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RICHARDSON v. MILLER

December 22, 1980

William B. RICHARDSON, Plaintiff,
v.
G. William MILLER, Secretary of the Treasury; Stansfield Turner, Director, Central Intelligence Agency; James T. McIntyre, Jr., Director, Office of Management and Budget; Jerome Kurtz, Commissioner, Internal Revenue Service; Bernard J. Miskanic, I. R. S. Officer, Greensburg Office, Defendants



The opinion of the court was delivered by: ZIEGLER

MEMORANDUM

This is a civil action for multifaceted relief predicated on two district theories. First, William B. Richardson challenges the computation of his tax liability by the Internal Revenue Service for the years 1971-74. Second, plaintiff asserts that Section 403f(a) of the Central Intelligence Agency Act, *fn1" which authorizes funding for that agency by secretive means, is constitutionally infirm. Presently before the court is the motion of defendants for dismissal or judgment pursuant to Rules 12(b)(6) and 56(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The Rule 12(b) motion must be granted and the original and amended complaints dismissed for want of jurisdiction with respect to the tax claim and because Mr. Richardson has no standing to challenge the method of funding for the Central Intelligence Agency.

 (A) The Tax Claim

 William B. Richardson assails the computation of his tax liability by the Internal Revenue Service following a decision by the United States Tax Court. Richardson v. Commissioner, 72 T.C. 818 (August 9, 1979). On March 12, 1980, the Commissioner computed the taxpayers liability with interest for the years 1971-74. Plaintiff asserts the assessment is inaccurate and inflated.

 This court is without jurisdiction to entertain this dispute since plaintiff has an adequate administrative remedy, 26 U.S.C. § 7422(a) and 28 U.S.C. § 1346(a), and the action is barred by the doctrine of sovereign immunity. Although relief is sought against individual defendants, the thrust of the claim is against the United States Treasury and, as such, the sovereign is immune absent statutory consent. See, Malone v. Bowdoin, 369 U.S. 643, 82 S. Ct. 980, 8 L. Ed. 2d 168 (1962); Larson v. Domestic and Foreign Corp., 337 U.S. 682, 69 S. Ct. 1457, 93 L. Ed. 1628 (1949). No such consent is present. Moreover, the fact that plaintiff is seeking mandamus, declaratory and injunctive relief does not establish federal question jurisdiction. See, 28 U.S.C. § 2201.

 Section 7421(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, with exceptions not here relevant, provides that "no suit for the purpose of restraining the assessment or collection of any tax shall be maintained in any court." *fn2" The purpose of the statute "is to withdraw jurisdiction from the state and federal courts to entertain suits seeking injunctions prohibiting the collection of taxes." Enochs v. Williams Packing Co., 370 U.S. 1, 5, 82 S. Ct. 1125, 1128, 8 L. Ed. 2d 292 (1962). Jurisdiction may be present only in those situations in which "under no circumstances could the Government ultimately prevail" on the tax claim. 370 U.S. at 6, 82 S. Ct. at 1128. Even there the plaintiff must satisfy the equitable test of irreparable harm and want of adequate remedy at law. Id.

 We cannot say that, based upon the information available to it, the Department of Treasury does not have a good faith belief in the accuracy and enforceability of its claim. Nor can we conclude that there are no circumstances under which the Internal Revenue Service may prevail against Mr. Richardson. *fn3"

 (B) The Constitutional Questions

 William B. Richardson seeks to perpetuate his prominence as a federal litigator *fn4" by challenging as constitutionally infirm various enactments of Congress, particularly section 403f(a) of the Central Intelligence Agency Act, 50 U.S.C. § 403a et seq. Defendants respond with the assertion that all contentions are barred by the doctrines of res judicata or direct estoppel. We disagree because, although plaintiff has devoted many years to litigating similar questions involving the Act, no court has determined his standing to challenge section 403f(a).

 The first two grounds are foreclosed by United States v. Richardson, 418 U.S. 166, 94 S. Ct. 2940, 41 L. Ed. 2d 678 (1973). The Supreme Court has held a citizen does not have a sweeping right "to employ a federal court as a forum in which to air his generalized grievances about conduct of government." Id. at 175, 94 S. Ct. at 2945. Furthermore, we are satisfied that the invocation of a citizen's "civil rights" is insufficient to establish standing to challenge the method of funding of any federal agency.

 The more nettlesome question concerns plaintiff's standing as a taxpayer or because of some "personal stake" to challenge the funding of the Central Intelligence Agency. At the core of any standing question is the requirement that a litigant demonstrate some "injury in fact." Tribe, American Constitutional Law, at 80 (1978). A party must allege as a prelude "such a personal stake in the outcome of the controversy as to assure that concrete adverseness which sharpens the presentation of issues upon which the Court so largely depends for illumination of difficult ... questions." Baker v. Carr, 369 U.S. 186, 204, 82 S. Ct. 691, 703, 7 L. Ed. 2d 663 (1962).

 The Supreme Court in Frothingham v. Mellon, 262 U.S. 447, 43 S. Ct. 597, 67 L. Ed. 1078 (1923) and Flast v. Cohen, 392 U.S. 83, 88 S. Ct. 1942, 20 L. Ed. 2d 947 (1968) addressed the question of standing to challenge legislative enactments. The Court articulated a two-pronged test:

 
First, the taxpayer must establish a logical link between that status and the type of legislative enactment attacked. Thus, a taxpayer will be a proper party to allege the unconstitutionality only of exercises of congressional power under the taxing and spending clause of Art. I, § 8, of the Constitution. It will not be sufficient to allege an incidental expenditure of tax funds in the administration of an essentially regulatory statute ... Secondly, the taxpayer must establish a nexus between that status and the precise nature of the constitutional infringement alleged. Under this requirement, the taxpayer must show that the challenged enactment exceeds specific constitutional limitations imposed upon the exercise of the congressional taxing and spending power and not simply that the enactment is generally beyond the powers delegated to Congress ...

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