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United States v. Christenson: US District Court : TAX - jurisdiction, injunction against filing false lien claims v. federal officers

17
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF MINNESOTA
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
Plaintiff,
v.
GERALD O. CHRISTENSON and
ANITA R. CHRISTENSON,
Defendants.
Civil No. 07-4623 (JRT/FLN)
ORDER ADOPTING REPORT AND
RECOMMENDATION
Mary E. Bielefeld, UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE,
TAX DIVISION, P.O. Box 7238, Ben Franklin Station, Washington, D.C.
20044, for plaintiff.
Gerald O. Christenson and Anita R. Christenson, 25896 County Road 1 E,
Wendell, MN 56590, defendants pro se.
This case is before the Court on defendants Gerald O. Christenson and Anita R.
Christensons objection to a Report and Recommendation issued by United States
Magistrate Judge Franklin L. Noel. After a de novo review of that objection, see 28
U.S.C. 636(b); Local Rule 72.2(b), the Court adopts the Report and Recommendation
for the reasons given below.
BACKGROUND
On June 28, 2005, IRS Revenue Officer Richard A. Wallin sent letters to
Gerald O. Christenson and Anita R. Christenson, informing them that the IRS intended to
collect their unpaid federal taxes. (Compl. 6.) On August 31, 2005, the Christensons
filed a series of documents with the Iowa Secretary of State. (Id. 7-8.) These
- 2 -
documents purported to show that the Christensons had won default judgments against
Wallin personally, in the amount of 0,000. (Id. Ex. A, B.) The documents also
purported to show that the Christensons held secured lien interests in all of Wallins real
and personal property, including all vehicles and household goods. (Id.) The
Christensons judgments, which were submitted as part of the record in this case, do
not refer to a court of any kind, do not bear the signature of a judge, and appear to have
been drafted by lay persons. (See id.)
The United States filed this action on November 15, 2007, alleging that the
documents filed by the Christensons have no legal effect, and that the Christensons filed
them merely to harass a federal officer. (Compl. 7-8, 15.) The United States requested
an order declaring the documents void, permanently enjoining the Christensons from
filing any similar documents, permitting this Courts judgment to be filed with the Iowa
Secretary of State, and awarding costs and attorneys fees. (Compl. A-D.) This action
was personally served on the Christensons on December 6, 2007. (See Summons, Docket
Nos. 2, 3.) Rather than filing responsive pleadings, the Christensons returned the
Complaint and Summonses to the Court, with the hand-written notation Refused for
Cause Without Dishonor and Without Recourse to Me. (Docket No. 4.)
On February 8, 2008, the United States filed an Application for Entry of Default,
and on February 20, 2008, the Clerk of Court filed an Entry of Default. (Docket Nos. 5,
7.) After these documents were delivered to the Christensons, they sent a letter to the
Court characterizing this lawsuit as fraudulent, contending that a Department of Justice
(DOJ) tax attorney would be personally liable for their losses if she did not correct
her biased actions, and indicating that the Application for Entry of Default was
- 3 -
Refused for Cause. (Docket No. 9.) Later, on March 13, 2008, the Christensons filed a
purported default judgment against the biased DOJ tax attorney referenced in their
prior letter. (Docket No. 12.)
On April 17, 2008, the United States moved for Entry of Judgment by Default.
(Docket No. 16.)1 The United States specifically requested (1) judgment that the
Christensons filings with the Iowa Secretary of State are null, void, and without legal
effect, and (2) a permanent injunction preventing the Christensons from filing similar
documents against government agents. (Id. at 14.) Following a hearing on that motion,
the Magistrate Judge filed a Report and Recommendation recommending that this Court
grant the relief requested by the United States. (Docket No. 22.) The Christensons now
object to that recommendation.
ANALYSIS
Christensons sole objection is that the Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over
this action. The Court disagrees. 28 U.S.C. 1340 grants original jurisdiction to federal
district courts over any civil action arising under any Act of Congress providing for
internal revenue. In addition, under 26 U.S.C. 7402(a), federal district courts have
jurisdiction to render such judgments and decrees as may be necessary or appropriate for
the enforcement of the internal revenue laws. As the Magistrate Judge noted, the Eighth
1 On May 15, 2008, the Christensons filed for bankruptcy. On August 6, 2008, the
Magistrate Judge noted that while a Notice of Filing Bankruptcy had been filed in two other
cases involving the Christensons, no such notice had been filed in this case. (Docket No. 21.)
The Magistrate Judge indicated that if any party believed that this case was subject to an
automatic bankruptcy stay, a notice must be filed by August 11, 2008. (Id.) No notice was filed
before August 11, 2008, or any time thereafter.
- 4 -
Circuit has concluded on several occasions that these statutes give federal courts
jurisdiction to void baseless liens filed against IRS agents, and to issue injunctions
preventing the filing of such liens in the future. See Searcy v. Donelson, 204 F.3d 797,
799 (8th Cir. 2000); United States v. Hart, 701 F.2d 749, 750 (8th Cir. 1983). Here, the
Christensons have offered no factual basis or legal authority for the filing of their liens.
Accordingly, as in Searcy and Hart, this Court has subject matter jurisdiction over this
action. The Christensons objection is overruled, and the Report and Recommendation of
the Magistrate Judge is adopted.
ORDER
Based on the foregoing, all the files, records, and proceedings herein, the Court
OVERRULES the Christensons objection [Docket No. 23] and ADOPTS the Report
and Recommendation of the Magistrate Judge [Docket No. 22]. Accordingly, IT IS
HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiffs Motion for Default Judgment [Docket No. 16] is
GRANTED as follows:
a. The documents filed by defendants Anita R. Christenson and Gerald O.
Christenson with the Iowa Secretary of State are null, void, and of no legal
effect. This Order does not apply to any copies of IRS Form Letter 3174
attached to the voided documents by the Christensons.
b. Anita R. Christenson, Gerald O. Christenson, and their agents, employees,
and all others in active concert or participation with them, are permanently
enjoined from filing or attempting to file any document or instrument
which purports to create any nonconsensual lien or encumbrance against
- 5 -
the person or property of Richard A. Wallin or any judicial officer or
Government employee or officer.
LET JUDGMENT BE ENTERED ACCORDINGLY.
DATED: December 15, 2008 ____s/ ____
at Minneapolis, Minnesota. JOHN R. TUNHEIM
United States District Judge
 

 
 
 

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