Skip to content

Get Judicial Watch Updates!

DONATE

Judicial Watch • NorCal Tea Party Patriots v IRS Amended Complaint 00341

NorCal Tea Party Patriots v IRS Amended Complaint 00341

NorCal Tea Party Patriots v IRS Amended Complaint 00341

Page 1: NorCal Tea Party Patriots v IRS Amended Complaint 00341

Category:

Number of Pages:43

Date Created:August 5, 2013

Date Uploaded to the Library:December 14, 2017

Tags:dissenting, Patriots, Tea, 00341, NorCal, PAGEID, cincinnati, groups, AMENDED, Lois Lerner, privacy, PARTY, Members, Department of the Treasury, exhibit, Plaintiffs, defendants, Exempt, complaint, filed, Obama, White House, texas, Supreme Court, states, Washington, united, IRS


File Scanned for Malware

Donate now to keep these documents public!


See Generated Text   ∨

Autogenerated text from PDF

Case: 1:13-cv-00341-MRB Doc Filed: 08/05/13 Page: PAGEID THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OHIO
WESTERN DIVISION-CINCINNATI
NORCAL TEA PARTY PATRIOTS, FAITH
AND FREEDOM COALITION OHIO,
SIMI VALLEY MOORPARK TEA PARTY,
TAMPA 9-12 PROJECT, SOUTH DAKOTA
CITIZENS FOR LIBERTY, INC., TEXAS
PATRIOTS TEA PARTY, AMERICANS
AGAINST OPPRESSIVE LAWS, INC.,
SAN ANGELO TEA PARTY, PRESCOTT
TEA PARTY, AND TEXAS PUBLIC POLICY
FOUNDATION BEHALF
THEMSELVES, THEIR MEMBERS, AND
THE CLASS THEY SEEK REPRESENT,
Plaintiffs,
vs.
THE INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE,
THE UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT THE TREASURY, LOIS LERNER,
STEVEN MILLER, DOUGLAS SHULMAN,
WILLIAM WILKINS, SARAH HALL INGRAM,
JOSEPH GRANT, HOLLY PAZ, CARTER HALL,
BRENDA MELAHN, CINDY THOMAS, BONNIE
ESRIG, STEVEN BOLLING, MITCHEL
STEELE, CARLY YOUNG, JOSEPH HERR,
STEPHEN SEOK, ELIZABETH HOFACRE,
MS. RICHARDS, GRANT HERRING,
and CURRENTAND FORMER EMPLOYEES THE INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE
IDENTIFIED JOHN DOES 1-100,
Defendants.
Case No. 1:13-cv-00341
FIRST AMENDED CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT
COME NOW NorCal Tea Party Patriots, Faith and Freedom Coalition Ohio, Simi
Valley Moorpark Tea Party, Tampa 9-12 Project, South Dakota Citizens for Liberty, Inc., Texas
Patriots Tea Party, Americans Against Oppressive Laws, Inc., San Angelo Tea Party, Prescott
Case: 1:13-cv-00341-MRB Doc Filed: 08/05/13 Page: PAGEID
Tea Party, and Texas Public Policy Foundation Plaintiffs behalf themselves, their
members, and the class they seek represent, and for their First Amended Complaint against the
Internal Revenue Service, the United States Department the Treasury, the named individual
Defendants and current and former employees the Internal Revenue Service, identified John
Does 1-100, state follows:
SUMMARY THE CLAIM
This class action against the United States Internal Revenue Service, the
United States Department the Treasury, the named individual Defendants, and certain their
officers and agents (John Does 1-100) who are yet identified.
Each plaintiff
organization comprised individual citizens who have joined together exercise their rights
freedom speech and expression. While these groups were formed for variety specific
purposes, they have least one important characteristic common: their apparent dissent from
the policies ideology the Executive Branch the United State Government under its
current Administration (hereafter, the Plaintiffs, their members, and the class they seek
represent are referred dissenting groups Because their primary purposes are charitable promote the common good and general welfare the citizens their respective
communities, the dissenting groups sought recognition exemption from taxation the
Internal Revenue Service under Section 501(c)(3) 501(c)(4) the Internal Revenue Code.
However, the IRS and/or its agents targeted the dissenting groups for intensive and intrusive
scrutiny, probing pervasively into their members associations, speech, activities, and beliefs.
Elements within the Executive Branch the federal government, including
Defendants, brought the vast powers, incomprehensible complexity, and crushing bureaucracy
the IRS bear groups citizens whose only wrongdoing was their presumed dissent from
Case: 1:13-cv-00341-MRB Doc Filed: 08/05/13 Page: PAGEID
the policies ideology the Administration. other words, these citizens were targeted based
upon their political viewpoints.
Defendants employed array tactics, including extra scrutiny, intimidation,
harassment, invasion privacy, discriminatory audits, disclosure private information, and
years delay.
Dissenting groups suffered years delay and expense while awaiting recognition their tax exemption (which, for many, still has not come). They also were forced waste
valuable time and money answering the IRS questions. The result was chilling and muzzling free speech and association. Hundreds other citizen groups who met the IRS criteria
first, groups with tea party sounding words their names, but later, various groups whose
members dissented from government policies and philosophy suffered the same fate.
Accordingly, Plaintiffs bring this suit their own behalf, their members behalf, and for the
putative class. They assert three claims: (1) damages for violation U.S.C. 552a (the
Privacy Act 1974); (2) damages against the individual and John Doe Defendants under Bivens Six Unknown Named Agents Federal Bureau Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388 (1971) Bivens
and injunctive and declaratory relief against the IRS and Treasury Department pursuant
U.S.C. 2201 and 2202, for violation the First and Fifth Amendments; and (3) damages
under U.S.C. 7431 for violation U.S.C. 6103 (for inspection and disclosure return
information).
JURISDICTION AND VENUE
Jurisdiction proper this Court pursuant U.S.C. 552a the Privacy
Act U.S.C. 7431 (damages action for inspection return information), U.S.C. 1331 original jurisdiction all civil actions arising under the Constitution, laws, treaties the
Case: 1:13-cv-00341-MRB Doc Filed: 08/05/13 Page: PAGEID
United States and U.S.C. 2201 (Declaratory Judgment Act). set forth below,
Plaintiffs damages claims against the individual and John Doe Defendants arise under the First
and Fifth Amendments the United States Constitution and constitute civil action cognizable federal courts under Bivens.
Venue proper this district because the district which many the
relevant agency records are situated. U.S.C. 552(a)(g)(5). Additionally, venue proper
this district because substantial part the events omissions giving rise the claim
occurred the offices the Internal Revenue Service Cincinnati, Ohio and many the
defendants and, upon information and belief, least some John Does 1-100 reside the
vicinity Cincinnati, Ohio. U.S.C. 1391(b)(2) and (e)(1)(A) and (B).
PLAINTIFFS
California.
The NorCal Tea Party Patriots non-profit organization located Colfax,
Its purpose support and conduct non-partisan research, education, and
informational activities increase public awareness legislation and legislators. Its mission
three-fold:
(1) fiscal responsibility; (2) constitutionally limited government; and (3) free
markets. NorCal has, from time time, been comprised six-member board directors,
including its chairman/secretary, Virginia Ginny Rapini, who associated together
corporate, tax-exempt form maximize the effectiveness their expression.
Faith and Freedom Coalition Ohio non-profit organization located
Columbus, Ohio. was founded support core tenants faith and freedom.
Simi Valley Moorpark Tea Party non-profit organization located Simi
Valley, California. was organized support the U.S. Constitution basic principles.
Case: 1:13-cv-00341-MRB Doc Filed: 08/05/13 Page: PAGEID
10.
The Tampa 9-12 Project volunteer non-profit organization, with more than
2,000 members, located Tampa, Florida. holds classes history, politics, economics, and
current events. also hosts candidate forums, conducts research, and promotes social welfare.
11.
The South Dakota Citizens for Liberty, Inc., non-profit located Rapid City,
South Dakota. opposes irresponsible tax and spending policies, supports the Constitution, and
communicates principles limited government.
12.
Texas Patriots Tea Party non-profit organization located Burleson, Texas. devoted educating the public regarding our history and form government.
13.
Americans Against Oppressive Laws, Inc. non-profit organization located
North Port, Florida. dedicated promoting the awareness oppressive laws and the need curtail them.
14.
San Angelo Tea Party, Inc. non-profit located San Angelo, Texas.
devoted such goals inspiring citizen participation, individual liberty, limited government,
and upholding the Constitution.
15.
Prescott Tea Party non-profit organization located Prescott, Arizona.
devoted educating the public about principles limited government and the Constitution.
16.
Texas Public Policy Foundation non-profit organization located Austin,
Texas. Its purpose sponsor scholarly research various issues public policy and
disseminate those research results the public.
DEFENDANTS
17.
The Internal Revenue Service IRS the chief tax collection agency the
United States and division the United States Department the Treasury.
Case: 1:13-cv-00341-MRB Doc Filed: 08/05/13 Page: PAGEID
18.
The Department the Treasury subdivision the Executive Branch the
United States Government and supervises and directs the IRS.
19.
The IRS Exempt Organizations Rulings and Agreement Office located
Washington, D.C., and has final authority within the IRS grant deny tax-exempt status.
20.
The Rulings and Agreement Office exercises supervisory authority over the
Determinations Unit located Cincinnati, Ohio. The Determinations Unit makes the initial
decision whether organization will granted tax-exempt status. The Determinations
Unit also receives guidance and expertise the Technical Unit the Rulings and Agreement
Office Washington, D.C. Other IRS units around the country have also been involved the
wrongs described below.
21.
Lois Lerner was the Director the Tax-Exempt Organization Unit for the IRS
during most the relevant time period. Ms. Lerner was aware of, supervised, implemented,
directed, and concealed the targeting dissenting groups. After pleading the Fifth Amendment
before Congress, Ms. Lerner was placed paid administrative leave the IRS.
Upon
information and belief, Ms. Lerner resides the Washington, D.C. area.
22.
Steven Miller was Acting IRS Commissioner during the period time which
dissenting groups were targeted. Mr. Miller supervised, directed, was aware of, and attempted
conceal the actions the IRS and its employees. Upon information and belief Mr. Miller
resides the Washington, D.C. area.
23.
Douglas Shulman was IRS Commissioner during the relevant time period. Mr.
Shulman was aware of, supervised, directed, and concealed the targeting dissenting groups.
Upon information and belief, Mr. Shulman resides the Washington, D.C. area.
Case: 1:13-cv-00341-MRB Doc Filed: 08/05/13 Page: PAGEID
24.
William Wilkins is, and was during the relevant time period, the Chief Counsel
the IRS. Mr. Wilkins was aware of, supervised, directed, implemented, and concealed the
targeting dissenting groups.
Upon information and belief, Mr. Wilkins resides the
Washington, D.C., area.
25.
Sarah Hall Ingram was Commissioner the Tax-Exempt Unit the IRS during
part all the relevant time period. Ms. Hall Ingram supervised, directed, was aware of, and
attempted conceal the actions the IRS and its employees. Upon information and belief, Ms.
Ingram resides the Washington, D.C. area.
26.
Joseph Grant was Commissioner the Tax-Exempt Entities Unit the IRS
during part all the relevant time period. Mr. Grant supervised, directed, was aware of, and
attempted conceal the actions the IRS and its employees. Upon information and belief, Mr.
Grant resides the Washington, D.C. area.
27.
Holly Paz was Director the Exempt Organizations Unit the IRS during the
relevant time period. Ms. Paz supervised, directed, was aware of, and attempted conceal the
actions the IRS and its employees. Further, Ms. Paz reportedly sat all interviews the
Inspector General Office IRS employees with the express purpose intimidating employees
from telling the truth and suppressing the facts the IRS targeting. July 15, 2013, Ms.
Paz was reportedly placed paid administrative leave. Upon information and belief, Ms. Paz
resides the Washington, D.C. area.
28.
Carter Hall was lawyer the IRS Washington, D.C. Mr. Hall directed,
supervised, was aware of, and concealed the targeting dissenting groups. Upon information
and belief, Mr. Hall carefully managed one more the Cincinnati IRS agents efforts target
Case: 1:13-cv-00341-MRB Doc Filed: 08/05/13 Page: PAGEID
dissenting groups. Mr. Hall promptly retired from the IRS soon his role became public.
Upon information and belief, resides the Washington, D.C. area.
29.
Brenda Melahn the now retired Program Director the West Virginia IRS
office. Ms. Melahn directed, supervised, concealed, and coordinated with Washington regarding
the targeting dissenting groups. Upon information and belief, Ms. Melahn resides West
Virginia.
30.
Cindy Thomas was the Program Manager the Tax-Exempt Division the IRS Cincinnati, Ohio during part all the relevant time period.
Ms. Thomas directed,
supervised, concealed, and coordinated with Washington, D.C. regarding the targeting
dissenting groups. Upon information and belief, Ms. Thomas was involved from the beginning conceiving and implementing the targeting strategy.
Upon information and belief, Ms.
Thomas resides the Cincinnati, Ohio area.
31.
Bonnie Esrig was manager the Tax-Exempt Division the IRS Cincinnati,
Ohio. She participated the implementation, direction, supervision, development criteria,
concealment, and coordination with Washington, D.C. regarding the targeting dissenting
groups. Upon information and belief, Ms. Esrig resides the Cincinnati, Ohio area.
32.
Steven Bolling was manager the Tax-Exempt Division the IRS
Cincinnati, Ohio. participated the implementation, direction, supervision, development
criteria, concealment, and coordination with Washington, D.C. regarding the targeting
dissenting groups. Upon information and belief, Mr. Bolling resides the Cincinnati, Ohio
area.
33.
Mitchel Steele was front-line worker the Tax-Exempt Division the IRS
Cincinnati, Ohio. directly implemented the targeting dissenting groups through his
Case: 1:13-cv-00341-MRB Doc Filed: 08/05/13 Page: PAGEID
interactions with them, including demands for improper information, invasion privacy,
harassment, intimidation, and delay. Upon information and belief, Mr. Steele resides the
Cincinnati, Ohio area.
34.
Carly Young was front-line worker the Tax-Exempt Division the IRS
Cincinnati, Ohio. She directly implemented the targeting dissenting groups through her
interactions with them, including demands for improper information, invasion privacy,
harassment, intimidation, and delay. Upon information and belief, Ms. Young resides the
Cincinnati, Ohio area.
35.
Joseph Herr was front-line worker the Tax-Exempt Division the IRS
Cincinnati, Ohio. directly implemented the targeting dissenting groups through his
interactions with them, including demands for improper information, invasion privacy,
harassment, intimidation, and delay. Upon information and belief, Mr. Herr resides the
Cincinnati, Ohio area.
36.
Stephen Seok was front-line worker the Tax-Exempt Division the IRS
Cincinnati, Ohio. directly implemented the targeting dissenting groups through his
interactions with them, including demands for improper information, invasion privacy,
harassment, intimidation, and delay. Upon information and belief, Mr. Seok resides the
Cincinnati, Ohio area.
37.
Elizabeth Hofacre was front-line worker the Tax-Exempt Division the IRS Cincinnati, Ohio. She directly implemented the targeting dissenting groups through her
interactions with them, including demands for improper information, invasion privacy,
harassment, intimidation, and delay. Upon information and belief, Ms. Hofacre resides the
Cincinnati, Ohio area.
Case: 1:13-cv-00341-MRB Doc Filed: 08/05/13 Page: PAGEID
38. Ms. Richards was front-line worker the Tax-Exempt Division the IRS
Cincinnati, Ohio. She directly implemented the targeting dissenting groups through her
interactions with them, including demands for improper information, invasion privacy,
harassment, intimidation, and delay. Upon information and belief, Ms. Richards resides the
Cincinnati, Ohio area.
39.
Grant Herring was front-line worker the Tax-Exempt Division the IRS
Cincinnati, Ohio. directly implemented the targeting dissenting groups through his
interactions with them, including demands for improper information, invasion privacy,
harassment, intimidation, and delay. Upon information and belief, Mr. Herring resides the
Cincinnati, Ohio area.
40.
John Does 1-100 are current and former employees the Department the
Treasury, the IRS, and specifically, the subdivisions described 18-19 above.
FACTUAL BACKGROUND
41. May 14, 2013, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration issued
report entitled, Inappropriate Criteria Were Used Identify Tax-Exempt Applications for
Review IGR true and accurate copy the IGR attached hereto Exhibit The
conclusions the report are true and are incorporated and alleged herein. However, alleged greater detail below, the wrongdoing the IRS extends beyond the conclusions the IGR
both time period and scope.
42.
Tea party and other groups were singled out for special scrutiny based upon their
names policy positions.
43. about March 2010, the Determinations Unit began singling out for special
scrutiny requests for tax-exemption for groups identified Tea Party, Patriots, 912
Case: 1:13-cv-00341-MRB Doc Filed: 08/05/13 Page: PAGEID
Project, and applications involving political-sounding names that seemed identify with the
Tea Party, such the People Take Back the Country.
44.
These criteria were later expanded target groups whose issues included
government spending, government debt, expanding/limiting government, taxes.
45.
Groups dedicated educating the public advocacy/lobbying make
America better place live were also targeted, were groups committed educating
the Constitution and bill rights.
46.
Also targeted for special scrutiny were groups who had statement the case file
criticizing how the country being run.
47.
The IRS knowledge that this discrimination was illegal evidenced their
scheme keep the people duly elected representatives the dark about it. When members
Congress asked IRS officials, including defendants Shulman and Miller, whether the IRS was
targeting certain groups for different treatment, the IRS officials provided misleading and
deceptive responses conceal the scheme. Additionally, responding written questions from
Congress May 2012, well after she had learned the targeting, defendant Lerner falsely
stated that the intrusive demands for information were simply development letters the IRS sends organizations the ordinary course the application process. Further, the White House
denied any knowledge that the IRS was targeting dissenting groups until April May 2013.
48.
The public was unaware that the IRS was targeting dissenting groups for special
scrutiny until May 2013.
49.
There evidence that liberal progressive political groups groups
supporting the re-election President Barack Obama the election Democrats were targeted
for similar delay, intrusive questions, impairment their First Amendment rights. Indeed,
Case: 1:13-cv-00341-MRB Doc Filed: 08/05/13 Page: PAGEID
May 15, 2013 Washington Post analysis the IRS public database nonprofit organizations
showed that groups with the word progressive their names suffered similar slowdown
pattern, and their number approvals increased each year from 2009 2012.
See
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/politics/irs-targets-conservative-groups/
(visited May 19, 2013).
50.
The IGR identifies 296 applications targeted for review the Cincinnati office
alone based the groups name conservative libertarian political views. Other reports
suggest the number may exceed 500.
Only through discovery will the full scope this
viewpoint discrimination identifiable.
51.
Once the IRS decided begin targeting dissenting groups for special scrutiny
issued the first several the lookout BOLO listings. The initial BOLO listing
simply identified the Tea Party movement. Further BOLO listings included the additional
dissenting criteria described above.
52.
Once dissenting group was targeted for special review, its file was forwarded team specialists within the Determinations Unit Cincinnati.
53.
Once forwarded the specialist for greater review, the organization was
subjected unreasonable delays and often harassing, illegal, and discriminatory demands for
private information.
54.
The IRS intent engage viewpoint discrimination further evidenced the
fact that from March 2010 until July 2011 the IRS simply referred these cases the tea
party cases.
55.
Nina Olsen, the IRS National Taxpayer Advocate NTA and the Taxpayer
Advocate Service TAS issued report Congress the targeting dissenting groups
Case: 1:13-cv-00341-MRB Doc Filed: 08/05/13 Page: PAGEID
June 30, 2013, entitled Special Report Congress: Political Activity and the Rights
Applicants for Tax Exempt Status (hereafter, Advocate Report true and correct copy
the Advocate Report attached hereto Exhibit
56.
The Advocate Report recommended apology payments targeted groups
show that the government recognizes its mistake and the taxpayer burden.
57.
Neither the NTA nor TAS were informed the IRS the delays, the law
requires. They were therefore unable intervene any meaningful way stop the targeting. the few cases which the TAS tried intervene, was resisted every turn Defendants.
58.
The law requires that cases delayed more than days beyond normal processing
time referred the TAS. Defendants violated the law not referring any the class
members cases even though least hundreds cases were delayed.
59.
The Advocate Report lists numerous violations Defendants dissenting
groups rights, including:
the right informed, which Defendants violated failing post their
criteria, standards, form letters, and BOLOs; the right timely processing; the right assisted; the right heard; the right privacy [which] was violated when the IRS burdened them with
unnecessary questions the right confidentiality was violated the request for donor
information that would otherwise non-public were provided the annual
Case: 1:13-cv-00341-MRB Doc Filed: 08/05/13 Page: PAGEID
Form 990 filing. (In other words, The IRS request for donor lists also
meant that donors would disclosed the public. and
the right fair and just tax system, which was demonstrably violated
the failure design the application process elicit information
impartial manner.
60.
The conduct and acts set forth Paragraph did fact occur, and did fact
violate the rights identified the Advocate Report.
61. the Advocate Report also observes, the information requested from dissenting
groups was excessive.
62.
Additionally, Advocate Report explains, Defendants failure post their
criteria, standards, form letters, and BOLOs violated the law.
63.
Subsequent disclosures have revealed the targeting dissenting groups
much more widespread than reported the IGR discussed the Advocate Report. The
targeting involved more IRS offices, personnel, groups, and broader time period. Reports
date have merely disclosed the tip the iceberg, and only discovery will reveal the full scope
this targeting.
Demands for Burdensome Information Disclosure
64.
One tactic utilized the IRS harass, intimidate, and discriminate against
dissenting groups critical the current Administration was demand disclosure information
not authorized the Internal Revenue Code any other federal law.
65.
Plaintiffs, like the vast majority dissenting groups, are mom and pop
operations, run ordinary citizens, often new the process formally organizing express
their views, educate their fellow citizens, and promote the common good and general welfare.
Case: 1:13-cv-00341-MRB Doc Filed: 08/05/13 Page: PAGEID
Like most tea party organizations, Plaintiffs often operate shoe string budgets and rely
members and volunteers perform the vast majority their activities. Plaintiffs not have
large corporate structures in-house legal teams respond massive and technical requests
for information.
66.
Yet evinced great detail below, these broad and sophisticated inquiries are
exactly the kinds requests the IRS made the dissenting groups who fit its criteria for special
scrutiny.
67.
The IRS engaged tactic suffocating Plaintiffs and other similarly situated
groups with requests that were searching and extensive that they would have presented
serious challenge even for sophisticated businesses.
68.
The breadth the requested information has been described the IGR
inappropriate, unnecessary, and burdensome.
69. example the sort information the IRS sought from dissenting groups
found the January 27, 2012 demand for information from NorCal Tea Party Patriots. (See
Exhibit attached). After doing nothing with any dissenting group application for thirteen
months (as will discussed below), the IRS sent demand for information NorCal Tea Party
Patriots. The information had gathered and provided under penalty perjury February
17, 2012. The January 27, 2012 letter demanded information that far exceeded the IRS needs lawfully considering NorCal request for exemption.
70.
For example, the IRS demanded the following information: list all events and activities conducted since July 2010, including the time,
location, and content schedule each event; the names and credentials any
instructors; detailed contents the speeches forums, names the speakers
Case: 1:13-cv-00341-MRB Doc Filed: 08/05/13 Page: PAGEID panels, and their credentials, and the amount paid for each speaker; the
names persons from NorCal Tea Party Patriots and the amount time they
will had spent spend the event, well the compensation paid each
person, Id., information about NorCal Tea Party Patriots website and internet related
activities, such the amounts incurred for these activities for 2010 and 2011,
and the amounts incurred 2012 and 2013, Id., copies any newsletters emails distributed members the public, Id., copies any new publication and/or advertising materials that were not
already provided the application response submitted July 2010, Id., whether NorCal Tea Party Patriots had conducted would conduct rallies
exhibitions for against any public policies, legislation, public officers,
political candidates, and the like, Id., the time, location, and content each scheduled rally exhibition; copies
handouts that NorCal Tea Party Patriots did would provide the public,
Id.; the names NorCal members and the amount time each person would
spend the event; and the percentage time and resources the NorCal Tea
Party Patriots planned spend conducting these activities relation its
total activities for the year, Id.;
Case: 1:13-cv-00341-MRB Doc Filed: 08/05/13 Page: PAGEID whether NorCal Tea Party Patriots had would conduct candidate forums
any other events where political candidates were asked speak, the names
the candidates, time and location events, number people attendance,
copies all handouts distributed these events, any recordings the events,
and transcript speeches given the political candidates, Id., 6-7; materials other communications distributed NorCal Tea Party Patriots behalf another organization person, including copies these
materials, indication when and where the materials were distributed, and
the names the persons distributing the materials, Id., whether NorCal Tea Party Patriots had intended conduct voter education
activities, such voter registration drives, voting drives, distribute voter
guides; the names the members who had would conduct these efforts and
copies all materials distributed further these efforts, Id., whether NorCal Tea Party Patriots had planned make any attempts
influence the outcome specific legislation, Id., 11; information
about
NorCal
Tea
Party
Patriots
direct
indirect
communications with members legislative bodies. The IRS then demanded
copies these written communications, Id., 12; the names other IRC 501(c)(3), 501(c)(4), 527 organizations, together
with the name, employer identification number, and address each such
organization, detailed description the nature the relationship between
NorCal Tea Party Patriots and the other organizations, the nature their
Case: 1:13-cv-00341-MRB Doc Filed: 08/05/13 Page: PAGEID
contacts, and list shared employees, volunteers, and other resources, Id.,
13; copies all solicitations made NorCal Tea Party Patriots and copies all
documents related fundraising events, Id., 14; information about NorCal Tea Party Patriots board directors and the
board activities, including all copies corporate minutes from August 2010 present, the titles, duties, work hours, and compensation the board
members, officers, and employees, and the names any board members
officers who has intends run for public office, Id., 16; extensive information about NorCal Tea Party Patriots membership,
including the number members, the nature its membership (individuals organizations), copies member application forms, membership fee
schedule, the roles and duties its members, and copies NorCal
website features that are designed available exclusively its members
only, Id., 17; information the income NorCal Tea Party Patriots received and raised from
its inception the time the information was requested, and its projected
income for 2012 and 2013, Id., 18; the names donors, contributors, and grantors and whether these persons had intended run for office and which office, the amounts and dates the
contributions, and detailed description how NorCal Tea Party Patriots
used these monies; the amount membership fees NorCal Tea Party Patriots
Case: 1:13-cv-00341-MRB Doc Filed: 08/05/13 Page: PAGEID
received each year; and the amounts fundraising received each year, Id.;
and detailed information about the expenses NorCal Tea Party Patriots had
incurred from its inception the time the information was requested and all
anticipated expenses for 2012 and 2013; the compensation, salary, wage, and
reimbursement expenses for each year NorCal Tea Party Patriots
existence. Id., 19.
71.
Like many other similarly situated dissenting groups, NorCal Tea Party
Patriots was given this unreasonable deadline January 2012 respond this onerous
request. the IGR points out, dissenting groups were given unreasonable periods time
respond these requests even though the IRS had done nothing process their request for taxexempt status for months.
72.
The Faith and Freedom Coalition Ohio FFCO received virtually identical
requests for information February 14, 2012.
73. June 19, 2012, FFCO received letter telling disregard the February
request for information, but then later received letter containing further demands. (See Exhibit attached).
74.
The letter demanded that FFCO list each program/activity you have conducted
from inception until now. demanded, for each program, the time, location, and description;
copies handouts, pamphlets, and other literature distributed the public; names speakers
panel members and their credentials; whether not any speaker spoke favor candidate
and so, whether the organization publically disclaimed endorsed those statements.
Case: 1:13-cv-00341-MRB Doc Filed: 08/05/13 Page: PAGEID
75.
Not content with this second demand, June 28, 2012, the IRS sent yet third
demand letter. (See Exhibit attached).
76. repeated the previous demand regarding each program. then demanded
know how each the activities you described voter registrations, candidate forums,
candidate debates, town hall meetings, citizenship and citizen action seminars will
conducted.
77.
The letter warned that the IRS did not hear from FFCO will assume you
longer want consider your application for exemption and will close your case.
78.
Defendants treatment FFCO directly contradicts the assertion the IGR
Report and subsequent IRS statements that the demands for irrelevant information ceased after
the January-February 2012 form letters.
79.
The demands were not simply limited FFCO, and did not stop February
2012. For example, September 19, 2012, Simi Valley Moorpark Tea Party received demand
for irrelevant information. (See Exhibit attached).
80.
The letter demanded detailed descriptions each meeting that they had had and
copies materials they had handed out. also demanded information about the steps that the
group would take the 2012 election cycle, particularly expenditures influence the election political candidates.
81.
And these requests for irrelevant information were not limited Defendants
Cincinnati office.
For example, August 2010, the Tampa 9-12 Project received letter
from the Baltimore, Maryland Office the IRS. The letter requested information concerning
educational materials presented all meetings, and research materials produced disseminated
Case: 1:13-cv-00341-MRB Doc Filed: 08/05/13 Page: PAGEID the organization social, domestic, economic, defense and foreign policy issues. (See
Exhibit attached).
82.
The letter also demanded the methodology the Tampa 9-12 Project intended
use conducting its voter registration drives and demanded copies the voter registration
materials.
83. particularly egregious violation First Amendment rights has been suffered
the Texas Public Policy Foundation TPPF around the spring 2012, the IRS illegally
released TPPF 990 form with the donor information un-redacted. Subsequently, this highly
confidential information was widely circulated the media.
Said release was illegal,
intentional, malicious, and politically motivated.
84.
Upon information and belief, other dissenting groups confidential information
has been wrongfully disseminated both within and outside the government.
Delay
85.
The NorCal Tea Party Patriots first applied for tax-exempt status March
2010. Its approval was not granted until over two years later, August 2012.
86.
Faith and Freedom Coalition Ohio applied March 2011. Its tax-exempt
status was not granted until September 17, 2012.
87.
The Simi Valley Moorpark Tea Party applied for tax-exempt status July 25,
2011. Its tax-exempt status was not granted until November 2012.
88.
The South Dakota Citizens for Liberty, Inc. applied September 2010. Its
tax-exempt status was not granted until almost two years later June 20, 2012.
89.
The Tampa 9-12 Project applied for tax-exempt status February 2010. Its
application was not granted until January 2011.
Case: 1:13-cv-00341-MRB Doc Filed: 08/05/13 Page: PAGEID 100
90.
Numerous dissenting groups, however, applied and have never been granted the
status for which that they are qualified.
91.
The Texas Tea Party Patriots applied for tax-exempt status June 2012.
received demands for additional information from the IRS, including the last one recent
February 12, 2013. (See Exhibit attached).
92.
The IRS still has not acted upon Texas Tea Party Patriots application.
93.
Americans Against Oppressive Laws applied for tax-exempt status September
2011. They are still waiting for the IRS act. Though the IRS will not act their application, apparently searching for reasons deny it. The IRS Covington, Kentucky office sent the
organization letter, dated May 22, 2013, indicating had performed trademark search
their name and demanding irrelevant information. (See Exhibit attached).
94.
This unjustifiable delay was part the IRS pattern withholding approval
from dissenting groups.
95. the IGR points out, inappropriate criteria were place for least months
which resulted substantial delays processing applications dissenting groups.
96.
For the majority dissenting organizations who applied for tax-exempt status,
work was completed for months.
97.
Many were left open for more than three years and crossed two campaign cycles,
including the presidential cycle 2012. Campaign cycles are important because they are mass
events that focus the American public the major policy issues our day.
The 2012
presidential election was particularly important dissenting groups because alerted potential
supporters the ideology and public policy the incumbent President and Administration.
Additionally, the state level, many initiative petition and referendum campaigns coincide with
Case: 1:13-cv-00341-MRB Doc Filed: 08/05/13 Page: PAGEID 101
candidate election cycles. Accordingly, for tax-exempt groups truly fulfill their expressive
and social welfare purposes, critical have exemption during the windows heightened
public awareness and debate that election cycles bring.
98.
Instead, the IRS saddled dissenting groups with delays during these crucial
windows opportunity. This delay was especially damaging groups like Plaintiffs. the
IGR points out, such groups often withdrew their applications may not have begun conducting
the planned social welfare work they had mind.
99. the IGR explains, delays prevented organizations like Plaintiffs from receiving
their tax-exempt status, including exemption from certain state taxes and reduced postal rates.
100.
Delays processing tax-exempt status impaired the ability dissenting groups solicit donations and plan and conduct their business activities.
101.
Additionally, such groups suffered considerable uncertainty because their tax-
exempt status had ultimately been denied, they would have been forced retroactively file tax
returns and pay taxes and penalties for two years while their applications were pending.
102.
There was extreme delay for these dissenting groups compared those not
targeted for extra scrutiny. took the IRS average 238 days approve the applications
other groups and average 574 days process the dissenting groups selected for higher
scrutiny.
For politically-favored groups, the process may have been much faster.
After
watchdog groups complained that foundation named after Barack Obama, the father the
President the United States, was sham charity and was operating without having received
tax-exempt status, the IRS Cincinnati Determinations Unit processed its application just
days, granting tax-exempt status retroactively the date had begun its fundraising 2009.
See
http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/irs-stalled-conservative-groups-but-gave-speedy-
Case: 1:13-cv-00341-MRB Doc Filed: 08/05/13 Page: PAGEID 102
approval-to-obama-foundation/2013/05/16/90c53e8a-be57-11e2-89c9-3be8095fe767_story.html
(viewed May 19, 2013). The Obama foundation tax-exemption letter was signed Lois
Lerner. Id.
103.
Potential donors and grantors are more reluctant contribute groups like
Plaintiffs when their tax-exempt status uncertain.
104.
When the purpose group inform and educate the public about the main
policy issues the day, delays through two election cycles can essentially destroy the group
ability fully and equally participate the national policy debate. Put simply, the IRS used its
power intimidate, coerce, and chill the expressive activity dissenting groups.
Chilled
105.
Defendants goal, described throughout this Complaint, was discourage
dissenting groups from participating the political process. Defendants delays, combined with
their demands for information and efforts intimidate, were often frustrating that they chilled
dissenting groups and caused them withdraw their applications for tax-exempt status.
106.
The San Angelo Tea Party applied for tax-exempt status March 16, 2010.
September 29, 2010, received its first demand for excessive disclosure. (See Exhibit
attached).
107.
The letter demanded such things its Facebook pages, resumes its board
members, the topics covered meetings for the past year, copies all literature distributed
the meetings, and all contracts with third parties.
108. January 2012, the San Angelo Tea Party received the form demand for
information discussed above, well follow-up phone call from IRS agent Grant Herring.
Case: 1:13-cv-00341-MRB Doc Filed: 08/05/13 Page: PAGEID 103
Intimidated the harassment, the San Angelo Tea Party withdrew its application. (See Exhibit attached).
109.
The Prescott Tea Party applied for tax-exempt status November 2009.
April 14, 2010, received demand for additional information from Carter Hull, attorney
from the Washington, D.C. Office the IRS. Mr. Hull demanded information about all the
group political activities, including, its rallies, emails, protests, and any other steps about how
you encourage members voice their opinions. also insisted copies their email blasts,
video presentations, and mailings.
110.
The Prescott Tea Party was intimidated and chose not move forward with their
application.
COUNT ONE: THE PRIVACY ACT
111.
Plaintiffs incorporate the allegations Paragraphs 1-110 though fully set forth
112. U.S.C. 552a, known the Privacy Act, grants all citizens certain protections
herein.
regarding private information. The Defendants violated the Privacy Act several particulars.
113.
Section 552a(e)(1) requires that the agency maintain its records only such
information about individual relevant and necessary accomplish purpose the
agency required accomplished statute Executive Order the President
114.
The Defendants violated this provision requiring that Plaintiffs produce
information about their members free expression and association that was neither relevant nor
necessary any lawful purpose. Much the information sought from Plaintiffs and similarly
situated groups was not relevant any lawful purpose the IRS.
Case: 1:13-cv-00341-MRB Doc Filed: 08/05/13 Page: PAGEID 104
115.
The IRS demand for the information described 70, above, violates
552a(e)(1) and 552a(e)(3).
116.
The provisions 552a(e)(3)(A) were violated because the IRS request for
information did not specify the authority which authorized the solicitation the information and
did not specify whether disclosure the information was mandatory voluntary. this case
could only voluntary since was not authorized law, but the IRS did not notify the
recipients.
117.
The provisions 552a(e)(3)(B) were violated because the IRS did not notify
the recipients the principal purpose for which the information was used this case,
intimidation and delay based group viewpoint.
118.
The provisions 552a(e)(3)(C) were violated because recipients were not made
aware the routine uses that were made the information. They were not made aware because lawful routine use was contemplated.
119.
The provisions 552a(e)(3)(D) were violated because notice was provided recipients the effects not providing the information. The IRS could not tell recipients
that was incapable imposing any penalty upon them for not responding since the requests
themselves were illegal.
120.
The provisions 552a(e)(4) were violated that the IRS did not publish the
Federal Register any the required information regarding this system records which was
illegally soliciting and maintaining.
121.
The provisions 552a(e)(5) were violated that the IRS made effort
maintain these records with such accuracy, relevance, timeliness, and completeness
reasonably necessary ensure fairness the individual the determination.
The very
Case: 1:13-cv-00341-MRB Doc Filed: 08/05/13 Page: PAGEID 105
purpose for which these records were collected was ensure unfairness and delay dissenting
groups.
122.
The provisions 552a(e)(7) were violated that the law requires that the IRS
maintain record describing how any individual exercises rights guaranteed the First
Amendment unless expressly authorized statute the individual about whom the record
maintained
The information demanded regarding the First Amendment activities
Plaintiffs, their associated members, and similar groups, outlined 70, above, illustrate
clear and intentional violation this section.
123.
The provisions 552a(e)(10) were violated that Defendants did not establish
safe guards ensure the security and confidentiality the records and prevent embarrassment,
inconvenience, unfairness the targeted groups. information and belief, Defendants have
improperly disclosed information obtained from dissenting groups media sources and groups
with political agenda consistent with Defendants agenda.
124.
The Privacy Act 552a(g)(1) provides civil remedies for individuals who have
been injured activities such the IRS has undertaken. Plaintiffs assert causes action under
subsection (d) because the IRS has failed comply with several provisions the Privacy Act
such way have adverse effect Plaintiffs and their members.
125.
Plaintiffs standing two-pronged. First, Plaintiffs sue their own behalf
expressive associations individuals that have assumed the corporate form and have sought
exemptions protect the organizations from paying taxes the resources the individuals
contribute the groups for their expressive purposes.
126.
Second, Plaintiffs assert associational standing behalf all their members.
Plaintiffs have associational standing the following basis.
Case: 1:13-cv-00341-MRB Doc Filed: 08/05/13 Page: PAGEID 106 First, Plaintiffs members have standing their own right. They have been
injured because the IRS unnecessarily requested, retained, and shared
information about their individual expressive activities and beliefs.
For
example, the IRS asked for the names speakers events (not excluding
members), their credentials, and the amount time members spent events
(or would spend upcoming events). See 70.a, supra. The IRS asked for
the names members and the amount time each person would spend [events]. 70.g, supra. asked for any recordings events, 70.h,
supra), which would indiscriminately disclose members political speech.
asked for the names persons which could include members who
would distribute materials from other organizations 70.i); the names
members who conducted voter education registration drives 70.j); list employees volunteers shared with other organizations 70.m);
information about the board directors and its activities, and the names
any members who sought run for public office 70.o); copies
membership application forms, descriptions the roles and duties
members, and copies website areas available only members 70.p); the
names donors, contributors, and grantors 70.r); and detailed information
regarding the topics discussed meetings and written communications
handed out meetings (see generally 70-83). Accordingly, the IRS
demands were targeted reveal specific facts about the political speech,
beliefs, and activities the individuals who banded together form each
Plaintiff-entity, and who therefore made each Plaintiff membership.
Case: 1:13-cv-00341-MRB Doc Filed: 08/05/13 Page: PAGEID 107
Individuals require breathing space develop, test, share, and act upon
political beliefs disclosing them the audience, the forum, and the
circumstances their choosing not disclosing them all. The IRS
disclosure demands violated this core principle asking Plaintiff members report their own political beliefs and activities, and the political beliefs and
activities their associates.
The IRS demands therefore proximately
caused individuals suffer damages set forth 127, below. Second, the individual privacy interests Plaintiffs seek protect are not only
germane their organizations purposes, they are and fundamental
Plaintiffs very existence.
Each Plaintiff was formed advance social
welfare and the education society. Plaintiffs perform this function through
coordinating their individual members expression. But prior expression,
the individuals comprising each Plaintiff must have privacy. Unless Plaintiffs
are first able provide their individual members the privacy and breathing
space necessary conceive, form, and test ideas, Plaintiffs cannot coordinate
their individual members expression those jointly conceived, formed, and
tested ideas. Therefore, impairing individual members interest the
privacy their association, the IRS impaired Plaintiffs themselves. Third, neither the claim Plaintiffs assert nor the damages they request require
the participation Plaintiffs individual members the lawsuit. The IRS
targeted the privacy interests and expression individual members
making blanket disclosure demands the individuals associations, the
Plaintiffs. Then, the request the IRS, Plaintiffs provided information
Case: 1:13-cv-00341-MRB Doc Filed: 08/05/13 Page: PAGEID 108
their individual members. The costs Plaintiffs member-specific responses
were equally borne all members whose information was disclosed.
Additionally, the Privacy Act provides that for low-dollar claims, uniform
minimum $1,000 per member assessed damages. For all these
reasons, the participation individual members the Plaintiffs
unnecessary the litigation, and the government should able litigate the
case dealing with the Plaintiffs, the parties tried use harvest the
individuals private information.
127.
Wherefore, pursuant 552a(g)(4) Plaintiffs state that they and their members
have been damaged direct and proximate cause Defendants actions by:
The collection irrelevant and unnecessary information Plaintiffs, their officers,
members, donors, speakers, and protected First Amendment activities.
The invasion the privacy Plaintiffs and the above-referenced individuals.
The harassment, burden, and expense complying with demands for information
that were not lawful.
The loss donations, membership fees, and grants due the Defendants invasion the privacy Plaintiffs and all people associated with them.
The cost bringing this action together with reasonable attorney fees.
COUNT TWO: VIOLATIONS THE U.S. CONSTITUTION
128.
Plaintiffs incorporate the allegations Paragraphs 1-127 though fully set forth
129.
The United States Supreme Court ruled Bivens (see supra) that federal
herein.
officers are subject personal liability for any violation constitutional rights which
Case: 1:13-cv-00341-MRB Doc Filed: 08/05/13 Page: PAGEID 109
reasonable officer would aware. Bivens available where there constitutional violation
and the victim has other remedy. Other than the damages for the privacy intrusion pled
above, Plaintiffs and similarly situated groups and individuals have statutory remedy for the
systematic targeting dissenting groups based upon the content their beliefs and expression.
This constitutional tort and clear violation the First and Fifth Amendments.
130.
The First Amendment the U.S. Constitution prohibits the government from
discriminating against groups any fashion based upon their political viewpoints. detailed
above, the IRS engaged systematic discrimination based upon the speech, expressed
viewpoints, and association Plaintiffs, their members, and similarly situated groups.
subjected them harassment, unfair delay, denial governmental benefits, and impaired their
ability participate the political process.
131.
The actions IRS officers, named individual Defendants, and agents John Doe
100 were intended chill the political expression dissenting associations like Plaintiffs and
their individual members. The IRS agents officers succeeded doing imposing
unreasonable burdens upon the exercise First Amendment rights and intimidating through
massive government snooping into protected First Amendment activities.
132.
The actions named individual Defendants and John Does 1-100 interfered with
the freedom expressive association Plaintiffs and its members demanding details all
groups they associated with and details about their speakers, members, and literature they
allowed distributed.
133. the IGR report explains, delaying tax-exempt status Plaintiffs and other
similarly situated groups had the effect impairing their members expressive associational
effectiveness the 2010 and 2012 election cycles.
Case: 1:13-cv-00341-MRB Doc Filed: 08/05/13 Page: PAGEID 110
134.
Dissenting groups like Plaintiffs and their members were denied equal protection the law. Upon information and belief, applications from favored groups for tax-exempt status
were processed far more swiftly than dissenting groups. The benefits tax-exempt status were
thus conferred based political viewpoint not equally, the law requires. Likewise, the
political expression dissenting groups class was greatly burdened IRS agents,
individual Defendants, and officers John Does 1-100, while favored groups (including those
using the title progressive their names) were afforded full privileges the law.
135.
Plaintiffs, their members, and similarly situated dissenting groups were likewise
denied Due Process the law the IRS agents actions. The constitutional protections
dissenting groups and the limitations imposed upon the IRS both the Constitution and statutes
were systematically ignored deprive dissenting groups and their members their
constitutional rights.
136.
Plaintiffs assert standing their own behalf, and associational standing behalf their members, the same basis set forth 125-126 this Complaint.
137.
Plaintiffs name John Does 1-100 defendants because the government has not
disclosed all the identities the specific agents officers the Determinations Unit the
other subdivisions the IRS Department the Treasury listed 18-19 this Complaint.
They are referenced here their actions and the unconstitutional intent and effects their
actions, and Plaintiffs will plead the identities specific other agents and officers learns
them discovery. However, although some their identities are unknown, Plaintiffs plead that
each agent who authorized, transmitted, accepted, ratified the requests and responses for
information (and the attendant delays) outlined above personally violated the Constitution and
Case: 1:13-cv-00341-MRB Doc Filed: 08/05/13 Page: PAGEID 111
committed constitutional tort. Additionally, Plaintiffs plead that each individuals actions were violation clearly established law.
138. sum, because their political viewpoints, dissenting groups were subjected
harassment, intimidation, delay, discrimination, expense, intrusiveness, and embarrassment all part scheme IRS agents, named Defendants, and officers John Does 1-100 suppress
their political activity and punish their political views.
139.
Wherefore, Plaintiffs and their members experienced damages, including loss
constitutional rights, interference with their liberty, delay and denial government benefits,
unequal treatment, loss donations, increased tax burdens including state and local, loss
postal privileges, the expense responding the harassing tactics the IRS, court costs, and
attorneys fees.
140.
The actions the named federal agents and the individual and Doe Defendants
were willful, malicious, reckless, and intended harm Plaintiffs, their members, and
similar groups. Accordingly, Plaintiffs are entitled damages from the individual and Doe
Defendants.
141.
Additionally, for the reasons discussed above, the IRS and Treasury Department
committed the same constitutional violations the Doe Defendants. This conduct has caused
irreparable harm Plaintiffs, and there other adequate remedy law. This Court may
grant declaratory and injunctive relief against the IRS and Treasury Department, pursuant
U.S.C. 2201 and 2202, declaring that the Defendants discriminatory conduct unlawful and
enjoining them from using tax exemption applicants political viewpoints target them and
subject them delay and unnecessary requests for information.
Case: 1:13-cv-00341-MRB Doc Filed: 08/05/13 Page: PAGEID 112
COUNT THREE: RETURN INFORMATION
142.
Plaintiffs incorporate the allegations Paragraphs 1-141 though fully set forth
143.
Return information shall confidential, and with limited exceptions, cannot
herein.
disclosed inspected employees the federal government. U.S.C. 6103.
144.
Return information includes, among other things:
(A) taxpayer identity, the nature, source, amount his income, payments, receipts,
deductions, exemptions, credits, assets, liabilities, net worth, tax liability, tax withheld,
deficiencies, overassessments, tax payments, whether the taxpayer return was,
being, will examined subject other investigation processing, any other
data, received by, recorded by, prepared by, furnished to, collected the Secretary
with respect return with respect the determination the existence, possible
existence, liability (or the amount thereof) any person under this title for any tax,
penalty, interest, fine, forfeiture, other imposition, offense,
(B) any part any written determination any background file document relating such
written determination (as such terms are defined section 6110(b) which not open
public inspection under section 6110. U.S.C. 6103(b)(2).
145.
All information furnished Plaintiffs response the IRS requests was
return information pursuant Section 6103. See Paragraphs 64-84, supra.
146. discussed above, the Defendants demanded information from Plaintiffs that
was not necessary determine their tax-exempt status.
Defendants made these demands
knowing that they were unnecessary for determining Plaintiffs status, and knowing that
Plaintiffs had been selected for special scrutiny and delay based their political viewpoint.
147.
Defendants inspected Plaintiffs information and shared amongst themselves
even though they knew was unnecessary for making decision Plaintiffs tax-exempt
status, and even though they knew had been sought based Plaintiffs political viewpoint.
Case: 1:13-cv-00341-MRB Doc Filed: 08/05/13 Page: PAGEID 113
Accordingly, the inspection, review, and disclosure was objectively unnecessary, and
subjectively not undertaken, for tax administration purposes under U.S.C. 6013(h).
148. one case, Defendants released Plaintiff return information the list
donors the Form 990 the Texas Public Policy Foundation the public large. See
Paragraph 83, supra.
149.
The United States has waived sovereign immunity and has provided taxpayers
cause action for damages for knowing negligent unauthorized inspection tax return
information violation Section 6103. U.S.C. 7431.
150.
Each inspection and disclosure was made least with gross negligence, was
made willfully.
151.
The inspections and disclosures resulted from viewpoint discrimination and were
undertaken even though the IRS knew the information was not necessary for determining
Plaintiffs status, and least for these reasons, among others, the inspections and disclosures did
not result from good faith, but erroneous interpretations Section 6103.
152.
Plaintiffs did not request the IRS make the inspections disclosures.
153.
Accordingly, each inspection disclosure violates Section 6103 and entitles
those Plaintiffs who submitted information response the IRS demands, set forth under
Paragraphs 64-84, damages under Section 7431 the Internal Revenue Code.
COUNT FOUR: CLASS ACTION
154.
Plaintiffs incorporate the allegations Paragraphs 1-153 though fully set forth
155.
Plaintiffs ask this Court certify class action all dissenting groups targeted
herein.
for additional scrutiny the IRS from January 20, 2009 through July 15, 2013.
Case: 1:13-cv-00341-MRB Doc Filed: 08/05/13 Page: PAGEID 114
156.
The class definition would include all groups who applied for tax-exempt status
and were targeted for special scrutiny the specialists the IRS Determinations Unit
Cincinnati, Ohio any other IRS office agents. The class would include all members whose
applications were delayed and/or additional information sought during this time period, based
upon their political viewpoints, including but not limited the criteria utilized the
Determinations Unit what they refer the tea party cases. This criteria would include
any the following:
groups identified Tea Party, Patriots, 912 Project
applications involving political sounding names, such the People Take
Back the Country
groups whose issues included government spending, government debt, taxes;
groups dedicated education the public advocacy/lobbying make America better place live
groups who had statement the case file criticizing how the country being run
and
group who otherwise dissented from Administration policy and were subjected
additional scrutiny for their viewpoint.
157.
This case meets all the prerequisites Rule 23(a).
158.
This class numerous that joinder all members impracticable. The exact
number all class members can only determined through discovery. The IGR identifies 296
groups singled out for special treatment based their political views. Media reports suggest the
number 500 more.
Case: 1:13-cv-00341-MRB Doc Filed: 08/05/13 Page: PAGEID 115
159.
There are questions law fact common the class. All the members the
class suffered the same sorts constitutional violations articulated Count Two. All were
subjected harassment, discrimination, special scrutiny, and interference with their
constitutional rights because their presumed political views.
The same constitutional
standards apply each member the class and common questions law apply. Many
members the class were subjected demands additional information that violate the
Privacy Act articulated Count One, and provided return information which was then
inspected, articulated Count Three. This class was already defined the IRS based
commonality its presumed political views and the decision that the IRS would discriminate
the same manner across the entire class. other words, the IRS through its own criteria defined
the class and chose discriminate class-wide basis against everyone who met the class
definition.
160.
The common questions law and fact include:
Was there scheme the IRS and its employees target dissenting
groups based upon their political viewpoint?
How did the scheme originate?
Who ordered it?
Who was involved?
When did the scheme begin and has ended?
May the IRS award deny benefits based upon political viewpoint?
Did the IRS violate the Privacy Act its treatment dissenting groups?
Was the IRS demand for excessive information wrongful and tortious?
Case: 1:13-cv-00341-MRB Doc Filed: 08/05/13 Page: PAGEID 116
Were the constitutional rights dissenting groups violated defendants
tactics extra scrutiny, intimidation, harassment, invasion privacy,
discriminatory audits, disclosure private information, and delays?
How many groups were involved the targeting? date, the IRS has
given various answers. The IRS count does not agree with the IGR
account, nor with independent accounts.
How was the targeting specifically conducted and concealed?
Are the IRS standards for evaluating the political activity organizations
appropriate, legal, and constitutional?
161.
Plaintiffs claims are typical the claims the class. Plaintiffs were singled out
and treated similar discrimination and harassment the IRS the other members the class articulated above.
The claims this case are particularly typical because the IRS
intentionally chose treat groups considered critical the government, with dissenting
point view, the same similar discriminatory fashion.
162.
Plaintiffs will fairly and adequately protect the interests the class. Plaintiffs
interests are the same other members the class holding the IRS responsible for its illegal
activity, ensuring that never happens again, and being fairly compensated for the results this
illegal activity.
163.
The provisions Rule 23(b)(2) apply because the IRS has acted grounds that
apply generally the class such that final injunctive relief would appropriate for the class whole. The IGR recognizes that more steps need taken ensure that this type
discrimination does not occur again within the IRS. The class will seek injunctive relief from
this Court, including but not limited to:
Case: 1:13-cv-00341-MRB Doc Filed: 08/05/13 Page: PAGEID 117 declaration that the IRS may not discriminate any its activities based upon the
political viewpoint the applicant taxpayer;
That the IRS must not take any action enforce any rule that interferes with the First
Amendment rights and activity any citizen;
That the IRS must destroy all records obtained maintained illegally and violation the Privacy Act any provision the U.S. Constitution relating class members any donors, officers, members, volunteers the class members;
That the IRS establish clear training and guidelines for all employees prevent this
sort invasion privacy and discriminatory activity from occurring again the
future.
164.
The provisions Rule 23(b)(3) are met that questions law fact common class members predominate over individual questions and class action superior other
available methods for fairly and efficiently adjudicating the controversy.
165.
The common questions law and fact are overwhelming described above and
incorporated here reference.
166.
Individual questions are minimal.
For example, some groups may not have
received additional requests for information. Therefore, they may have reduced claim
under the Privacy Act. the extent additional information requests created varying burdens
individuals, that can resolved through individual damage criteria creation subclasses.
167.
All groups suffered the same violations constitutional rights. The IRS selected
the class members based the presumed content their views and expressive activity and
then treated them illegal fashion. All class members suffered this same harm and were
damaged from the same course conduct.
Case: 1:13-cv-00341-MRB Doc Filed: 08/05/13 Page: PAGEID 118
168. single action adjudicating the legal rights dissenting groups would more
efficient than individual litigation. noted, class membership will likely run into the hundreds,
greatly inconveniencing the judicial system, and requiring needless duplication. single unified
discovery process would greatly expedite this litigation and prevent needless, repetitive
document productions and depositions from Defendants.
169.
The efficiency the unified discovery process and the prohibitive expense and
complexity that would attend individual cases are illustrated the following: The IRS estimates that information relating the events the IGR total over
646 gigabytes. That more than million pages documents. Washington officials claim the activity started Cincinnati.
Cincinnati
employees say began Washington. Perhaps dozens depositions will
need taken sort out the facts. would inefficient use judicial
time and resources engage this process multiple times. There maze bureaucracy, documents, emails, policies, and conflicting
stories this case. unified process best sort out.
170.
Likewise, single trial court ruling upon the constitutional, Privacy Act, and
return information claims would greatly improve judicial efficiency.
171.
All these factors illustrate the benefits concentrated litigation single
172. other class action has been filed. the weeks after the instant action was
forum.
filed, only two other cases have been filed behalf certain groups related these facts.
Other than those two, additional cases had been filed August 2013. Both those
cases are pending Washington, D.C. which not likely the most convenient forum.
Case: 1:13-cv-00341-MRB Doc Filed: 08/05/13 Page: PAGEID 119
Those plaintiffs can choose participate the class opt out. Thus, other litigants
activities should impaired.
WHEREFORE, Plaintiffs pray that this Court:
Enter Order certifying this case class action and appointing their lawyers
class counsel;
Award Plaintiffs actual damages pursuant U.S.C. 552a(g)(4) for violation the
Privacy Act, including but not limited to, costs complying with additional requests
for information, loss donors and membership fees for the delay, uncertainty, and
intrusiveness, but any event less than $1,000 for each individual member, plus
the cost litigation, and reasonable attorney fees.
Award Plaintiffs damages for violation their constitutional rights, including
damages for loss benefit tax exempt status, cost complying with burdensome
requests, loss donors and membership fees, damages for impairment
constitutionally protected rights, punitive damages, litigation costs, and reasonable
attorney fees.
Award Plaintiffs declaratory and injunctive relief, pursuant U.S.C. 2201 and
2202, set forth above.
Award Plaintiffs damages pursuant U.S.C. 7431(c) for each inspection
disclosure their return information, including $1,000 for each instance which
actual damages are below this amount, actual and punitive damages, plus costs and
reasonable attorney fees. JURY TRIAL DEMANDED ALL ISSUES TRIABLE.
Case: 1:13-cv-00341-MRB Doc Filed: 08/05/13 Page: PAGEID 120
Respectfully Submitted,
Edward Greim (pro hac vice)
Todd Graves (pro hac vice)
GRAVES GARRETT LLC
1100 Main Street, Suite 2700
Kansas City, Missouri 64105
Tel: (816) 256-3181
Fax: (816) 256-5958
edgreim@gravesgarrett.com
tgraves@gravesgarrett.com
David Langdon (OH Bar No. 0067046)
Trial Attorney
Joshua Bolinger (OH Bar No. 0079594)
Langdon Law LLC
8913 Cincinnati-Dayton Rd.
West Chester, Ohio 45069
Tel: (513) 577-7380
Fax: (513) 577-7383
dlangdon@langdonlaw.com
jbolinger@langdonlaw.com
Bill Randles, Mo. Bar No. 40928
Bev Randles, Mo. Bar No. 48671
Bill Bev Randles Law Group, LLP
5823 Cypress Avenue
Kansas City, Missouri 64119
Tel: (816) 820-1973
bill@billrandles.com
bev@billrandles.com
(pro hac vice application forthcoming)
Case: 1:13-cv-00341-MRB Doc Filed: 08/05/13 Page: PAGEID 121
CERTIFICATE SERVICE herby certify that August 2013, electronically filed the foregoing with the Clerk the Court using the CM/ECF system, which will automatically send notice electronic
filing all persons registered for ECF this date.
Attorney for Plaintiffs