U.S. v. Medlin, No. 92-2140

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (11th Circuit)
Writing for the CourtBefore HATCHETT; HENDERSON
Citation986 F.2d 463
Parties-1304, 93-1 USTC P 50,206 UNITED STATES of America, Petitioner-Appellee, v. Walter L. MEDLIN, as custodian of records or representative or registered agent or officer or director or stockholder of Medlin Investment Company; Cheyenne Social Club; SST Air & Auto Museum, Inc.; National Land & Investment Corporation; International Land and Investment Corporation; Florida Land and Investment Co.; Majestic Oaks, Inc.; Island Living, Inc.; Orlando Land and Investment Co.; Monarch Realty, Inc.; Lake Vista Plaza, Inc.; Frank's Corner, Inc.; Central Florida Transportation Museum, Inc.; Waltin Investment Co.; Michigan Avenue Car Wash; Neptune Four Ltd.; Discount Mowing, Inc.; Sports Pix News, Inc.; Florida Billboard Co.; Florida National Land Investment Company, Inc., Respondents-Appellants.
Docket NumberNo. 92-2140
Decision Date22 March 1993

Page 463

986 F.2d 463
71 A.F.T.R.2d 93-1304, 93-1 USTC P 50,206
UNITED STATES of America, Petitioner-Appellee,
v.
Walter L. MEDLIN, as custodian of records or representative
or registered agent or officer or director or stockholder of
Medlin Investment Company; Cheyenne Social Club; SST Air &
Auto Museum, Inc.; National Land & Investment Corporation;
International Land and Investment Corporation; Florida Land
and Investment Co.; Majestic Oaks, Inc.; Island Living,
Inc.; Orlando Land and Investment Co.; Monarch Realty,
Inc.; Lake Vista Plaza, Inc.; Frank's Corner, Inc.;
Central Florida Transportation Museum, Inc.; Waltin
Investment Co.; Michigan Avenue Car Wash; Neptune Four
Ltd.; Discount Mowing, Inc.; Sports Pix News, Inc.;
Florida Billboard Co.; Florida National Land Investment
Company, Inc., Respondents-Appellants.
No. 92-2140.
United States Court of Appeals,
Eleventh Circuit.
March 22, 1993.

David D. Fussell, Orlando, FL, for respondents-appellants.

Kendell W. Wherry, Asst. U.S. Atty., Orlando, FL, Richard Resnick, Tax Div., U.S. Dept. of Justice, Washington, DC, Tamra Phipps, Asst. U.S. Atty., Tampa, FL, Gary R. Allen, Chief (lead counsel), Kevin M. Brown, Brian C. Griffin, Charles E. Brookhart,

Page 465

Appellate Section, Tax Div., Dept. of Justice, Washington, DC, for petitioner-appellee.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida.

Before HATCHETT, Circuit Judge, HENDERSON and ESCHBACH *, Senior Circuit Judges.

HENDERSON, Senior Circuit Judge:

This appeal focuses on whether an Internal Revenue Service ("IRS") summons is overbroad and whether enforcing the summons would violate the appellant's Fifth Amendment privilege against compelled self-incrimination. For the reasons that follow, we affirm the order of the district court enforcing the summons.

I. BACKGROUND

During an investigation of the tax liability of the appellant, Walter L. Medlin, the IRS issued a summons to Medlin pursuant to the authority of 26 U.S.C. § 7602 1 to produce records possessed by him in his capacity as custodian of records, representative, registered agent, officer, director or stockholder of twenty named corporations. The summons sought documents "relating to" the twenty corporations "to include but not be limited to the following [14 categories]." 2 Medlin refused to produce the documents

Page 466

and the IRS petitioned the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida to enforce the summons. 26 U.S.C. §§ 7402(b) 3 & 7604(b). 4

The district court issued an order to show cause why the summons should not be enforced and later held a hearing pursuant to that order. At the hearing, Medlin maintained that 1) the summons was overbroad in that it did not specifically identify the documents sought, 2) complying with the summons would violate his Fifth Amendment privilege against compelled self-incrimination, 3) the IRS already possessed some of the documents it had requested from him and 4) he had no duty as a stockholder of the corporation to maintain or produce corporate records. The district court granted partial relief by modifying the summons so as to not require Medlin to produce any documents he held as a stockholder or any records already acquired by the government. The court denied the remaining grounds of relief and otherwise enforced the summons. Medlin has produced the fourteen specific categories of documents but on appeal asks to have the language "relating to" and "to include but not be limited to the following" stricken from the summons.

II. JURISDICTION AND STANDARDS OF REVIEW

We have jurisdiction to entertain an appeal of this final order of the district court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1291. An order enforcing an IRS summons will not be reversed unless clearly erroneous. See La Mura v. United States, 765 F.2d 974, 981-82 (11th Cir.1985); United States v. Saunders, 951 F.2d 1065, 1066 (9th Cir.1991). Whether enforcement of the summons as modified would violate Medlin's Fifth Amendment privilege against compelled self-incrimination is a mixed question of law and fact. In re Grand Jury Subpoena, 957 F.2d 807, 809 (11th Cir.1992). We review the factual findings for clear error and the application of law to those facts de novo. Id.

III. DISCUSSION

In order to succeed in enforcing a summons, the IRS "must show that the investigation will be conducted pursuant to a legitimate purpose, that the inquiry may be relevant to the purpose, that the information sought is not already within the [IRS's] possession, and that the administrative steps required by the Code have been followed." United States v. Powell, 379 U.S. 48, 57-58, 85 S.Ct. 248, 255, 13 L.Ed.2d 112 (1964). The IRS may satisfy its minimal burden "merely by presenting the sworn affidavit of the agent who issued the summons attesting to these facts." La Mura v. United States, 765 F.2d 974, 979 (11th Cir.1985). Once the showing required by Powell has been made, the "burden shifts to the party contesting the summons to disprove one of the four elements of the government's prima facie showing or convince the court that enforcement of the summons would constitute an abuse of the court's process." Id. at 979-80. In this

Page 467

appeal, Medlin claims enforcement of the summons would be an abuse of the court's process because 1) the summons is overbroad and 2) forcing him to comply with the summons would violate his Fifth Amendment privilege against compelled...

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33 practice notes
  • Presley v. United States, No. 17-10182
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (11th Circuit)
    • July 18, 2018
    ...it is "clearly erroneous." United States v. Morse , 532 F.3d 1130, 1131 (11th Cir. 2008) (per curiam); United States v. Medlin , 986 F.2d 463, 466 (11th Cir. 1993).Determining whether the district court’s order was clearly erroneous requires us to first consider the general framew......
  • Miccosukee Tribe Indians of Fla. v. United States , Case No. 11–CV–23107.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. Southern District of Florida
    • July 12, 2012
    ...party what is required of him with sufficient specificity to permit him to respond adequately to the summons.’ ” United States v. Medlin, 986 F.2d 463, 467 (11th Cir.1993) (quoting United States v. Wyatt, 637 F.2d 293, 302 n. 16 (5th Cir.1981)). Here, the Summonses specify the detailed subj......
  • E.E.O.C. v. Quad/Graphics, Inc., No. 94-3770
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • August 21, 1995
    ...P.C. v. RTC, 5 F.3d 1508, 1516 (D.C.Cir.1993) (citing FTC v. Lonning, 539 F.2d 202, 210 n. 14 (D.C.Cir.1976)); United States v. Medlin, 986 F.2d 463, 466 (11th Cir.), cert. denied, --- U.S. ----, 114 S.Ct. 347, 126 L.Ed.2d 311 (1993); NLRB v. G.H.R. Energy Corp., 707 F.2d 110, 113 (5th Cir.......
  • U.S. v. Maxey & Co., P.C., No. 3:97-CV-0111 AS.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 7th Circuit. United States District Court of Northern District of Indiana
    • February 24, 1997
    ...Circuit has clearly held that the protections afforded in Braswell apply in the context of an IRS summons. See United States v. Medlin, 986 F.2d 463, 467 (11th Cir.), cert. denied, 510 U.S. 933, 114 S.Ct. 347, 126 L.Ed.2d 311 (1993). Thus, while this court is not required to follow the appe......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
33 cases
  • Presley v. United States, No. 17-10182
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (11th Circuit)
    • July 18, 2018
    ...it is "clearly erroneous." United States v. Morse , 532 F.3d 1130, 1131 (11th Cir. 2008) (per curiam); United States v. Medlin , 986 F.2d 463, 466 (11th Cir. 1993).Determining whether the district court’s order was clearly erroneous requires us to first consider the general framew......
  • Miccosukee Tribe Indians of Fla. v. United States , Case No. 11–CV–23107.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. Southern District of Florida
    • July 12, 2012
    ...party what is required of him with sufficient specificity to permit him to respond adequately to the summons.’ ” United States v. Medlin, 986 F.2d 463, 467 (11th Cir.1993) (quoting United States v. Wyatt, 637 F.2d 293, 302 n. 16 (5th Cir.1981)). Here, the Summonses specify the detailed subj......
  • E.E.O.C. v. Quad/Graphics, Inc., No. 94-3770
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • August 21, 1995
    ...P.C. v. RTC, 5 F.3d 1508, 1516 (D.C.Cir.1993) (citing FTC v. Lonning, 539 F.2d 202, 210 n. 14 (D.C.Cir.1976)); United States v. Medlin, 986 F.2d 463, 466 (11th Cir.), cert. denied, --- U.S. ----, 114 S.Ct. 347, 126 L.Ed.2d 311 (1993); NLRB v. G.H.R. Energy Corp., 707 F.2d 110, 113 (5th Cir.......
  • U.S. v. Maxey & Co., P.C., No. 3:97-CV-0111 AS.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 7th Circuit. United States District Court of Northern District of Indiana
    • February 24, 1997
    ...Circuit has clearly held that the protections afforded in Braswell apply in the context of an IRS summons. See United States v. Medlin, 986 F.2d 463, 467 (11th Cir.), cert. denied, 510 U.S. 933, 114 S.Ct. 347, 126 L.Ed.2d 311 (1993). Thus, while this court is not required to follow the appe......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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