United States District Court, W.D. Missouri, Central Division
NANETTE K. LAUGHREY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
a case brought under 26 U.S.C. § 7431 by Plaintiff
Joseph Allen May, D.D.S., pro se, who seeks damages
and penalties from the Defendants for making allegedly
unauthorized disclosures of his tax information as defined in
26 U.S.C. § 6103. The Defendants are the United States
of America, the Internal Revenue Service, IRS Special Agent
Joel Wilson, and Unknown IRS agents, as well as Melanie
Moffat, an attorney. Moffat moves under Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6)
for dismissal of the claims against her. Doc. 8. The motion
was formerly married to Anna Mae Pon May. Plaintiff alleges
that in 2012, during the parties' dissolution proceeding,
Mrs. May reported to the IRS that Plaintiff had forged her
signature on a tax form. The IRS performed a criminal
investigation, but nothing ultimately came of it.
Moffat represented Mrs. May in the dissolution. The
substantive allegations against Moffat contained in the
Complaint are set out here in their entirety:
18. Defendant, Melanie Moffat, published part of the
Plaintiff's 2014 tax return on August 27, 2015 where
Melanie Moffat identified the document as part of the
Plaintiff's tax return. This document contained tax
return information as defined in 26 USC 6103 and appeared to
be an unauthorized disclosure by this Defendant.
19. Cole County Circuit Court records of Jefferson City,
Missouri revealed over 10 people requested copies of this
document and such document remains unsealed at this date by
the Cole county Circuit court.
20. SA Wilson and other agents refused to prosecute Defendant
Melanie Moffat for making unauthorized disclosures of tax
information as defined in 26 USC 6103.
45.  (a) There are over ten requests for copies of a
pleading filed by Melanie Moffat where part of
Plaintiff's 2014 tax return was attached to the pleading
to degrade or demonize the Plaintiff in violation of Title 26
USC § 7431 (civil) and 7213….
Doc. 1, pp. 4 and 11.
makes two arguments in support of her motion to dismiss for
failure to state a claim. She argues that § 6103's
prohibition against disclosure of a “return” does
not apply to her because Plaintiff does not and cannot allege
that she obtained the tax return from the IRS. She also
argues that she is not within the class of persons to whom
§ 6103's prohibitions on disclosure apply. As
discussed below, Moffat is entitled to dismissal based on the
first argument, and the Court therefore need not address the
purposes of deciding a motion to dismiss for failure to state
a claim, a court accepts the factual allegations contained in
the complaint as true. Eckert v. Titan Tire Corp.
514 F.3d 801, 806 (8th Cir. 2008). To survive a
motion to dismiss, the complaint must contain “enough
facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
face.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678,
(2009) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S.
544, 570 (2007)). A complaint is plausible if its
“factual content allows the court to draw the
reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the
misconduct alleged.” Braden v. Wal-Mart Stores,
Inc., 588 F.3d 585, 594 (8th Cir. 2009)
(quoting Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678). A complaint that
offers labels, bare assertions, and “[t]hreadbare
recitals of the elements of a cause of action, supported by
mere conclusory statements, ” is insufficient to avoid
dismissal. Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. See also
Schooley v. Kennedy, 712 F.2d 372, 373 (8th Cir. 1983)
(“Although pro se pleadings are to be
construed liberally, pro se litigants are to not
excused from compliance with relevant rules of the procedural
and substantive law.”).