United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Columbia Division
ORDER ADOPTING THE REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS AND
GRANTING DEFENDANT LOGIC TECHNOLOGY INC.'S AND THE UNITED
STATES' MOTIONS TO DISMISS
GEIGER LEWIS, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
Richard Boggs complains Defendants Logic Technology, Inc.,
(LTI) and the United States improperly withheld federal
income taxes from his wages while he was an LTI employee.
Boggs seeks monetary damages and declaratory relief. He is
proceeding pro se.
matter is before the Court for review of: (1) the Report and
Recommendation of the United States Magistrate Judge
suggesting LTI's motion to dismiss be granted (Report I);
(2) Boggs's Sur-reply to LTI's reply to his response
to its motion to dismiss (Boggs's Sur-reply); and (3) the
Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation advising the
Court to grant the United States' motion to dismiss
(Report II). The Reports were made in accordance with 28
U.S.C. § 636 and Local Civil Rule 73.02 for the District
of South Carolina.
Magistrate Judge makes only a recommendation to this Court.
The recommendation has no presumptive weight. The
responsibility to make a final determination remains with the
Court. Mathews v. Weber, 423 U.S. 261, 270 (1976).
The Court is charged with making a de novo determination of
those portions of the Report to which specific objection is
made, and the Court may accept, reject, or modify, in whole
or in part, the recommendation of the Magistrate Judge or
recommit the matter with instructions. 28 U.S.C. §
Magistrate Judge filed Report I on November 7, 2017. The
Clerk of Court entered Boggs's Sur-reply on November 9,
2017, and his objections on November 17, 2017 (Objections I).
Given the interconnectedness of Boggs's claims against
LTI and the United States, the Court decided it best to wait
and consider Report I, which analyzes LTI's motion to
dismiss, contemporaneously with Report II, which discusses
the United States' motion to dismiss.
Magistrate Judge filed Report II on February 21, 2018; and
the Clerk filed Boggs's objections on March 6, 2018
carefully reviewed Boggs's Sur-reply and both sets of his
objections, the Court holds them all to be without merit. It
will therefore enter judgment accordingly.
withheld federal taxes from Boggs's wages after it
received a lock-in letter from the Internal Revenue Service
(IRS) instructing it to do so. The letter directed LTI to
disregard the W-4 Employee's Withholding Allowance
Certificate Boggs previously submitted to LTI and withhold
income taxes from his wages at a specified rate. LTI complied
with the IRS's letter and withheld income taxes from
Boggs filed his sur-reply after the Magistrate Judge filed
Report I, in an abundance of caution, the Court will address
his arguments from that submission.
Boggs takes issue with LTI's argument it “is
protected from legal liability for complying with withholding
obligations imposed upon them by federal law.”
Boggs's Sur-reply 1. Boggs's claim is without merit.
relevant statute is clear: “The employer shall be
liable for the payment of the tax required to be deducted and
withheld under this chapter, and shall not be liable to any
person for the amount of any such payment.” 26 U.S.C.
§ 3403. Accordingly, “an employer cannot be made
liable for failing to honor an employee's W-4 form when
it has been directed to do so by the Internal Revenue
Service.” Benz v. United Parcel Serv., 815
F.2d 75 (6th Cir. 1987).
Boggs disagrees with LTI's “argument regarding the
26 USC § 3201 definition of “employee”[ ]
and use of the term “includes[.]” Boggs's
Sur-reply 5. Inasmuch as Section 3401, not Section 3201, is
the relevant statute, the Court assumes Boggs's citation
to 26 USC § 3201 is a scrivener's error.
maintains Boggs is an employee, as defined by Section 3401,
whose wages are subject to federal income taxes. Boggs ...