United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Columbia Division
Mike H. Samadi and Helen Samadi, a/k/a Helen Samadi Diamond, Plaintiffs,
United States of America, Defendant.
ORDER AND OPINION
Margaret B. Seymour, Senior United States District Judge
February 24, 2016, Plaintiff Mike H. Samadi (“Mike
Samadi”), proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis,
filed a complaint challenging decisions made and allegedly
incorrect tax refunds issued by the Internal Revenue Service
in 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2008. In accordance with 28 U.S.C.
§ 636(b) and Local Rule 73.02, D.S.C., this matter was
referred to United States Magistrate Judge Paige J. Gossett
for pretrial handling.
August 16, 2016, Defendant United States of America filed a
motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction. The Magistrate
Judge issued a Report and Recommendation on November 28,
2016, in which she recommended that Defendant's motion to
dismiss be granted as to Mike Samadi's 2002, 2003, and
2004 tax refund claims, and that Defendant's motion to
dismiss be denied as to Mike Samadi's 2008 tax refund
claim. On January 19, 2017, the court adopted the Report and
Recommendation and recommitted the matter to the Magistrate
Judge for further pretrial handling.
matter now is before the court on Defendant's second
motion to dismiss, which motion was filed on June 16, 2017.
Defendant contends that Mike Samadi lacks standing to seek
relief as to the 2008 tax refund claim because his former
wife, Helen Samadi, paid the 2008 taxes in full. On June 19,
2017, pursuant to Roseboro v. Garrison, 528 F.2d 309
(4th Cir. 1975), Mike Samadi was advised of the
dismissal procedures and the possible consequences if he
failed to respond adequately. Mike Samadi filed a response in
opposition on July 18, 2017, to which Defendant filed a reply
on July 25, 2017. Mike Samadi filed a surreply on August 3,
2017. Also on August 3, 2017, Mike Samadi filed a motion for
leave to add Helen Samadi as a party. On August 3, 2017,
Helen Samadi filed a motion to intervene, to which Defendant
filed a response in opposition on August 17, 2017.
October 2, 2017, the Magistrate Judge issued a Report and
Recommendation in which she determined that Mike Samadi lacks
standing to pursue the 2008 tax refund claim, and, as such,
the court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over his claim.
The Magistrate Judge recommended that Defendant's motion
to dismiss be granted as to Mike Samadi. The Magistrate Judge
granted Helen Samadi's motion to intervene and noted
that, in light of her ruling, Mike Samadi's motion to add
a party was moot. On October 26, 2017, the Samadis filed
joint objections to the Report and Recommendation. Defendant
filed a reply to the objections on November 9, 2017.
Magistrate Judge makes only a recommendation to this court.
The recommendation has no presumptive weight. The
responsibility for making a final determination remains with
this court. Mathews v. Weber, 423 U.S. 261, 270
(1976). This court may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or
in part, the findings or recommendations made by the
Magistrate Judge. 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1). This court may
also receive further evidence or recommit the matter to the
Magistrate Judge with instructions. Id. This court
is obligated to conduct a de novo review of every portion of
the Magistrate Judge's report to which objections have
been filed. Id.
Samadis object to the dismissal of Mike Samadi as a party to
the within action. Mike Samadi states that he has no
objection to any proceeds of the litigation accruing to the
benefit of Helen Samadi, but that he wishes to act as a
“trustee or manager to make certain that the money
being returned/refunded/settled in this matter is spent
correctly[.]” ECF No. 86, 1. The Samadis also state
that Mike Samadi is most knowledgeable about the 2008 tax
refund claim, and that Helen Samadi “would not be able
to understand the records, analyze or defend the mater
[sic] or present the proper evidence relating to the
2008 tax dispute.” Id. at 2.
Magistrate Judge properly noted, a plaintiff must have a
“‘sufficient personal stake in the outcome of a
dispute to render judicial resolution of it
appropriate.'” ECF No. 79, 5 (quoting Emery v.
Roanoke City Sch. Bd., 432 F.3d 294, 298 (4th
Cir. 2005)). In this case, only Helen Samadi has standing to
recover any refund of the Samadis' 2008 tax payment
because she alone paid the tax liability that year. The
Samadis' objection is without merit.
Helen Samadi has the right to represent herself or to hire
counsel, Mike Samadi is cautioned that, as a nonlawyer, he is
not permitted to represent Helen Samadi in court.
See, e.g., Brown v. Ortho Diagnostic
Sys., Inc., 868 F.Supp. 168, 172-73 (E.D. Va. 1994)
(“The near uniform proscription on non-lawyers
representing others in court is soundly based on two
separate, but complementary policy considerations. First,
there is a strong and compelling state interest in regulating
the practice of law. . . . The second reason . . . concerns
the importance of what is at stake for the litigant, and the
final nature of the adjudication of the rights in
court adopts the Report and Recommendation and incorporates
it herein by reference. Defendant's motion to dismiss is
granted as to Mike Samadi. The matter is
recommitted to the Magistrate Judge for additional pretrial