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United States v. Robbin

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

October 16, 2017

United States of America Plaintiff,
v.
Ronny B. Robbin, Lynette R. Robbin, North American State Bank, and State of Minnesota Defendants.

          LaQuita Taylor-Phillips, Esq., and Michael R. Pahl, Esq., United States Department of Justice, Tax Division, counsel for Plaintiff.

          Ronny B. Robbin, pro se, and Lynette R. Robbin, pro se, Defendants.

          D. Sherwood McKinnis, Esq., and Jacob G. Peterson, Esq., counsel for Defendant North American State Bank.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          DONOVAN W.FRANK UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         INTRODUCTION

         This matter is before the Court on Defendants Ronny and Lynette Robbin’s Motion to Alter or Amend the Judgment (Doc. No. 69). For the reasons discussed below, the Court denies the Robbins’ motion.

         BACKGROUND

         The Court assumes the reader’s familiarity with the facts of this case, which are set forth more fully in the Court’s Memorandum Opinion and Order (Doc. No. 65). In short, the Government assessed Defendant Ronny Robbin for unpaid taxes for 2003 and 2005 and penalties for filing frivolous returns in 2004 and 2005. The dispute between the Government and Mr. Robbin is not about an unwarranted deduction or arithmetic error. Instead, Mr. Robbin has taken the faulty position that his income is not taxable because it was not corporate profit. The Government filed suit seeking to recover $213,862.79 in unpaid taxes, penalties, fees, and interest.[1] To satisfy the assessment, the Government sought an order compelling the sale of the Robbins’ home (the “Belgrade Property”). On August 9, 2016, the Court granted the Government’s Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. No. 65) and ordered the sale of the Belgrade Property (Doc. No. 66). The Robbins have now filed a motion to alter or amend the judgment. (Doc. No. 69.)

         DISCUSSION

         I. Motion to Amend the Judgment

         “Rule 59(e) motions serve a limited function of correcting ‘manifest errors of law or fact or to present newly discovered evidence.’ Such motions cannot be used to introduce new evidence, tender new legal theories, or raise arguments which could have been offered or raised prior to entry of judgment.” United States v. Metro. St. Louis Sewer Dist., 440 F.3d 930, 933 (8th Cir. 2006) (internal quotations omitted); see also Innovative Home Health Care, Inc. v. P.T.-O.T. Assocs. of the Black Hills, 141 F.3d 1284, 1286 (8th Cir. 1998). Relief under Rule 59(e) is granted in only “extraordinary” circumstances. See United States v. Young, 806 F.2d 805, 806 (8th Cir. 1986).

         II. The Robbins’ Motions

         The Robbins contend that the Court made three errors: (1) rejecting the Robbins’ argument that the notices of deficiency were not sent; (2) considering Exhibits 11 through 16 attached to Deborah Olson’s Supplemental Declaration (Doc. No. 55); and (3) rejecting the Robbins’ argument that the proper person had not signed the notices of deficiency or penalty assessments.

         A. Notices of ...


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