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Surgick v. Cirella, No. 12-3475, 2013WL 142704 (3d Cir. Jan. 14, 2013) (per curiam)

Monday, January 14, 2013
Re: Request for records concerning a third party's estate and investment interests as well as the tax records of a private business Disposition: Affirming district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of IRS
  • Adequacy of Search: The court concludes that "[b]ased on the record in this case, the Service established that it complied with its duty to conduct an adequate search of its Integrated Data Retrieval System and to turn over all responsive documents in its possession." The court notes that plaintiff "failed to identify specific facts and affirmative evidence to contradict the evidence offered" by the IRS and so summary judgment in favor of the IRS was warranted.
  • Exemption 3: The court also finds that with respect to the corporate tax returns sought as well as the information concerning a third party's interest in the corporation, information was properly withheld under Exemption 3 pursuant to 26 U.S.C. § 6103(e)(1). The court notes that this provision prevents the IRS from releasing this tax information to plaintiff without the taxpayer's consent, "which the plaintiffs did not obtain." Segregability: The court finds that segregation of information was not required because the IRS "established that the information requested is exempt from disclosure, and established that there was no form of non-exempt information in the documents requested which the Service could segregate and legally disclose to the plaintiffs."
Adequacy of Search
Court of Appeals
Exemption 3
Updated August 6, 2014