775 F.2d 265 (10th Cir. 1985), 84-2200, United States v. Church of World Peace

Docket Nº:84-2200.
Citation:775 F.2d 265
Party Name:UNITED STATES of America and A. Jerome Simpson, Revenue Agent, Internal Revenue Service, Petitioners-Appellees, v. CHURCH OF WORLD PEACE and William Conklin, Respondents-Appellants.
Case Date:October 22, 1985
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
 
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Page 265

775 F.2d 265 (10th Cir. 1985)

UNITED STATES of America and A. Jerome Simpson, Revenue

Agent, Internal Revenue Service, Petitioners-Appellees,

v.

CHURCH OF WORLD PEACE and William Conklin, Respondents-Appellants.

No. 84-2200.

United States Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit

October 22, 1985

Richard F. Thurston, Denver, Colo., for respondents-appellants.

Murray S. Horwitz, Atty., Tax Div., Dept. of Justice, Washington, D.C. (Glenn A. Archer, Jr., Asst. Atty. Gen., Michael L. Paup and Charles E. Brookhart, Attys., Tax Div., Dept. of Justice, Washington, D.C., with him on brief, Robert N. Miller, U.S. Atty., Denver, Colo., of counsel), for petitioners-appellees.

Before HOLLOWAY, Chief Judge, SETH, Circuit Judge, and CROW, District Judge [*].

SETH, Circuit Judge.

This is an appeal from an order of enforcement of an Internal Revenue Service summons whereby the IRS sought all the books, records and accounts of the Church of World Peace from November 10, 1977 through the date of the summons.

We are particularly concerned with the portion of the summons which asks for a list of members and names of persons for whom marriage ceremonies were performed. The affidavit of the Government to support the request recites that this

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"relates to a need to understand their function" and "is needed to help determine the organization's continued qualification for exemption under 26 U.S.C. Sec. 501(c)(3)." The appellant by affidavits states that each church member known to the IRS has had his or her income tax return audited, and that the additional names are requested for that purpose. The Government does not challenge this statement. This is the extent of the facts in the record on this issue. Similar statements appear in appellant's brief and the Government does not comment thereon.

The trial court determined that the "summoned data may be relevant." The court thus used the standards of United States v. Powell, 379 U.S. 48, 85 S.Ct. 248, 13 L.Ed.2d 112, applicable to a summons generally. This court has not decided whether limitations were placed on Powell by statute as to churches.

Ordinarily the affidavit of the IRS official as to the need and reasons for the data requested is treated as sufficient to make out a prima facie case to thereby place the burden on the challenger. This has to be the basic position. It is not necessary to review the authorities on this point as this has been done innumerable times. However, as to most general propositions, there are variations.

The appellant developed a factual basis for a First Amendment claim as described above, and advanced it in the trial court. We have considered two cases involving membership lists of organizations and First Amendment claims. These are In re First National...

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