United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Dallas Division
TONY AND MII'S, INC., TONY THANGSONGCHAROEN, and SOMNUEK THANGSONGCHAROEN Plaintiffs,
THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Defendant.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
J. BOYLE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is Defendant's Motion for Partial Dismissal.
Doc. 14. For the reasons that follow, the Court
GRANTS in part and DENIES in part
dispute arises from the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS)
seizure and sale of assets to satisfy an alleged tax
delinquency. Plaintiffs Tony and Somnuek Thangsongcharoen
owned and operated a boutique bridal store called Tony and
Mii's (Mii's). Doc. 1, Pls.' Compl., ¶ 17.
Mii's is also a plaintiff in this case. In March 2015,
IRS agents seized the store's inventory and sold it at
auction because Mii's allegedly owed $31, 422.46 in back
taxes. Id. ¶¶ 16, 19. According to
Plaintiffs, the IRS agents intentionally erroneously
classified the inventory as perishable goods in order to
avoid the prescribed public notice and waiting period that
accompanies the seizure and sale of other goods. Id.
¶¶ 19-20. Instead, Plaintiffs claim, Mii's
inventory was sold at private auction for far less than
market value only four hours after the assets were seized.
Id. ¶ 28. Plaintiffs also allege that the IRS
agents seized items besides those authorized to be seized.
Id. ¶ 37. Allegedly, the IRS's actions
resulted in economic damages so severe that Mii's was
unable to recover and is no longer in operation. Id.
filed suit under 26 U.S.C. §7433, which allows damages
for unauthorized collection actions, and 26 U.S.C. §7426
(h), which allows damages for wrongful levy. Id.
¶¶ 15-65. The United States then filed a motion to
dismiss under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) and
12(b)(6). Doc. 14, Def.'s Mot. to Dismiss. The United
States moved to dismiss the Thangsongcharoens'
§7433 and §7426 claims and Mii's'
requests for health-related and reputation damages related to
its §7433 claim. Id. The United States'
motion is ripe for review.
Rule 8(a)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, a
complaint must contain “a short and plain statement of
the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to
relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). Rule 12(b)(6) authorizes
a court to dismiss a plaintiff's complaint for
“failure to state a claim upon which relief can be
granted.” Id. 12(b)(6). In considering a Rule
12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, “[t]he court accepts all
well-pleaded facts as true, viewing them in the light most
favorable to the plaintiff.” In re Katrina Canal
Breaches Litig., 495 F.3d 191, 205 (5th Cir. 2007). The
court will “not look beyond the face of the pleadings
to determine whether relief should be granted based on the
alleged facts.” Spivey v. Robertson, 197 F.3d
772, 774 (5th Cir. 1999).
survive a motion to dismiss, a plaintiff must plead
“enough facts to state a claim to relief that is
plausible on its face.” Bell Atl. Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007). “Threadbare
recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by
mere conclusory statements, do not suffice.”
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009).
“A claim has facial plausibility when the plaintiff
pleads factual content that allows the court to draw the
reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the
misconduct alleged.” Id. “The
plausibility standard is not akin to a ‘probability
requirement, ' but it asks for more than a sheer
possibility that a defendant has acted unlawfully.”
Id. When well-pleaded facts fail to achieve this
plausibility standard, “the complaint has alleged - but
it has not shown - that the pleader is entitled to
relief.” Id. at 679 (internal quotation marks
and alterations omitted).
The Thangsongcharoens' Claims Under
plaintiffs claim that they have “suffered economic
damages in excess of $1, 000, 000 due to the IRS's
intentional, reckless, or negligent collections and illegal
sale of the seized goods, in which [they] had an
interest.” Doc. 1, Pls.' Compl., ¶ 57; see
also id. ¶ 62. The United States alleges that a
plaintiff must state what interest he has in levied property
in order to state a claim under §7426 (h) and
that Plaintiffs have failed to adequately plead what interest
they had in the assets seized from Mii's. Doc. 14,
Def.'s Mot. to Dismiss, 7-9; Doc. 17, Def.'s Reply,
1-3. The Thangsongcharoens respond that they have adequately