LOCATION: U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, San Antonio Division
DOCKET NO.: 78-1453
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1975-1981)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
CITATION: 444 US 707 (1980)
ARGUED: Nov 26, 1979
DECIDED: Feb 20, 1980
James W. Erwin - on behalf of the Respondent
Stuart A. Smith - on behalf of the Petitioners
Facts of the case
Media for United States v. EugeAudio Transcription for Oral Argument - November 26, 1979 in United States v. Euge
Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - February 20, 1980 in United States v. Euge
Warren E. Burger:
The judgment and opinion of the Court in 78-1453, United States against Euge will be announced by Mr. Justice Rehnquist.
William H. Rehnquist:
In this case, responded, Euge, lived in Saint Louis Missouri.
The Internal Revenue Service has been conducting investigation of his income tax liabilities for the years 1973 to 1976.
The investigating agent attempted to determine whether a number of bank accounts were being maintained by him under different aliases.
To assist in this determination, the Service issues summons requesting him to appear and execute samples of this handwriting.
When he refused to provide the samples, the Service brought an action Federal District Court seeking enforcement of the sum.
The District Court ordered that the summon should be enforced, but the Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit reversed that order, concluding that Congress had not authorized the Internal Revenue Service issue as summons for the purpose of obtaining handwriting samples.
In an opinion filed with the clerk today, we now reverse the Court of Appeals.
We find that the Internal Revenue Service Code does have statutory authority and confers it on the service under 26 U.S.C. 7602 to issue us summons compelling the execution of handwriting samples.
Mr. Justice Brennan has filed a dissenting opinion in which Mr. Justice Marshall and Mr. Justice Stevens joined and Mr. Justice Marshall has also filed a separate dissenting opinion.
Warren E. Burger:
Thank you, Mr. Justice Rehnquist.