UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
February 11, 2009
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, PLAINTIFF,
ANTHONY WAYNE MCGUGAN, A/K/A ANTHONY WAYNE, A/K/A ANTHONY W. MCGUGAN, A/K/A "ANTHONY WAYNE: MCGUGAN," A/K/A : "ANTHONY WAYNE: [MCGUGAN]," A/K/A "ANTHONY WAYNE OF THE FAMILY MCGUGAN," DEFENDANT.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Cooper, District Judge
Plaintiff - United States of America (the "Government") - commenced this action, inter alia, to obtain a declaration that a document publicly filed with the Clerk of Ocean County, New Jersey, by defendant - Anthony Wayne McGugan, a/k/a Anthony Wayne, a/k/a Anthony W. McGugan, a/k/a "Anthony Wayne: McGugan," a/k/a "Anthony Wayne: [McGugan]," a/k/a "Anthony Wayne of the Family McGugan" ("McGugan") -- is null, void, and without legal effect. (Dkt. entry no. 1, Compl.) The Court has reviewed the papers submitted and will decide the motion without oral argument pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure ("Rule") 78(b). For the reasons stated herein, the Court will grant the relief requested by the Government.
McGugan, on February 8, 2008, brought an action in this Court against Michael MacGillivray, Revenue Officer for the United States Internal Revenue Service ("IRS"), which appeared to seek (1) a declaration holding McGugan exempt from taxation by the IRS, and (2) to enjoin the IRS from seeking tax payments from McGugan. See Wayne v. MacGillivray, Civil Action No. 08-710 (GEB), dkt. entry nos. 1, 18. The Court, on May 5, 2008, dismissed the complaint, inter alia, for failure to state a claim under Rule 12(b)(6). See id., dkt. entry nos. 18, 19. McGugan, in addition, on or about March 20, 2008, publicly filed a document, suspiciously labeled "Default Judgment" under the heading "In the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey - Trenton," with the Clerk of Ocean County, New Jersey. (Compl. at 1-2; id., Ex. 1.) The filed document also contains a reference at the top of the document to "Docket No. 3:08-cv-710," which is the civil action number for the complaint dismissed by the Court on May 5, 2008. (Id., Ex. 1.)*fn1 The text of the filed document provides:
M. MacGillivray, IRS Revenue Officer, has failed to assert any claim to Anthony Wayne by proving the certificate of search in the District Court to be faulty or fraudulent within the twenty days stipulated.
As stipulated on the Summons properly formed and served;
You are hereby Summoned and required to serve upon plaintiff . . . AND FILE WITH THE CLERK OF THE COURT an answer to the complaint which is herewith served upon you, within 20 days of service of this Summons upon you, exclusive of the day of service. If you fail to do so, Judgment by Default will be taken against you for the relief demanded in the complaint.
Default judgment is hereby entered and the injunctive relief sought in the counterclaim is awarded to Anthony Wayne. M. MacGillivray, IRS Revenue Officer, and the IRS Cincinnati Campus Lien Unit, are by law to issue a Certificate of Release to the Ocean County Recorder's Office, and to forfeit seizure upon Anthony Wayne's property and person. If M. MacGillivray, or any employee or officer of the IRS Cincinnati Campus Lien Unit, fails to do so, a Certificate of Exigent Circumstances will issue calling for the Arrest of M. MacGillivray, or any employee or officer responsible, in the cognizance of the U.S. Marshal Service, the State Department and Speaker of the House.
The Government, as a result, filed the complaint in this action on August 14, 2008, seeking, inter alia, (1) a declaration that the filed document is null, void, and without legal effect, (2) an order to expunge the filed document from the County Clerk's records, and (3) to permanently enjoin McGugan from filing similar bogus documents in the future. (Compl. at 4.) McGugan did not respond to the complaint. The Government, on November 10, 2008, moved for a judgment on the pleadings pursuant to Rule 12(c). (Dkt. entry no. 5.)
In response to the Government's motion, McGugan mailed to the Court on or about December 15, 2008, but did not file on the docket, a series of barely coherent, non-responsive documents. Many of these documents purport to have been publicly filed in various locations, including with the Clerk of Ocean County and the New Jersey Department of Treasury. The documents submitted by McGugan include: (1) "Legal Notice and Demand," appearing to give notice to all public officials that, inter alia, (a) defendant is "a Private People of Posterity; a Sovereign Personam Sojourn; by fact; not a 14th amendment citizen or surety within; or subject for; or allegiance to; your corporate UNITED STATES," (b) the "silence of Corporate Office 'Secretary of State' ratifies severance(s) of any nexus or relationship to de facto corporate commercial state office(s)," and (c) lists the "billing costs" to be assessed for violations of McGugan's rights; (2) "Act of State," purporting to be (a) a "Reaffirmation of Character," and (b) "renounc[ing] and declar[ing] void, ab initio, any and all attempts . . . of any changes in [McGugan's] lawful Citizenship Status to that of Corporate Statutory/ Military/ Maritime/ Admiralty/ Fictitious Democracy UNITED STATES, U.S., STATE OF NEW JERSEY, COUNTY OF OCEAN, TOWNSHIP OF BARNEGAT, "ANTHONY WAYNE MCGUGAN" AND ALL ITS VARIATIONS"; (3) "Declaration of Political Status," appearing to make various demands to all public officials, and to declare, inter alia, (a) "Anthony Wayne: McGugan is not a United States citizen, subject, vessel or 'person,'" (b) "Anthony Wayne: McGugan is foreign to the United States and retains official authority within His chosen jurisdiction," and (c) "Anthony Wayne: McGugan has the absolute unalienable Divine Right to keep and bear arms of any kind for protection of Self, Family, and Neighbors, by His Own Will and this DECLARATION"; (4) a letter purporting to be from the Authentications Office of the United States Department of State, regarding service number 08037888, stating "[n]o further authentication of your document is required because the country in which you intend to use it is a party to the 1961 Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents"; (5) "Power of Attorney" in which "Anthony W. McGugan" gives "Anthony Wayne: McGugan" power of attorney; (6) "Commercial Security Agreement" and "Hold Harmless and Indemnity Agreement" between debtor "Anthony Wayne McGugan, a Legal Entity, Fort Hamilton Hospital" and "Anthony Wayne: McGugan, a 'Personam Sojurn and People of Posterity'"; and (7) various "UCC Financing Statements," including (a) a statement listing the United Nations, United States, State of New Jersey, New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine, and Ocean County as debtors to "secured party Anthony Wayne McGugan," and (b) an amendment to a statement naming MacGillivray as an assignee.
The power of the district court "encompasses a broad range of powers necessary to compel compliance with the tax laws." United States v. Ernst & Whinney, 735 F.2d 1296, 1300 (11th Cir. 1984); see Brody v. United States, 243 F.2d 378, 384 (1st Cir. 1957); United States v. First Nat'l City Bank, 568 F.2d 853 (2d Cir. 1977); see also United States v. Barker, 19 F.Supp.2d 1380, 1383 (S.D. Ga. 1998) ("It is by now established beyond dispute that the United States may request the assistance of Article III courts to protect its officials from attempts at harassment, intimidation, and extortion in the form of 'liens' commonly filed by tax protestors and prisoners."). 26 U.S.C. § ("Section") 7402(a) specifically authorizes the Court to "render such judgments and decrees as may be necessary or appropriate for the enforcement of the Internal Revenue laws." 26 U.S.C. § 7402(a).*fn2
Courts have used Section 7402(a) on numerous occasions to grant the exact relief sought here, i.e., to enjoin taxpayers from filing frivolous and unsupported documents against IRS employees acting in accordance with their official duties, and declare such documents null, void, and with no legal effect. Examples of those decisions are collected here.*fn3
The Government, moving for a judgment on the pleadings, contends, inter alia, that the bogus filed document, containing sham factual assertions and falsely purporting to be a grant of judgment by default by this Court, is "specifically calculated to cause substantial interference with the enforcement of the laws of the United States pertaining to the internal revenue, and to molest, interrupt, hinder or impede an employee or officer of the United States who was in good faith performing his official duties." (Compl. at 3.)*fn4 It further argues that the bogus filed document is "wholly without any legal basis, and is solely designed to harass a Federal officer and employee in the performance of his official duties, and thus, imposes an immediate and irreparable harm." (Id.)
After carefully reviewing all submissions, the Court finds that the "Default Judgment" filed with the Ocean County Clerk, as well as the additional documents mailed to the Court by McGugan, are frivolous devices used to harass the Government and its employees. The representations in the above-referenced "Default Judgment" are patently false. While not labeled as liens, McGugan's "Default Judgment" and certain other documents seek to impose some sort of debt or financial obligation on the part of IRS Revenue Officer MacGillivray and other Government entities and officials associated with the Government's efforts to enforce the tax laws. The public filing of such bogus documents imposes irreparable harm on the Government entities and officials that are the subject of the documents, and is not within the public interest.
The documents at issue were filed without any legal basis, were not issued by court order, and interfere with the Government's enforcement of the Internal Revenue Code. Thus, the Court will declare any "default judgment," "UCC Financing Statement," or other document or notice filed by McGugan purporting to create a lien or encumbrance on the person or property of any IRS employee or other Government employee who is authorized to perform and/or has performed, any act in connection with the assessment or collection of McGugan's tax liabilities to be null and void ab initio and to have no legal force and effect.
The Court will order that the bogus documents be expunged from county and state records, and allow the order to be filed and recorded by the United States in any federal or state office or agency, county clerk's office, assessor's office, or any other location where such bogus documents have been or will be filed by McGugan.
The Court will further permanently enjoin McGugan from publishing, filing, or causing to be published or filed, any similar document that has the purpose of harassing, molesting, interrupting, hindering, impeding, or retaliating against an official or employee of the United States in the enforcement of the internal revenue laws. This permanent injunction, however, will not prevent McGugan from applying to a federal or state court of competent jurisdiction in order to obtain relief for any non-frivolous legal claim, and will not apply to or prohibit liens lawfully created by any judgment of a federal or state court of competent jurisdiction.
The Court, for the reasons stated supra, will grant the Government's motion. The Court will issue an appropriate order and judgment separately.
MARY L. COOPER United States District Judge