United States of America v. Kautzmann
ORDER REGARDING DEFENDANT'S LETTER 5 TO THE COURT. Signed by Magistrate Judge Timothy J. Cavan on 1/4/2017. (Hard copy of Order mailed to defendant D. A. Kautzmann.) (JDR)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF MONTANA
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
DON A. KAUTZMANN,
DEFENDANT'S LETTER TO
On November 2, 2016, the United States of America filed a Complaint
against Defendant Don A. Kautzmann ("Defendant"), seeking to reduce to
judgment certain outstanding tax liabilities assessed against Defendant. (Doc. 1.)
On January 3, 201 7, the Court received a letter from Defendant, indicating he does
not agree with the amount alleged in the Complaint, and that he requests
"consideration to continue to work with the Department of Justice and the IRS
about past due taxes" ("the Letter").
The Court notes that to date, Defendant has not filed an Answer or otherwise
appeared in this action in accordance with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
Because it appears Defendant is acting pro se, the Court is inclined to construe
Defendant's correspondence as an Answer. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 8; United States v.
Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00) in US. Currency, 860 F.2d 1511, 1513 (9th
Cir. 1988) ("We have consistently held in this circuit that courts should liberally
construe the pleadings and efforts of prose litigants."); US. v. Nguyen, 997 F.
Supp. 1281 (C.D. Cal. 1998) (noting courts liberally construe prose claims "with a
view towards making the reasonable inferences and allowances necessary to
effectuate what appears to be the defendant's intentions").
However, in the event Defendant does not want the Letter to be treated as an
Answer, Defendant IS ORDERED to file a responsive pleading within seven (7)
days of the date of this order. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 8 and 12. If Defendant does
not take further action, the Letter will be construed as an Answer.
Defendant is cautioned that although the Court must construe the pleadings
liberally, pro se litigants must follow the same rules of procedure as litigants who
are represented by counsel. Ghazali v. Moran, 46 F.3d 52, 54 (9th Cir. 1995);
Carter v. Comm 'r, 784 F.2d 1006, 1008 (9th Cir. 1986). "The hazards which beset
a layman when he seeks to represent himself are obvious. He who proceeds pro se
with full knowledge and understanding of the risks does so with no greater rights
than a litigant represented by a lawyer, and the trial court is under no obligation to
become an 'advocate' for or to assist and guide the pro se layman through the trial
thicket." Jacobsen v. Filler, 790 F.2d 1362, 1365 n.5 (9th Cir. 1986) (quoting
United States v. Pinkey, 548 F.2d 30, 311 (10th Cir. 1977)); see also Barnes v.
United States, 241 F.2d 252 (9th Cir. 1956).
Defendant is further advised that any future request that the Court grant
relief, make a ruling, or take an action of any kind must be made in the form of a
motion, with an appropriate caption containing the names of the parties, the name
and division of the Court, the case number and the name of the motion, and must
contain a proof of service establishing that the relevant persons were served with a
copy. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 5; Local Rules 1.5 and 7. 1 The Court will not consider
requests made or information presented in letter form.
IT IS ORDERED.
DATED this 4th day of January, 2017.
United States Magistrate Judge
The Court's Local Rules are available on the Court's website at:
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