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United States v. Nelson

United States District Court, D. South Dakota, Southern Division

August 8, 2017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
v.
JEFFREY A. NELSON, Individually and as Trustee of the J A. Nelson Irrevocable Trust; BEVERLY A. NELSON; and The MINNEHAHA COUNTY TREASURER'S OFFICE, Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          Lawrence L. Piersol United States District Judge.

         The United States of America commenced this action to reduce to judgment unpaid federal income tax assessments made against Jeffrey A. Nelson, to obtain a judicial determination that the "J A. Nelson Irrevocable Trust" is a nominee and/or alter ego of Jeffrey A. Nelson, and to foreclose the resulting tax liens. Beverly Nelson, the Minnehaha County Treasurer's Office, and Jeffrey Nelson as Trustee of the J. A. Nelson Irrevocable Trust are named only in Count II, the count to enforce the tax liens, because they may claim an interest in the real property. Jeffrey Nelson and Beverly Nelson move to dismiss the Complaint. The United States resists the motion. For the following reasons, the motion to dismiss will be denied.

         BACKGROUND

         The facts, according to the Complaint, are as follows:

         Jeffrey and Beverly Nelson, husband and wife, reside in Dell Rapids, South Dakota. Jeffrey Nelson acquired the property described in the complaint on September 22, 1978 and has continuously used it as his personal residence. On or about October 25, 1978, Jeffrey Nelson transferred the property by quitclaim deed to the J. A. Nelson Irrevocable Trust for no consideration.

         Jeffrey Nelson has personally paid the Minnehaha County Treasurer real property taxes assessed on the property.

         Jeffrey Nelson did not file federal income tax returns for the tax years 2004 through 2011, inclusive. Nelson was given timely notice of the assessments against him each of those years. Nelson owes $152, 350.27 in taxes and statutory additions. Notices of federal tax liens were filed against both Jeffrey A. Nelson and the J. A. Nelson Irrevocable Trust. As of November 30, 2016, Jeffrey Nelson owes $152, 350.27 in taxes and statutory additions.

         DISCUSSION

         In support of their motion to dismiss the complaint, the Nelsons argue the Court does not have subject matter jurisdiction over the claims against them, personal jurisdiction over them is lacking, venue is improper, and Plaintiff has failed a state a valid claim. (Docs. 7 and 11.)

         A. Subject Matter Jurisdiction

         This Court has subject matter jurisdiction over the claims in this case pursuant to 26 U.S.C. § 7402 and 28 U.S.C. §§ 1340 and 1345. Under section 7402, federal district courts have jurisdiction "to render such judgments and decrees as may be necessary or appropriate for the enforcement of the internal revenue laws." 26 U.S.C. § 7402(a). Section 1340 grants original jurisdiction to district courts "of any civil action arising under any Act of Congress providing for internal revenue." 28 U.S.C. § 1340. Finally, section 1345 provides, in pertinent part: "the district courts shall have original jurisdiction of all civil actions, suits or proceedings commenced by the United States." 28 U.S.C. § 1345. This Court has subject matter jurisdiction over this action brought by the United States as Plaintiff, seeking to enforce a lien arising from an assessment of federal income tax. See, e.g., United States v. Harvey, 2013 WL 5604307, at *2 (D.S.D. Oct. 11, 2013) (concluding subject matter jurisdiction existed under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1340 and 1345 and 26 U.S.C. § 7402 over case seeking adjudication of federal tax lien). Accordingly, the Nelsons are not entitled to dismissal of this action for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.

         B. Personal Jurisdiction

         Jurisdiction exists when a defendant is domiciled in the forum state. See Goodyear Dunlop Tires Operations, S.A. v. Brown,564 U.S. 915, 924 (2011) (noting that "[f]or an individual, the paradigm forum for the exercise of general jurisdiction is the individual's domicile"). The Nelsons admit they are residents of the State of South Dakota and that the property is located in South Dakota. (Doc. 7, pp. 2 and 8.) The Nelson's mailing address is the same as the property location in Dell Rapids, (docs. 11 and 11-1), and they were served with the summons and complaint at the ...


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