United States District Court, D. Connecticut
RULING ON MOTION TO DISMISS
W. Thompson United States District Judge
reasons set forth below, the United States of America's
motion to dismiss is being granted.
function of a motion to dismiss is ‘merely to assess
the legal feasibility of the complaint, not to assay the
weight of the evidence which might be offered in support
thereof.'” Mytych v. May Dept. Store Co.,
34 F.Supp.2d 130, 131 (D. Conn. 1999) (quoting Ryder
Energy Distrib. v. Merrill Lynch Commodities, Inc., 748
F.2d 774, 779 (2d Cir. 1984)). A claim is properly dismissed
for lack of subject matter jurisdiction under Fed.R.Civ.P.
12(b)(1) when the court lacks the statutory or constitutional
power to adjudicate the claim. Nowak v. Ironworkers Local
6 Pension Fund, 81 F.3d 1182, 1187 (2d Cir. 1996). On a
Rule 12(b)(1) motion to dismiss, the party asserting subject
matter jurisdiction “bears the burden of proving
subject matter jurisdiction by a preponderance of the
evidence.” Aurecchione v. Schoolman Transp. Sys.,
Inc., 426 F.3d 635, 638 (2d Cir. 2005).
deciding a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(1), the court
must accept as true all material factual allegations in the
complaint. Scheuer v. Rhodes, 416 U.S. 232, 236 (1974).
However, the court is “not to draw inferences from the
complaint favorable to the plaintiffs.” J.S. v.
Attica Cent. Sch., 386 F.3d 107, 110 (2d Cir. 2004).
Rather, “jurisdiction must be shown affirmatively, and
that showing is not made by drawing from the pleadings
inferences favorable to the party asserting it.”
Shipping Fin. Servs. Corp. v. Drakos, 140 F.3d 129,
131 (2d Cir. 1998) (citing Norton v. Larney, 266
U.S. 511, 515 (1925)).
interpreting the allegations in a pro se complaint, the court
applies “less stringent standards than [those applied
to] formal pleadings drafted by lawyers.” Haines v.
Kerner, 404 U.S. 519, 520 (1972); see also Branham
v. Meachum, 77 F.3d 626, 628-29 (2d Cir. 1996).
Furthermore, the court should interpret the plaintiff's
complaint “to raise the strongest arguments [it]
suggest[s].” Burgos v. Hopkins, 14 F.3d 787,
790 (2d Cir. 1994).
statutory waiver of sovereign immunity that allows a taxpayer
to bring a tax refund suit is 28 U.S.C. § 1346, which
The district courts shall have original jurisdiction,
concurrent with the United States Court of Federal Claims,
of: (1) Any civil action against the United States for the
recovery of any internal-revenue tax alleged to have been
erroneously or illegally assessed or collected, or any
penalty claimed to have been collected without authority or
any sum alleged to have been excessive or in any manner
wrongfully collected under the internal-revenue laws[.]
28 U.S.C. § 1346(a)(1) (emphasis added). This waiver of
sovereign immunity is limited by 26 U.S.C. § 7422, which
[n]o suit or proceeding shall be maintained by any party for
the recovery of any internal revenue tax alleged to have been
erroneously or illegally assessed or collected, or of any
penalty claimed to have been collected without authority . .
. until a claim for a refund or credit has been duly filed.
26 U.S.C. § 7422(a).
to the complaint is a letter from the Internal Revenue
Service to Pleasure Circuit Corporation, which serves as
“legal notice that [its] claim is fully disallowed,
” and instructs: “If you wish to bring suit or
proceedings for the recovery of any tax, penalties or other
moneys for which this disallowance notice is issued, you may
do so by filing such a suit with the United States District
Court . . . .” Compl. at 17. This letter is prima facie
evidence that Pleasure Circuit Corporation complied with the
administrative exhaustion requirements of § 7422.
government argues that because the tax was assessed against
Pleasure Circuit Corporation, not the plaintiff in his
individual capacity, only the corporation is a
“taxpayer” for purposes of § 7422(a).
However, the government's argument ignores the Supreme
Court's analysis in United States v. Williams, 514 U.S.
527, 534 (1995) (“To read the term ‘taxpayer'
as implicitly limiting administrative relief to the party
assessed is inconsistent with other provisions of the refund
scheme, which expressly contemplate refunds to parties other
than the one assessed.”). In Williams, the Court ...