On or about August 2, 1993, the Internal Revenue Service ("IRS") decided to exercise its right of redemption as set forth in 26 U.S.C. § 7425. The IRS attempted to do this by tendering a check to the plaintiff, John Madan, in the amount of $ 1.02.
Plaintiffs here allege that the manner in which the IRS carried out its attempt to redeem the said property was improper as the amount of the tendered price was insufficient. Plaintiffs have filed the instant complaint in order to quiet title on the property in question.
Plaintiffs are now moving for summary judgment pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 56 and are also seeking attorney's fees and costs. The defendant has cross moved for summary judgment.
Summary judgment is appropriate when no genuine issues of material fact exist, and thus the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law. Fed. R. Civ. P. 56. There must be more than a "metaphysical doubt as to the material facts." Delaware & Hudson Ry. v. Conrail, 902 F.2d 174, 178 (2d Cir. 1990) (quoting Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586, 89 L. Ed. 2d 538, 106 S. Ct. 1348 (1986)). All ambiguities must be weighed in favor of the non-moving party. Ramseur v. Chase Manhattan Bank, 865 F.2d 460, 465 (2d Cir. 1989). "Only when reasonable minds could not differ as to the import of the evidence is summary judgment proper." Bryant v. Maffucci, 923 F.2d 979, 982 (2d Cir. 1991).
However, the fact that all reasonable inferences are drawn in favor of the non-moving party does not leave that party with no burden in defending against a motion for summary judgment. It is the non-moving party who must support the ultimate burden of proof by demonstrating that there exists some evidence of a genuine issue of material fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322-23, 106 S. Ct. 2548, 2553, 91 L. Ed. 2d 265 (1986). In fulfilling this burden of proof, conclusory allegations or a "scintilla of evidence" is not sufficient to create a genuine issue. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 252, 106 S. Ct. 2505, 2511, 91 L. Ed. 2d 202 (1986). It is in light of this standard that the court reviews this case. The court will first address defendant's motion for summary judgment.
Initially, defendant attempts to dismiss the present claim on sovereign immunity grounds. It is alleged that in order for the United States to be a defendant in a lawsuit, the government must have expressly waived its sovereign immunity through an act of Congress. Defendant argues that the United States has not waived any such immunity in the present action.
Courts have long recognized the general principle that "the United States, as sovereign, 'is immune from suit save as it consents to be sued . . . and the terms of its consent to be sued in any court define that court's jurisdiction to entertain the suit.'" Lehman v. Nakshian, 453 U.S. 156, 160, 101 S. Ct. 2698, 2701, 69 L. Ed. 2d 548 (1981) (quoting United States v. Testan, 424 U.S. 392, 399, 96 S. Ct. 948, 953, 47 L. Ed. 2d 114 (1975)). Therefore, if Congress expressly waives the government's immunity from certain types of lawsuits, then the "limitations and conditions upon which the Government consents to be sued must be strictly observed and exceptions thereto are not to be implied." Lehman, 453 U.S. at 161, 101 S. Ct. at 2701-02 (citing Soriano v. United States, 352 U.S. 270, 276, 77 S. Ct. 269, 273, 1 L. Ed. 2d 306 (1957)).
In the case at bar, plaintiffs allege that Congress did indeed waive the government's sovereign immunity by enacting 28 U.S.C. § 2410. The said section states, in pertinent part:
(a) Under the conditions prescribed in this section and section 1444 of this title for the protection of the United States, the United States may be named a party in any civil action or suit in any district court, or any State court having jurisdiction of the subject matter --