United States of America v. Sanders et al
ORDER DENYING 134 Motion to Strike and 135 MOTION to Set Aside. The Court finds Sanders latest motions are without merit and thus the Motion to Strike the Pleadings in this Case (Doc. 134) and Motion to Set Aside the Orders to Sell the Fayette and Montgomery Properties (Doc. 135) are DENIED. Signed by Judge Nancy J. Rosenstengel on 11/13/2017. (jkb2)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
FRANKIE L. SANDERS,
Case No. 3:11-CV-912-NJR
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
ROSENSTENGEL, District Judge:
Pending before the Court are two motions filed by Defendant Frankie Sanders:
(1) Objection to the Motion for Order to Sell Property and Motion to Strike all Pleadings
(Doc. 134); and (2) Objection and Motion to Set Aside Order to Sell Sanders’ Fayette and
Montgomery Properties (Doc. 135). For the reasons set forth below, these motions are
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
Frankie Sanders is a self-employed farmer. (Doc. 2, p. 1). Unfortunately, however,
he has not filed a federal income tax return or paid federal income taxes since at least
1991. (Doc. 2, p. 3). In fact, it is unclear if he has ever done so. He is a “tax defier” and
believes that he has no obligation to pay income taxes. (Doc. 121-1, pp. 1-2). As many tax
protestors before him have learned, adherence to this belief, no matter how sincerely
held, is unwise and can be costly. 1 That is the case here. The Government filed this
As the Seventh Circuit warned, “Few people enjoy paying taxes . . . [but] taxpayers, even very frustrated
taxpayers, should resist the false siren call of the tax protester movement.” United States v. Engh, 330 F.3d
954, 956 (7th Cir. 2003). See also United States v. Ford, 514 F.3d 1047, 1053 (10th Cir. 2008) (describing tax
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collection lawsuit seeking to satisfy, or at least partially satisfy, Mr. Sanders’s tax debt by
selling the two farms on which three generations of his family have earned their
livelihood. (Doc. 2).
On February 18, 2016, this Court entered an Order granting summary judgment
to the Government in this case. (Doc. 102). Mr. Sanders appealed that decision to the
Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, which affirmed this Court’s ruling and fined Mr.
Sanders for filing a frivolous appeal. (Docs. 120, 121-1). After the denial of his appeal, the
Government moved the Court for an order to sell the Fayette and Montgomery farms.
(Docs. 129, 130). The Government’s motions were granted on November 2, 2017.
(Docs. 131, 132). Sanders then filed the pending motions asking this Court to strike all
pleadings and to set aside the orders to sell the two properties.
Sanders’s main argument is the Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction because
the Assistant United States Attorneys in this case did not have authority to represent the
government or bring suit against Sanders. (Doc. 134, pp. 5-6). Specifically, he argues that
an attorney employed by the Department of Justice is not authorized to represent the
Attorney General in Court. (Doc. 134, p. 6).
The United States Supreme Court held in United States v. California, 67 S.Ct. 1658,
1662 (1947), that “Congress has given a very broad authority to the Attorney General to
protestor arguments as “patently frivolous”); Stearman v. C.I.R., 436 F.3d 533, 537 (5th Cir. 2006)
(describing tax protestor arguments as “shopworn” and “universally rejected by this and other courts”);
United States v. Cooper, 170 F.3d 691, 691 (7th Cir. 1999) (describing tax protestor arguments as “frivolous
squared”); Crain v. C.I.R., 737 F.2d 1417, 1418 (5th Cir. 1984) (describing a tax protestor’s appeal as “a
hodgepodge of unsupported assertions, irrelevant platitudes, . . . legalistic gibberish, [and] spurious
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institute and conduct litigation in order to establish and safeguard government rights
and properties.” The United States Code specifically authorizes the Attorney General to
delegate the performance of any of his duties to other officers or employees of the
Department of Justice. 28 U.S.C.A. § 510. The United States Attorneys’ Manual delegates
the Attorney General’s responsibilities to various different departments, including the
Tax Division, which is authorized to bring suits at the request of the IRS, pursuant to
26 U.S.C. § 7401. See United States Attorneys’ Manual, Title 6: Tax, Section 6-5.110,
visited November 9, 2017). Thus, the Attorney General had authority to, and did,
delegate the litigation of claims for failure to pay taxes to the Assistant United States
Attorneys in this case.
For these reasons, Sanders’s latest motions are without merit and thus the Motion
to Strike the Pleadings in this Case (Doc. 134) and Motion to Set Aside the Orders to Sell
the Fayette and Montgomery Properties (Doc. 135) are DENIED.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
DATED: November 13, 2017
NANCY J. ROSENSTENGEL
United States District Judge
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