause of action. 1 Am J2d Actions § 70.” Ballentine’s Law Dictionary, page 305.
“injuria…A wrong; the violation of a legal right.” Ballentine’s Law Dictionary, page 627.
Contrary to what you’ll hear from government apologists, case and controversy is not synonymous with “government complaint”.
6. This is probably why the supreme court has always held a case and controversy includes the violation of legal right, an injury:
“the duty of this court, as of every judicial tribunal, is limited to determining rights of persons or of property, which are actually controverted in the particular case before it.” Tyler v. Judges of the Court of Registration, 179 U.S. 405, 21 SCt. 206, 208 (emphasis mine).
Without going any further we see because the IRS complaint didn’t allege the violation of a legal right, the courts are acting outside their strict limitations when they don’t dismiss them. The argument the courts may not hear a complaint that doesn’t set forth a legal injury (such as the IRS complaint) is based on solid grounds and is not “frivolous”. This is true even if there is a legitimate exception for the IRS.
7. In setting forth the requirements of a federal case and controversy, the supreme court has held:
“In its constitutional dimension, standing imports justiciability: whether the plaintiff has made out a “case or controversy” between himself and the defendant within the meaning of Art. III. This is the threshold question in every federal case, determining the power of the court to entertain the suit. As an aspect of justiciability, the standing question is whether the plaintiff has “alleged such a personal stake in the outcome of the controversy” as to warrant his invocation of federal-court jurisdiction and to justify exercise of the court’s remedial powers on his behalf. Baker v. Carr, 369 U. S. 186, 204 (1962). The Art. III judicial power exists only to redress or otherwise to protect against injury to the complaining party, even though the court’s judgment may benefit others collaterally. A federal court’s jurisdiction therefore can be invoked only when the plaintiff himself has suffered “some threatened or actual injury resulting from the putatively illegal action . . . .” Warth v. Seldin, 422 US 490 (emphasis mine)
Notice this is regarding the general limits of the federal courts, not just the Warth complaint under review, it says “every federal case” and the judicial power itself exists only to redress or protect against injury. It did not say federal jurisdiction as far as the complaint before the court or private litigants only. It’s about federal jurisdiction period, there no exceptions:
“[I]t is well settled that federal courts may act only in the context of a justiciable case or controversy.” Benton v. Maryland, 395 U. S. 784, 395 U. S. 788 (1969)…” SEC v. Medical Committee for Human Rights, 404 U.S. 403 (1972).
To find an exception one must assume the text does not mean what it says. Remember, I’m only going by what the text clearly states and those who hallucinating more have denounced me as a wacko.
So far the law is clear, because the IRS complaint did not allege a controversy, the federal judge should dismiss. But, I’m no lawyer, what do I know? Are there legal exceptions making the IRS special, thereby not only making federal judges ignore the case and controversy clause, but making a challenge “patently frivolous”? Let’s look:
8. Do government agencies get a free pass? Do government agencies automatically have standing in courts just by virtue of being government? The answer is no; there are no exceptions in the text of the constitution and there are opinions proving there is no free pass for governments:
“Because the Comptroller General does not have the personal, concrete, and particularized injury required under Article III standing doctrine, either himself or as the agent of Congress, his complaint must be dismissed.” Walker v. Cheney, 230 F.Supp.2d 51 (2002).
This district court judge quoted the supreme court regarding the case and controversy clause:
“”These requirements together constitute the `irreducible constitutional minimum’ of standing, which is an `essential and unchanging part‘ of Article III’s case-or-controversy requirement, and a key factor in dividing the power of government between the courts and the two political branches.” Vermont Agency of Natural Res. v. United States ex rel. Stevens, 529 U.S. 765, 771, 120 S.Ct. 1858, 146 L.Ed.2d 836 (2000) (emphasis mine).”
This is from a federal court case involving two government parties, so I think it applies to government, even the IRS. Notice the bold part about “essential and unchanging”. But it’s somehow frivolous when applied to the IRS. Really? There is also:
United States v. American Bell Tel. Co., 167 U.S. 224 (1897) complaint dismissed because US government lacked standing.
“The order of the district court holding that the United States may sue to enforce section 135(c) will be reversed, and the case remanded to the district court with instructions to dismiss the complaint for failure to state a claim.” United States v. FMC Corp., 717 F. 2d 775 – Court of Appeals, 3rd Circuit 1983.
“the State of Massachusetts presents no justiciable controversy either in its own behalf or as the representative of its citizens.” Massachusetts v. Mellon, 262 US 447.
9. May a statute confer standing on a complaining party? This has been alleged, let’s look at 26 USC § 7604(b):
“§ 7402. Jurisdiction of district courts
(b) To enforce summons
“If any person is summoned under the internal revenue laws to appear, to testify, or to produce books, papers, or other data, the district court of the United States for the district in which such person resides or may be found shall have jurisdiction by appropriate process to compel such attendance, testimony, or production of books, papers, or other data.”
This appears to give district courts jurisdiction over that particular subject matter. But notice this does not attempt the replace the case and controversy requirement, they may have jurisdiction if the IRS presents a case or controversy as required by Article III § 2. There is also no attempt to hallucinate the IRS/US government/United States has a legal right to books, record and testimony. This is only a grant of subject matter jurisdiction that is still subject to the case and controversy requirement.
To prove this, the supreme courts have held:
“the mere fact that a suit is an adverse suit authorized by the statutes of Congress is not, in and of itself, sufficient to vest jurisdiction in the Federal courts.” Shoshone Mining Co. v. Rutter, 177 U.S. 505.
Even with 26 USC § 7402 jurisdiction is not automatic and federal judges are required to presume the IRS complaint is outside federal jurisdiction until the IRS can prove it and that requires a controversy to be alleged, remember Kokkonen:
“It is to be presumed that a cause lies outside this limited jurisdiction, Turner v. Bank of North-America, 4 Dall. 8, 11 (1799), and the burden of establishing the contrary rests upon the party asserting jurisdiction, McNutt v. General Motors Acceptance Corp., 298 U. S. 178, 182-183 (1936).” Kokkonen v. Guardian Life Ins., 511 U.S. 375 (1994).
Good luck getting a federal judge to presume an IRS complaint is outside their jurisdiction. Remember just challenging the IRS is considered “patently frivolous” by judges who get paid from the money the IRS steals from the productive. 26 USC § 7402 is not on it’s own, evidence the federal courts have jurisdiction over a complaint to enforce an IRS summons regardless of how many times you call me as a blathering idiot. Let’s examine what the supreme court held here:
“. . . suits, though involving the Constitution or laws of the United States, are not suits arising under the Constitution or laws where they do not turn on a controversy between the parties in regard to the operation of the Constitution or laws on the facts. . . .” National Mut. Ins. Co. v. Tidewater Transfer Co., Inc., 337 U.S. 582 (1949) (emphasis mine).
A case or controversy, despite a statute authorizing a proceeding, is still required before the courts can have jurisdiction. What part of this is vague or unintelligible?
“[I]t is well settled that federal courts may act only in the context of a justiciable case or controversy.” SEC v. Medical Committee for Human Rights, 404 U.S. 403 (1972).
26 USC § 7402 does not create the controversy required under Article III, it permits the courts to hear a complaint and grant relief, there is nothing implied it’s supposed to create the controversy in order to permit the courts to grant relief absent a justiciable controversy.
The easiest way to look at this is: Does a justiciable controversy require more than a request for relief? We know it does, so why are federal judges not only ruling in favor of the IRS, but calling a challenge patently frivolous and sanctioning people thousands of dollars?
10. Even if we accept the irrational position 26 USC § 7402 seeks to create a justiciable controversy or act as a thinly veiled substitute, congress is not permitted to extend federal judicial power beyond a case and controversy. Again the supreme court has held:
“As regards all courts of the United States inferior to this tribunal, two things are necessary to create jurisdiction, whether original or appellate. The Constitution must have given to the court the capacity to take it, and an act of Congress must have supplied it. Their concurrence is necessary to vest it. It is the duty of Congress to act for that purpose up to the limits of the granted power. They may fall short of it, but cannot exceed it.” The Mayor v. Cooper, 73 U.S. (6 Wall.) 247 (emphasis mine).
“But this Court clearly and unequivocally rejected the contention that Congress could thus extend the jurisdiction of constitutional courts, citing the note to 2 U. S. 410; United States v. Ferreira, 13 How. 40, and Gordon v. United States, 117 U.S. 697.
§ 7402 doesn’t create a justiciable controversy nor somehow excuse this strict limitation of the federal courts. Per the supreme court, the constitution does not vest the courts judicial power beyond cases and controversies. Even if we pretend a justiciable controversy can be created out of thin air, the court clearly states two things are necessary to create jurisdiction, the constitution and congress and the constitution does not permit the courts to hear anything but cases and controversies:
“The Art. III judicial power exists only to redress or otherwise to protect against injury to the complaining party, even though the court’s judgment may benefit others collaterally. A federal court’s jurisdiction therefore can be invoked only when the plaintiff himself has suffered “some threatened or actual injury resulting from the putatively illegal action . . . .” Warth v. Seldin, 422 US 490.
11. Now let’s really delve into the world of hallucinations and make believe. This is where we’ll see people pretending there’s a controversy to overcome the plain language of the case and controversy clause.
Does 26 USC § 7402 provide the IRS with procedural right and if so, does that satisfy the case and controversy requirement? Here again, the answer is still no, even when the government is pretending. It must be kept in mind IRS complaints to enforce summons do not, at least in the ones I’ve worked with, allege any wrongdoing, they do not allege any right held by the IRS/US has been violated.
The supreme court has held, without any rational basis, that congress can create legal rights and the invasion of them would then constitute an injury to then confer standing in a federal court:
“The actual or threatened injury required by Art. III may exist solely by virtue of “statutes creating legal rights, the invasion of which creates standing . . . .” Warth v Seldin, 422 U. S. 490, 500.
What do you when your own PR limits your objective to steal people’s property? You start making things and sanctioning anyone who dares to question it.
Without even addressing the purely hallucinatory nature of a majority of 535 men and women creating a legal right to my books, records and testimony out of thin air, all we really need to focus on is the second part “the invasion of which creates standing…”
The complaint for enforcement of IRS summons does not allege there is a legal right to the books, records and testimony. This is probably why there are no allegations of an invasion of the right necessary to create standing. If there are no allegations there was an invasion of this imaginary legal right, then there is no justiciable controversy. No controversy and the courts may not act.
So even with what looks like a free pass for the IRS and other government agencies really isn’t:
“To demonstrate standing, a litigant must show that it has suffered a concrete and particularized injury that is either actual or imminent, that the injury is fairly traceable to the defendant, and that a favorable decision will likely redress that injury. See Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife, 504 U. S. 555. However, a litigant to whom Congress has “accorded a procedural right to protect his concrete interests,” id., at 573, n. 7—here, the right to challenge agency action unlawfully withheld, §7607(b)(1)—“can assert that right without meeting all the normal standards for redressability and immediacy”. Massachusetts et al. v. Environmental Protection Agency et al., 549 U.S. 497 (2007).
To further clarify and show I’m not making things up, like “congress” does, look again at these holdings of the supreme court:
“the mere fact that a suit is an adverse suit authorized by the statutes of Congress is not, in and of itself, sufficient to vest jurisdiction in the Federal courts.” Shoshone Mining Co. v. Rutter, 177 U.S. 505.
“To bring a case within the statute, a right or immunity created by the Constitution or laws of the United States must be an element, and an essential one, of the plaintiff’s cause of action. . . . The right or immunity must be such that it will be supported if the Constitution or laws of the United States are given one construction or effect, and defeated if they receive another. . . . A genuine and present controversy, not merely a possible or conjectural one, must exist with reference thereto . . . , and the controversy must be disclosed upon the face of the complaint.” National Mut. Ins. Co. v. Tidewater Transfer Co., Inc., 337 U.S. 582 (1949).
See, it’s not automatic and the controversy must be presented on the face of the complaint, which does not happen with a complaint to enforce summons.
So we’ve examined the actual textual limitations and none of them permit an IRS complaint to enforce a summons because there is no controversy. We’ve also addressed the imaginary, just create a procedural right out of thin air, and the IRS still does not have standing to maintain the complaint because there isn’t a justiciable controversy. That’s hardly a frivolous position.
A “prayer” for relief, on it’s own, is not a justiciable case or controversy. There has to be an invasion of a legal right and that must appear on the face of the complaint.
Points 1 through 9 are solid and I would expect critics, if they have disagreement it’ll be with points 10 & 11. But those are based entirely on hallucinations committed to paper. Those judging this rationally cannot escape that creating a right is not only in the realm of make believe, but it still does nothing to create the Art. III required controversy.
Even if we allow for the hallucination of a right, there is no attempt to further hallucinate the invasion necessary to create the controversy necessary to give federal courts jurisdiction.
So when a federal judge (just a lawyer whom we’re forced to pay) rules the IRS has standing, despite any allegations in a complaint, he is hallucinating an invasion of a non-existent right. Either that, or they are imagining the jurisdiction of the federal courts can legally go beyond cases and controversies. Remember, I’m all about open, honest investigation into the truth, if you disagree, feel free to post comments on the forum and call into the radio show.
No wonder they sanction us thousands of dollars when we point out how wrong they are. And make no mistake, these judges, whose salary and life-long pensions come from what the IRS forcibly take from us, are demonstrably wrong.
And this is without even getting into what type of civil action the IRS filed i.e., contract or tort. Think about that.
By Marc Stevens