Skip to content

Case Detail

[Subscribe to updates]
Case TitleStanco et al v. Internal Revenue Service
DistrictEastern District of California
CitySacramento
Case Number2:2018cv00873
Date Filed2018-04-10
Date ClosedOpen
JudgeDistrict Judge Troy L. Nunley
PlaintiffPaul Stanco
PlaintiffJose M. Linares
PlaintiffMaria V. Linares
TERMINATED: 09/28/2020
PlaintiffHenry M. Strodka
PlaintiffBozena M. Strodka
TERMINATED: 09/28/2020
Case DescriptionPaul Stanco, Jose and Maria Linares, and Henry and Bozena Strodka submitted FOIA requests to the IRS for records concerning the agency's determination that they had not filed the required tax returns. In responding to one of the requests, the IRS located 2,474 pages of responsive records and disclosed 1,627 pages, redacting 91 pages in full and withholding 795 pages in full. In response to other requests, the agency located 846 pages, disclosing 727 pages while withholding 119 pages in full and 31 pages in part. The agency located and disclosed other responsive records related to other requests. As to a later batch of requests, the IRS indicated that it would be unable to respond within the statutory time limit. After hearing nothing further from the agency, Stanco, the Linares', and the Stodkas filed suit.
Complaint issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Adequacy - Search, Litigation - Attorney's fees

DefendantInternal Revenue Service
Documents
Docket
Complaint
Complaint attachment 1
Opinion/Order [7]
Opinion/Order [15]
Opinion/Order [18]
Opinion/Order [20]
Opinion/Order [24]
Opinion/Order [26]
Opinion/Order [31]
FOIA Project Annotation: A federal court in California has ruled that Paul Stanco, Jose and Maria Linares, and Henry and Bozena Strodka all failed to exhaust their administrative remedies by failing to file administrative appeals with the IRS for their FOIA requests concerning the requirements to file IRS Forms 8938 and 5471. The agency provided some records but withheld others. However, instead of appealing the denials administratively, they filed a consolidated complaint against the IRS. In court, the IRS argued that three appellate decisions " Oglesby v. Dept of Army, 920 F.2d 57 (D.C. Cir. 1990), Taylor v. Appleton. 30 F.3d 1365 (11th Cir. 1994), and McDonnell v. United States, 4 F.3d 1227 (3rd Cir. 1993) " all held that requesters were required to file administrative appeals if the agency responded to the requests before the requesters filed suit. Agreeing with the cited precedents, the court noted that "permitting Plaintiffs to bypass administrative remedies in these circumstances would prevent Defendant from exercising its discretion and expertise on the matter, making a factual record to support its decision, and potentially correcting mistakes made at lower levels that may remove the need for judicial review altogether." The plaintiffs also argued that Toesing v. Dept of Justice, 890 F. Supp. 2d 121 (D.D.C. 2012), a case in which Toesing argued that her subsequent request for the same records for which she had failed to file an administrative appeal originally resurrected her appeals rights pertaining to the original request, applied here. Toesing actually held that she was not entitled to such relief. Here, the court noted that "because plaintiffs raised this argument for the first time in a supplemental brief, Defendant was not given a full opportunity to respond." The court added that "regardless, the Complaint does not include any allegations about the January 2019 requests or appeals, as they relate to exhaustion of the April 2017 requests. . .but Plaintiffs may amend their Complaint if they wish the Court to consider those allegations in the future."
Issues: Litigation - Jurisdiction - Failure to Exhaust
User-contributed Documents
 
Docket Events (Hide)
Date FiledDoc #Docket Text

2018-04-101COMPLAINT against Internal Revenue Service by Henry M. Strodka, Paul Stanco, Maria V. Linares, Jose M Linares, Bozena M. Strodka. Attorney Cohan, William A. added. (Attachments: # 1 Civil Cover Sheet)(Cohan, William) (Entered: 04/10/2018)
2018-04-10PAYMENT for Civil Case filing fee in the amount of $ 400, receipt number 0972-7600908. (Cohan, William) (Entered: 04/10/2018)
2018-04-112SUMMONS ISSUED as to *Internal Revenue Service* with answer to complaint due within *30* days. Attorney *William Allan Cohan* *William A. Cohan, P.C.* *P.O. Box 3448* *Rancho Santa Fe, CA 92067*. (Benson, A.) (Entered: 04/11/2018)
2018-04-113CIVIL NEW CASE DOCUMENTS ISSUED; (Attachments: # 1 Consent Form, # 2 VDRP) (Benson, A.) (Entered: 04/11/2018)
2018-04-234SUMMONS RETURNED EXECUTED: Internal Revenue Service served on 4/17/2018. (Cohan, William) Modified on 4/24/2018 (Benson, A.). (Entered: 04/23/2018)
2018-05-165MOTION to DISMISS as to Counts 1-9; MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT as to Count 10. Motion Hearing set for 6/28/2018 at 02:00 PM in Courtroom 2 (TLN) before District Judge Troy L. Nunley.), by Internal Revenue Service. Attorney Ho, Stephen Shuching added. (Attachments: # 1 Memorandum in Support, # 2 Declaration of Cheri A. Rossi, # 3 Exhibits A-L, # 4 Declaration of Patricia I. Perez, # 5 Proposed Order)(Ho, Stephen) Modified on 5/17/2018 (Benson, A.). (Entered: 05/16/2018)
2018-06-146STIPULATION and PROPOSED ORDER for Extending Time to Respond to Defendant's Motions and Continuing Hearing re 5 Motion to Dismiss and Motion for Summary Judgment by Internal Revenue Service. (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order)(Ho, Stephen) Modified on 6/18/2018 (Fabillaran, J). (Entered: 06/14/2018)
2018-06-157STIPULATION and ORDER signed by District Judge Troy L. Nunley on 6/14/2018 ORDERING that the deadline for Plaintiffs to file their response to Defendants Motion to Dismiss Counts 110 of the Complaint and Motion for Summary Judgment on Count 10 is EXTENDED to 7/5/2018 and the hearing on Defendants motions is hereby CONTINUED to 7/26/2018. (Hunt, G) (Entered: 06/15/2018)
2018-07-058RESPONSE by Jose M. Linares, Maria V. Linares, Paul Stanco, Bozena M. Strodka, Henry M. Strodka to 5 Motion to DismissMotion for Summary Judgment. (Cohan, William) (Entered: 07/05/2018)
2018-07-129REPLY by Internal Revenue Service re 5 Motion to DismissMotion for Summary Judgment. (Ho, Stephen) (Entered: 07/12/2018)
2018-07-1310MINUTE ORDER issued by Courtroom Deputy M. Krueger for District Judge Troy L. Nunley on 7/13/2018: On the Court's own motion, Defendant's Motion to Dismiss Counts 1-9 and Motion for Summary Judgment as to Count 10 (ECF No. 5 ) is hereby SUBMITTED without oral argument. Accordingly, the hearing set for 7/26/2018 is VACATED. If the Court determines oral argument is necessary, it will be scheduled at a later date. (TEXT ONLY ENTRY) (Krueger, M) (Entered: 07/13/2018)
2020-06-2311MINUTE ORDER issued by Courtroom Deputy M. Krueger for District Judge Troy L. Nunley on June 23, 2020: The Court has reviewed all filings related to Defendant's Motion to Dismiss as to claims 19 and Motion for Summary Judgment as to claim 10. (ECF Nos. 5 , 8 , 9 .) Defendant originally moved to dismiss claims 19 for lack of subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure (Rule) 12(b)(1). (ECF No. 5-1 at 1.) In its reply, Defendant requests the Court construe its motion as a motion to dismiss claims 19 pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6). (ECF No. 9 at 2.) In support of its request, Defendant cites Yagman v. Pompeo, 868 F.3d 1075, 108384 (9th Cir. 2017), wherein the Ninth Circuit clarified that the exhaustion requirements of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) are jurisprudential, not jurisdictional, and failure to exhaust could be addressed in a motion brought under Rule 12(b)(6). In the alternative, Defendant requests that its entire motion be construed as a motion for summary judgment because the parties do not currently have any disputes of material fact. (ECF No. 9 at 2.) It appears there is no dispute of material fact concerning Plaintiff's failure to exhaust its FOIA claims, and the Court is therefore inclined to treat Defendant's motion as a motion for summary judgment pursuant to Rule 12(d). Plaintiff is hereby ORDERED to show cause as to why the Court should not construe Defendant's motion as a motion for summary judgment or, in the alternative, to file any opposition to the motion construed as such not later than July 8, 2020. (TEXT ONLY ENTRY) (Krueger, M) (Entered: 06/23/2020)
2020-07-0812OPPOSITION by Jose M. Linares et al to 5 Motion for Summary Judgment. (Attachments: # 1 Declaration of William A. Cohan)(Cohan, William) Modified on 7/9/2020 (Coll, A). (Entered: 07/08/2020)
2020-07-0813DECLARATION of William A. Cohan in opposition to 5 Motion for Summary Judgment,. (Cohan, William) (Entered: 07/08/2020)
2020-07-0914NOTICE of Request to Seal Document(s) pursuant to L.R. 141 by Jose M. Linares, Maria V. Linares, Paul Stanco, Bozena M. Strodka, Henry M. Strodka. (Cohan, William) (Entered: 07/09/2020)
2020-07-1515ORDER signed by District Judge Troy L. Nunley on 7/14/2020 GRANTING 14 Notice of Request to Seal Document, and SEALING [12-1] Declaration of William A. Cohan in its entirety. (Huang, H) (Entered: 07/15/2020)
2020-07-1516REQUEST for Leave to File a Supplemental Reply by Internal Revenue Service re 12 Opposition to Motion. (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Supplemental Reply, # 2 Proposed Order)(Ho, Stephen) Modified on 7/16/2020 (Mena-Sanchez, L). (Entered: 07/15/2020)
2020-07-2017MINUTE ORDER issued by Courtroom Deputy M. Krueger for District Judge Troy L. Nunley on 7/20/2020: Upon consideration of Defendant Internal Revenue Services ("Defendant") unopposed request for leave to file a supplemental reply to address Plaintiffs' supplemental opposition, and for good cause shown, the Court hereby GRANTS Defendant's request. (ECF No. 16 .) Defendant shall file and serve its supplemental reply in accordance with the Local Rules and the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. (TEXT ONLY ENTRY) (Krueger, M) (Entered: 07/20/2020)
2020-08-3118ORDER signed by District Judge Troy L. Nunley on 8/30/2020 GRANTING Defendant's Motion to Dismiss (ECF No. 5 ) as follows: Claims One, Two, Three, Four, Seven, and Eight are DISMISSED with leave to amend; and Claims Five, Six, Nine, and Ten are DISMISSED without leave to amend. Plaintiffs may file an amended complaint not later than fourteen (14) days from the date of electronic filing of this Order. Defendant's responsive pleading is due twenty-one (21) days after Plaintiffs file the amended complaint. (Becknal, R) (Entered: 08/31/2020)
2020-09-0919STIPULATION and PROPOSED ORDER to Extend Time to File First Amended Complaint by Jose M. Linares, et al., . (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order)(Cohan, William) Modified on 9/10/2020 (York, M). (Entered: 09/09/2020)
2020-09-1020STIPULATION and ORDER signed by District Judge Troy L. Nunley on 9/10/2020 EXTENDING the deadline to 9/28/2020, in which the Plaintiff has to file their First Amended Complaint. Defendant's responsive pleading is due 21 days from the filing of Plaintiff's First Amended Complaint. (Tupolo, A) (Entered: 09/10/2020)
2020-09-2821FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT against Internal Revenue Service by Henry M. Strodka, Paul Stanco, Jose M. Linares.(Cohan, William) (Entered: 09/28/2020)
2020-10-0722MOTION to AMEND the 21 First Amended Complaint by Jose M. Linares, Paul Stanco, Henry M. Strodka. Motion Hearing set for 12/3/2020 at 02:00 PM in Courtroom 2 (TLN) before District Judge Troy L. Nunley. (Attachments: # 1 Memorandum of Points and Authorities # 2 Exhibit 1 # 3 Proposed Order)(Cohan, William) Modified on 10/7/2020 (Krueger, M). (Entered: 10/07/2020)
2020-10-1523STIPULATION and PROPOSED ORDER for Extension of Time to Respond to Plaintiffs' 21 First Amended Complaint by Internal Revenue Service. (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order)(Ho, Stephen) Modified on 10/15/2020 (Tupolo, A). (Entered: 10/15/2020)
2020-10-1624ORDER signed by District Judge Troy L. Nunley on 10/15/2020 EXTENDING the deadline for Defendant to respond to Plaintiffs' First Amended Complaint to 11/2/2020. (Zignago, K.) (Entered: 10/16/2020)
2020-10-3025STIPULATION and PROPOSED ORDER for Extension of Time to Respond to Plaintiffs' First Amended Complaint re 24 Order, by Internal Revenue Service. (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order)(Ho, Stephen) Modified on 10/30/2020 (Kastilahn, A). (Entered: 10/30/2020)
2020-11-0226STIPULATION and ORDER 25 signed by District Judge Troy L. Nunley on 10/30/2020 POSTPONING the deadline for Defendant to respond to Plaintiffs' First Amended Complaint until after the Court rules on Plaintiffs' pending motion to amend the complaint.(Becknal, R) (Entered: 11/02/2020)
2020-11-2027MINUTE ORDER issued by Courtroom Deputy M. Krueger for District Judge Troy L. Nunley on 11/20/2020 ORDERING the hearing on Plaintiffs' Motion to Amend the First Amended Complaint (ECF No. 22 ) CONTINUED to 12/17/2020 at 2:00 PM in Courtroom 2 before District Judge Troy L. Nunley. Counsel for Defendant is ORDERED to SHOW CAUSE, in writing, no later than 12/3/2020, for his failure to timely file an opposition or a statement of non-opposition to that motion, pursuant to Local Rule 230(c). Defendant shall file an opposition to the motion, or statement of non-opposition by 12/3/2020. Failure to file an opposition to the motion will be deemed a statement of non-opposition thereto and may result in a recommendation that Plaintiffs' motion be granted. Plaintiffs may file a reply to Defendant's opposition, if any, by 12/10/2020. (TEXT ONLY ENTRY) (Krueger, M) (Entered: 11/20/2020)
2020-11-2028STATEMENT of NON-OPPOSITION by Internal Revenue Service to 22 Motion to Amend the Complaint/Petition,. (Ho, Stephen) (Entered: 11/20/2020)
2020-11-2329MINUTE ORDER issued by Courtroom Deputy M. Krueger for District Judge Troy L. Nunley on 11/23/2020: On the Court's own motion, Plaintiffs' Motion to Amend the Complaint (ECF No. 22 ) is hereby SUBMITTED without oral argument, and the hearing set for 12/17/2020 is VACATED. In light of the unopposed nature of the motion and the Court's heavy caseload, the Court advises the parties that if they wish for a decision in a shorter time frame they should consider submitting a stipulation to amend in place of the motion. The parties will not be penalized in any way for not filing a stipulation. (TEXT ONLY ENTRY) (Krueger, M) Modified on 11/23/2020 (Krueger, M). (Entered: 11/23/2020)
2020-11-3030STIPULATION and PROPOSED ORDER to File Second Amended Complaint by Jose M. Linares et al. (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order)(Cohan, William) Modified on 12/1/2020 (Coll, A). (Entered: 11/30/2020)
2020-12-0231ORDER signed by District Judge Troy L. Nunley on 12/1/2020 ORDERING that Defendant's responsive pleading is due 14 days from the filing of Plaintiff's Second Amended Complaint.(Reader, L) (Entered: 12/02/2020)
2020-12-0732SECOND AMENDED COMPLAINT against Internal Revenue Service by Henry M. Strodka, Paul Stanco, Jose M. Linares.(Cohan, William) (Entered: 12/07/2020)
2020-12-2133MOTION to DISMISS by Internal Revenue Service. Motion Hearing SET for 1/21/2021 at 02:00 PM in Courtroom 2 (TLN) before District Judge Troy L. Nunley. (Attachments: # 1 Memorandum in Support, # 2 Proposed Order)(Ho, Stephen) Modified on 12/22/2020 (Mena-Sanchez, L). (Entered: 12/21/2020)
2021-01-0734OPPOSITION by Jose M. Linares, Paul Stanco, Henry M. Strodka to 33 Motion to Dismiss,. (Cohan, William) (Entered: 01/07/2021)
2021-01-1135MOTION to APPEAR TELEPHONICALLY on 1/21/2021 33 Motion to Dismiss Hearing by Jose M. Linares, Paul Stanco, Henry M. Strodka. (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order)(Cohan, William) Modified on 1/12/2021 (Huang, H). (Entered: 01/11/2021)
2021-01-1136MINUTE ORDER issued by Courtroom Deputy M. Krueger for District Judge Troy L. Nunley on 1/11/2021: On the Court's own motion, Defendant's Motion to Dismiss Counts 1-4, 7 and 8 (ECF No. 33 ) is hereby SUBMITTED without oral argument. Accordingly, the hearing set for 1/21/2021 is VACATED. If the Court determines oral argument is necessary, it will be scheduled at a later date. Defendant may still file a reply brief in accordance with Local Rule 230(d) and the 1/21/2021 date. Plaintiffs' Motion to Appear Telephonically (ECF No. 35 ) is DENIED as MOOT. (Text Only Entry) (Krueger, M) (Entered: 01/11/2021)
2021-01-1437REPLY in further support of 33 Motion to Dismiss by Internal Revenue Service. (Ho, Stephen) Modified on 1/15/2021 (Huang, H). (Entered: 01/14/2021)
Hide Docket Events
by FOIA Project Staff
Skip to toolbar