USA v. LaRosa, et al
MEMORANDUM OPINION. Signed by Judge Deborah K. Chasanow on 10/5/2017. (sat, Chambers)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF MARYLAND
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Civil Action No. DKC 96-0980
DOMINICK LAROSA, et al.
Presently pending and ready for resolution is the motion to
reopen case and renew judgment lien filed by Plaintiff United
States (“Plaintiff” or “Government”), (ECF No. 49).
have been briefed, and the court now rules, no hearing being
Local Rule 105.6.
For the following reasons,
the motion to reopen and renew judgment will be granted.
On November 7, 1997, a judgment was entered in favor of
Plaintiff and against Defendant Dominick LaRosa and Defendant
statutorily accrued interest since April 11, 1994.
of judgment was filed with the Clerk of the Circuit Court for
Montgomery County on January 9, 1998.
The judgment remains
(ECF No. 49-1).
On August 4, 2017, Plaintiff moved to renew the judgment
responded to the reply.
(ECF Nos. 56, 57).
Motion to Renew Judgment Lien
Plaintiff brings this motion under 28 U.S.C. § 3201(c).
(ECF No. 49).
Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 3201(a), the judgment in
this case, when appropriately filed, “create[d] a lien on all
real property of” Defendants.
The lien is effective for 20
years and can be renewed for “one additional period of 20 years”
if the “the notice of renewal is filed before the expiration of
the 20-year period” and “the court approves the renewal of such
Defendants do not dispute that the judgment has not been
satisfied and that the United States properly filed for renewal,
but assert that the court should refuse to approve the renewal
of the lien because renewal “would be completely inequitable.”
(ECF No. 55-1, at 4).
Defendants argue that the doctrine of
laches bars the government from receiving a renewed judgment
(Id. at 3).
For the reasons to be discussed, Defendants’
arguments will be rejected and the renewal will be approved.
The Federal Debt Collection Procedure is codified in 28
procedures for the United States to recover on a debt.
abstract of the judgment is filed in the same manner in which a
notice of tax lien would be filed.
Tax liens are filed in one
office within the county as designated by State law.
Maryland law designates the clerk of the circuit
court of the county in which the real property is situated as
the proper place to file notices of federal liens.
Ann., Real Property § 3-401.
necessary prerequisite to the renewal of a lien, no conditions
to the renewal appear in the law and the parties do not cite to
any particular requirements.
Even in other situations, such as
actions in state court, the defenses that may be interposed in a
revival proceeding are severely limited.
Only defenses that
challenge the viability of the judgment itself, such as it is
void or was paid or otherwise discharged, may be raised.
Am.Jur. 2d Judgments § 394 (2017).
In this federal proceeding,
which is even more circumscribed, the complaints raised by the
LaRosas are unavailing.
Their lament that a proposed settlement
offer many years ago went unanswered says nothing about the
validity of the judgment, or whether it has been satisfied or
defense, a defendant must prove a “(1) lack of diligence by the
party against whom the defense is asserted, and (2) prejudice to
the party asserting the defense.”
265, 282 (1961).
Costello v. U.S., 365 U.S.
Contrary to Defendants’ assertion, Plaintiff
did not sleep on its rights.
Even while the appeal was pending,
the government undertook discovery to ascertain the location of
government office to impose a lien on Defendants’ real property.
Defendants do not assert that Plaintiff could have forced a sale
although the judgment has gone unsatisfied, Plaintiff diligently
pursued its rights and laches does not apply.
demonstrated by a disadvantage on the part of the defendant in
asserting or establishing a claimed right or some other harm
Defendants do not assert any detrimental reliance.
opportunity fully to litigate their rights.
The only evidence
relevant to the motion to renew the judgment lien is in the
and Defendant Catherine LaRosa’s lesser role in the underlying
tax controversy, Plaintiff has fully complied with applicable
law, and the request to approve renewal of the judgment lien
will be granted.
For the foregoing reasons, the motion to renew the judgment
separate order will follow.
DEBORAH K. CHASANOW
United States District Judge
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