771 F.2d 1305 (9th Cir. 1985), 85-3538, Ponsford v. United States

Docket Nº:85-3538.
Citation:771 F.2d 1305
Party Name:William J. PONSFORD, Jr., Plaintiff/Appellant, v. UNITED STATES of America, and Mary C. Romero, Charles Dietz, Robert Hernandez, Thomas McCarthy, Donna Carroll, Agents and/or Officers of the Internal Revenue Service, Defendants/Appellees.
Case Date:September 18, 1985
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
 
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Page 1305

771 F.2d 1305 (9th Cir. 1985)

William J. PONSFORD, Jr., Plaintiff/Appellant,

v.

UNITED STATES of America, and Mary C. Romero, Charles Dietz,

Robert Hernandez, Thomas McCarthy, Donna Carroll,

Agents and/or Officers of the Internal

Revenue Service, Defendants/Appellees.

No. 85-3538.

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

September 18, 1985

Submitted Aug. 7, 1985[*]

Page 1306

William J. Ponsford, Jr., Juneau, Alaska, for plaintiff/appellant.

John P. Griffin, Dept. of Justice, Washington, D.C., for defendants/appellees.

Appeal from United States District Court for the District of Alaska.

Before: WRIGHT, POOLE, and HALL, Circuit Judges.

CYNTHIA HOLCOMB HALL, Circuit Judge:

Plaintiff-appellant William J. Ponsford challenges the district court's refusal to quash five Internal Revenue Service (IRS) summonses issued under 26 U.S.C. Sec. 7602 1 in connection with an investigation of Ponsford's failure to file tax returns for the years 1977 through 1982. We affirm.

BACKGROUND

On February 28, 1984 summonses were issued to B.M. Behrends Bank (Behrends Bank), and Rhine Stone & Plastering Co. (Rhine Stone) to produce certain documents and records for use in the IRS investigation.

Page 1307

On March 19, 1984, Ponsford filed a petition to quash these two summonses. The IRS's response to Ponsford's motion to quash explained the IRS's purpose in issuing the Behrends Bank summons, the relevancy of the material sought to the Ponsford investigation, and attested that the IRS had complied with administrative requirements and did not have the materials sought in its possession. The response contained no such information as to the Rhine Stone summons.

On April 23, 1984, while the motion to quash was still pending, summonses were also issued to the National Bank of Alaska, The First National Bank of Anchorage, and the Fedalaska Credit Union (hereinafter the "April 23 summonses"). On June 19, 1984, Ponsford filed a reply to the government's response to the petition to quash which included a request that the district court address the April 23 summonses as part of the action before it.

The district court, without discussion, denied Ponsford's request to consider the April 23 summonses. The district court also denied Ponsford's petition to quash. The district court's order spoke exclusively to the Behrends Bank summons, although Ponsford's petition addressed the Behrends Bank and Rhine Stone summonses. In ruling on the Behrends Bank summons the district court found that the IRS had met its burden of establishing the legitimacy of the investigation and the relationship between the materials sought and the investigation. The district court also noted that Ponsford's assertion that the IRS lacked jurisdiction over him was frivolous. Ponsford filed a timely appeal.

STANDARD OF REVIEW

We have previously held that a district court's decision to enforce IRS summonses will not be disturbed unless the district court's finding that the summonses were issued for a proper purpose was clearly erroneous or the district court applied an incorrect legal standard in reaching its conclusion. United States v. Stuckey, 646 F.2d...

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