BECKER v. U.S. , 451 U.S. 1306 (1981)

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U.S. Supreme Court

BECKER v. U.S. , 451 U.S. 1306 (1981)

68 L.Ed.2d 828 451 U.S. 1306

Walter J. BECKER and Sara A. Becker et al.

No. A-918

Supreme Court of the United States

May 29, 1981

Justice REHNQUIST, Circuit Justice.

Applicants claimed depreciation, investment credits, and other expenses on their federal income tax returns with respect to certain videotapes. The Internal Revenue Service issued summonses directing the production of the videotapes and, on the appointed date, applicants appeared before the IRS agent with the videotapes. They agreed to permit the agent to examine, play, and otherwise inspect the videotapes

Page 451 U.S. 1306, 1307

for as long as desired, but only in their presence, and declined to leave the videotapes in the possession of the agent. Not satisfied with such an arrangement, the IRS brought an enforcement proceeding under 26 U.S.C. 7402(b) and 7604(a).

The United States District Court for the Eastern District of California ordered applicants to turn over the videotapes as demanded by the IRS. Applicants filed notices of appeal and moved the District Court to stay its judgment pending appeal. They offered to post a supersedeas bond and argued in their memorandum in support that they were entitled to a stay under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 62(d) upon posting of such bond. This Rule provides:

    "Stay upon appeal. When an appeal is taken the appellant by giving a supersedeas bond may obtain a stay subject to the exceptions contained in subdivision (a) of this rule. The bond may be given at or after the time of filing the notice of appeal or of procuring the order allowing the appeal, as the case may be. The stay is effective when the supersedeas bond is approved by the court."

The exceptions mentioned in Rule 62(a) are injunction cases, receivership cases, and patent infringement cases in which an accounting has been ordered. The District Court denied the motion for a stay and the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit denied a subsequent motion for a stay.

Applicants thereupon filed the instant application for a stay pending appeal of the District Court judgment to the Court of Appeals. I granted a temporary stay and called for a response from the United States. That response has now been received and, upon examination of it and the relevant authorities, I have decided to continue the stay pending further action by the full Court.

Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 81(a)(3), the Federal Rules apply "to proceedings to compel the giving of [451 U.S. 1306, 1308]

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