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Right-To-Petition Lawsuit Update: Preliminary Injunction Motion To Be Filed Plaintiff Survey

August 31, 2005

On July 19th last year, the landmark Right-To-Petition lawsuit was filed in Washington DC seeking a declaration of the full contours of the meaning of the Petition clause of the First Amendment including whether the People have an unalienable Right to peacefully hold their Government accountable by withholding their money until their grievances are redressed, if the government violates the Constitution and refuses to respond to the People’s Petitions for Redress.

Our original complaint (filed July 19, 2004), our Amended Complaint (filed September 11, 2004), and our Second Amended Complaint (filed November 12, 2004), included a request to temporarily enjoin the government from taking any enforcement actions against any of the named Plaintiffs, at least until the underlying questions were ultimately determined by the Court.

On the advice of our legal counsel, Mark Lane, we did not immediately press the Court on the issue of a temporary injunction by filing a separate motion for immediate temporary relief. Attorney Lane did not want to risk the core case on the outcome of an ancillary motion for a temporary injunction against the government.

Temporary injunctions against the government are difficult to obtain. Before the Court would grant a request for temporary injunctive relief, the Court would have to be convinced that we had a very strong likelihood of succeeding in getting the Court to grant us the permanent relief we were requesting (that is, a declaration of our Rights under the Petition Clause of the First Amendment), that we were suffering immediate harm, that our harm was irreparable (could not be cured by money alone), and that a balancing of the equities argued in our favor (that is, that while we would continue to suffer irreparable harm without an injunction, the government’s harm would be minimal if its collection actions against the Plaintiffs was temporarily prohibited and enjoined).

Mark Lane’s advice was that we wait until after the government’s expected motion to dismiss was fully briefed by both sides.

The Case Proceeded Without An Early Motion for Injunctive Relief

On October 1, 2004 the government responded to our complaint with a Motion to Dismiss. On November 12 we filed our Opposition to the Motion to Dismiss. On December 21 (after requesting additional time) the government replied to our opposition. This reply included a blatant misrepresentation of evidence proffered by the Government and it improperly raised new legal issues. On January 10, 2005, we filed a motion requesting the opportunity to file a Sur-reply. The motion was granted. On February 28, 2005 we filed our Sur-reply.

Our Complaint is an action for declaratory relief by constraining the defendants to meet their obligations under the Constitution by responding with specific, official answers to the reasonable questions put forth by Plaintiffs in their Petitions for Redress of Grievances, regarding constitutional torts involving violations of the U.S. Constitution’s war powers, taxing, money, "privacy" and due process clauses (Plts’ Amend. Comp. 65).

We have asked the Court to declare that our Rights under the Petition Clause includes the Right to retain our money if the Government does not so respond. Our Complaint is also an action for injunctive relief against the Defendants, from taking any further retaliatory actions against Plaintiffs. (Plts’ Amend. Comp. 65).

The government moved to dismiss the complaint on the grounds that Congress has not authorized this manner of petition against the "sovereign" government" (Defs' Mot. 13), the government does not have to "listen or respond to Plaintiffs’ petitions" (Defs' Mot. 15), Plaintiffs’ claims of retaliation are "legal conclusions cast in the form of factual allegations" (Defs' Mot. 19), and Congress did not authorize People to enforce their Rights through the retention of money "as an avenue for the relief sought" (Defs' Mot. 23).

In our Opposition, we argued that the Petition Clause operates as a constitutional antidote to the doctrine of sovereign immunity (Plts’ Opp. 3), the enumeration of the Right to Petition in the First Amendment cannot be construed to deny Plaintiffs’ Right to a response that is, the government is implicitly obligated under the Constitution to respond by providing specific answers, just as the government is implicitly obligated under the 26th Amendment to respond by counting the votes of people who have voted (Plts’ Opp.10), that the issue of "Impermissible Retaliation" is a material issue of fact, (Plts’ Opp. 26) and, the Right of Petition does not depend upon Congress for its enforceability and survives the schema of any act of Congress that infringes or abridges its guarantees (Plts’ Opp. 21).

In its Reply, the Government raised new arguments: government’s response to Plaintiffs’ Petitions does not have to be "adequate" (Defs' Reply 2); the government has responded to Plaintiffs’ Petitions (Defs' Reply 5 fn 4); and, Plaintiffs have no Right to enforce their Rights by retaining their money because "Plaintiffs can cite no case in which such a right is recognized…[and] history is replete with those who have sought to engage in civil disobedience by violating our nation’s tax laws" (Defs' Reply 6).

Because the government had raised new issues in its Reply Brief and it had made a material and deliberate misrepresentation to the Court by falsely claiming the document "The Truth About Frivolous Tax Arguments" distributed by the IRS was an official publication of the U.S. Government and that the document answered the questions contained within the income tax Petition for Redress, we filed a motion for permission to file a Sur-Reply. The government objected. Our motion was granted.

In our Sur-Reply (and its Attachment) we argued: that the People have a natural Right of access to the government and that the access must be "adequate, effective, and meaningful" to comport with the Constitution (Plts' Sur-Reply 2); Defendants have not provided a scintilla of evidence in support of the notion that any, much less all of the questions Plaintiffs have included in their four Petitions for Redress, have been answered by the government (Plts' Sur-Reply 3); and finally, the absence of case law does not eviscerate the People’s Natural Right to rely on the protection of the Constitution in constraining the extra-judicial actions of the government (Plts' Sur-Reply 4).

By February 28th, 2005 the matter was fully briefed. We were confident that the Court would soon decide the government’s motion to dismiss.

Tax Collector Showing No Respect For Judicial Status of the Plaintiffs

While waiting for the Court to decide the government’s motion to dismiss, we learned that one IRS agent was initiating enforcement actions against several People solely because they were affiliated with WTP and were Plaintiffs. The agent admitted, on the record, that his regional office sent him a list of the Plaintiffs. The Plaintiffs have since sued the IRS and the agent in their federal District Court to put an end to those enforcement actions. The cases are currently pending.

We have been growing concerned about the length of time it is taking the Court to decide the government’s motion to dismiss. As the axiom goes, "justice delayed is justice denied." In addition, while waiting for the Court to decide the motion, we have been hearing from many other Plaintiffs about IRS enforcement actions being taken against them. This is dead wrong and we are preparing to motion the Court to address the issue head on.

The government knows who the Plaintiffs are. The government should be respecting Plaintiffs ’ Due Process Rights by refraining from enforcing the Internal Revenue Code against Plaintiffs, at least until the Court issues a declaration of the Rights of the Plaintiffs under the Petition Clause of the First Amendment, including the Plaintiffs’ Right to an honest response from the government and the Right to retain their money until their grievances are redressed.

This is particularly true because one of the Plaintiffs’ four Petitions for Redress seeks answers to questions regarding the government’s legitimate powers under the taxing clauses of the Constitution, including the 16th Amendment. That Petition also seek answers regarding the enforcement provisions of the Internal Revenue Code, which although properly applicable to many types of taxes and "income," cannot be forcibly applied to wages, salaries and other forms of compensation and remuneration for an individual’s labor, without violating the individual’s natural, unalienable Rights as guaranteed by the Constitution.

Unfortunately, the IRS is not leaving the Plaintiffs alone. The IRS is not showing any respect for the judicial status of the Plaintiffs. The IRS is not waiting for the DC District Court’s determination of Plaintiffs’ Rights under the Petition Clause.

And beyond this, the IRS is enforcing the Internal Revenue Code against a significant number of Plaintiffs as if the Code could legally be applied to an individual’s wages, salaries and other forms of compensation and remuneration for his or her labor; again, even though this is the very question before the Court.

Adding injury to injury, by further violating Plaintiffs’ Due Process Rights, the IRS is leapfrogging over certain provisions of the Internal Revenue Code to which it is bound by law. By ignoring key Due Process provisions of the Code, the IRS is in direct violation of the law and Plaintiff's Rights as it attempts to collect what it alleges Plaintiffs owe under the IRS's self-interested and defective interpretation of the Constitution and the Internal Revenue Code.

Given the IRS’s ongoing, impermissible retaliations against Plaintiffs, and the length of time it is taking the Court to make its historical decision, we have decided it is now necessary to file a motion with the Court for an Order:

1. Preliminarily enjoining and prohibiting the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Justice and any other agency of the United States that arguably may act in this matter under color of Subtitle A or C of the Internal Revenue Code, from taking any enforcement actions against the Plaintiffs in this proceeding, until the underlying questions are determined by the court, and

2. Preliminarily enjoining and prohibiting the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Justice and any other agency of the United States that arguably may act in this matter under color of Subtitle A or C of the Internal Revenue Code, from sending Plaintiffs threatening letters, placing liens on Plaintiffs’ property, levying and seizing Plaintiffs’ property and/or wages, raiding Plaintiffs’ homes and/or offices, initiating or executing any and all tax enforcement actions before administrative, civil and/or criminal tribunals, and all similarly and related actions until the underlying questions are determined by the court, and

3. Preliminarily enjoining and prohibiting the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Justice and any other agency of the United States that arguably may act in this matter under color of Subtitle A or C of the Internal Revenue Code, from continuing the enforcement any and all existing liens and levies on property and/or wages of the Plaintiffs and by Order releasing such liens and levies, until the underlying questions are determined by the court, and

4. Preliminarily enjoining and prohibiting the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Justice and any other agency of the United States that arguably may act in this matter under color of Subtitle A or C of the Internal Revenue Code, from advancing any and all administrative, civil and criminal proceedings against Plaintiffs, including the sharing of information and/or cooperation with state taxing authorities, until the underlying questions are determined by the court, and

5. Expediting these proceedings where this matter might be set for trial; and

                      6. Granting any other, non-financial relief to the Plaintiffs that to the Court may seem just and proper.

RTP Lawsuit Plaintiff Survey

To prevail on our motion for a blanket injunction, we need to provide sufficient documentary evidence in support of our argument that the IRS is now applying force against Plaintiffs, inflicting harm and irreparable injury, leading to a pyrrhic victory for Plaintiffs. To facilitate this task, we need every Plaintiff to complete our on-line Plaintiffs’ Survey ASAP.

The short survey is intended to provide a statistical view into the Plaintiff "pool" to ascertain the amount and type of force being applied to Plaintiffs by the IRS. The survey focuses on the types of enforcement being applied and the Due Process abuses being endured by Plaintiffs.

Even if the Internal Revenue Code allowed for a direct, un-apportioned tax on labor (which we believe is not true and is an underlying issue in our RTP lawsuit), the due process Rights of People require that the IRS follow the letter of the law and not violate the provisions of the Code in its day-to-day tax administrative procedures.

However, the following is a list of a few of the Due Process related provisions of the Code that the IRS appears to be ignoring and should be held accountable for:

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The requirement for a substitute return 26 USC 6020

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The requirement for an assessment under 26 USC 6201

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The requirement for a declaring of the validity of the assessment under 26 USC 6065

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The requirement for a Notice of Deficiency under 26 USC 6212

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The requirement for a Notice and Demand for Tax under 26 USC 6303

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The requirement for a Notice and Opportunity for hearing before Levy under 26 USC 6330

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The requirement for a statement regarding Authority of the Secretary Under 26 USC 6331(a)

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The requirement for approval for any "continuous levy" under 26 USC 6331(h)

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The requirement for a Notice 30 days before Levy under 26 USC 6331(d)

Click here to verify your Plaintiff profile and to complete the on-line survey.

Be sure to verify your e-mail address so that we can contact you directly regarding lawsuit matters.

Please note that the database associated with this survey contains records for all those that filed affidavits applying to become Plaintiffs that have been received and processed by the WTP Foundation office as of August 20th, 2005.

Please note that although your name may appear in this WTP database, it does not confer legal status as a Plaintiff. It is important to note that since November 2004, no new names have been formally put before the Court as Plaintiffs.

It is expected that all Plaintiff applicants known to the Foundation at the time of our submission of the motion requesting the Injunction, will soon be presented to the Court for status as Plaintiffs.

Please do not contact the Foundation regarding your status as a Plaintiff. All names submitted in the First Amended Complaint are considered formal Plaintiffs (September 16th, 2004). Names added in the Second Amended Complaint (November 12, 2004) are awaiting the Court's acceptance of the revised Complaint. All names processed subsequent to November 12 will soon be filed with the Court.

Click Here to apply to become a Plaintiff and to access the Lawsuit Information Center which includes scholarly research on the Right to Petition and other lawsuit related materials, news and resources.

Click Here to make a donation to help fund the landmark Right-to-Petition lawsuit and the ongoing operations of the We The People Foundation.

Click here to verify your Plaintiff profile and to complete the on-line Plaintiff survey.


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