Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

United States of America v. John Zarra

August 22, 2011

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA PLAINTIFF,
v.
JOHN ZARRA, MARSHA ZARRA DEFENDANTS,
v.
J.P. MORGAN CHASE & CO., CITIZENS FINANCIAL GROUP, INC. THIRD PARTY DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Conti, District Judge.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

I NTRODUCTION

The essence of this case is a failure to pay federal income tax. Pending before the court is a joint motion to dismiss (ECF No. 49) the third party complaint filed by third party defendants J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. ("JPMC") and Citizens Financial Group, Inc. ("Citizens," together with JPMC, "third party defendants") on April 4, 2011, pursuant to Rule 12(b)(1) and (6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. In the third party complaint (ECF No. 34), defendants John and Marsha Zarra ("Zarras") asserted claims against third party defendants for (1) contribution; (2) indemnification; and (3) sole and direct liability to the Internal Revenue Service ("IRS") pursuant to the Pennsylvania Uniform Commercial Code ("UCC"), 13 PA.

CONS. STAT. §§ 4209, 4215, 4302.*fn1

Third party defendants argue that the court does not have jurisdiction over the Zarras‟ claims under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 14(a). Defendants propose that in any event, all claims of the Zarras under the UCC would be time barred by the applicable statute of limitations.

On June 6, 2011, the court heard oral argument on the pending motion. At that hearing, the court stated it would grant defendants‟ motion to dismiss the complaint. This memorandum opinion sets forth the reasons for the court‟s ruling.

B ACKGROUND

On April 16, 2000, the Zarras filed their federal income tax return for the taxable year ending December 31, 1999. (Compl. ¶ 9.) The Zarras remitted a check to the IRS in the amount of $179,501.00 as payment for their tax liability. (Id. ¶ 9, Ex. A.) On or about April 19, 2000, Bank One, N.A., JPMC‟s predecessor, encoded the check in the amount of $179.50, instead of $179,501.00. (Id. ¶ 11.) On or about April 24, 2000, Bank One presented the erroneously encoded check to Mellon Bank, Citizens‟ predecessor, and Mellon Bank debited $179.50 from the Zarras‟ account.

(Id. ¶ 12.) On April 24, 2000, Mellon Bank settled the check for $179.50 and Bank One received settlement of the check in that amount. (Id. ¶ 13.)

S TANDARD OF REVIEW

A motion to dismiss tests the legal sufficiency of the complaint. Kost v. Kozakiewicz, 1 F.3d 176, 183 (3d Cir. 1993). In deciding a motion to dismiss, the court is not opining on whether the plaintiff will be likely to prevail on the merits; rather, when considering a motion to dismiss, the court accepts as true all well-pled factual allegations in the complaint and views them in a light most favorable to the plaintiff. U.S. Express Lines Ltd. v. Higgins, 281 F.3d 383, 388 (3d Cir. 2002). While a complaint does not need detailed factual allegations to survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, a complaint must provide more than labels and conclusions. Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555.

A court considering a motion to dismiss may begin by identifying allegations that are mere conclusions and not entitled to the assumption of truth. "While legal conclusions can provide the framework of the complaint, they must be supported by factual allegations. When there are well-pleaded factual allegations, a court should assume their veracity and then determine whether they plausibly give rise to an entitlement to relief." Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 129 S. Ct. 1937, 1950 (2009).

If a complaint does not comply with the rules of civil procedure, courts are to notify plaintiffs that they have leave to amend their complaints unless the amendment would be inequitable or futile. Grayson v. Mayview State Hosp., 293 F.3d 103, 108 (3d Cir. 2002) (reversing district court for failing to grant plaintiff right to amend when the district court did not specifically find that granting leave to amend would be inequitable or futile). Allowing for amendment is consistent with Rule 15(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, which provides "leave [to amend] shall be freely given when justice so requires." A court, however, may decide to deny leave to amend for reasons such as undue delay, bad faith, dilatory motive, prejudice, and futility. In re Burlington Coat Factory Litig., 114 F.3d 1410, 1434 (3d Cir. 1997). The standard of legal sufficiency set forth in Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) determines whether a proposed amendment would be futile. Id. at 1434. An amendment is futile where the ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.