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Iowa Department of Revenue v. Walbaum

Court of Appeals of Iowa

April 19, 2017

IOWA DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
RICHARD EDWARD WALBAUM, Defendant-Appellant.

         Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Jefferson County, Randy S. DeGeest, Judge.

         Richard Walbaum appeals from the dismissal of his motion to reinstate a declaratory judgment action. AFFIRMED.

          Richard E. Walbaum, Fairfield, appellant pro se.

          Thomas J. Miller, Attorney General, and Laurie Heron McCown, Assistant County Attorney, for appellee department.

          Considered by Danilson, C.J., and Vogel and Vaitheswaran, JJ.

          PER CURIAM.

         Richard Walbaum appeals from the dismissal of his motion to reinstate a declaratory judgment action.

         "Issues of the jurisdiction, authority, and venue of the district court are legal issues reviewed on error." Holding v. Franklin Cty. Zoning Bd. of Adjustment, 565 N.W.2d 318, 320 (Iowa 1997).

         Prior appeal. In a previous appeal from the district court's order dismissing Walbaum's petition for declaratory judgment to review agency action, Walbaum asserted he did not untimely file his protest letter, his administrative remedies were exhausted, and due process requires a hearing before the issuance of a penalty. Walbaum v. Iowa Dep't of Revenue, No. 14-1867, 2015 WL 4642566, at *1 (Iowa Ct. App. Aug. 5, 2015).

         We briefly address the background facts. Walbaum did not file tax returns with the Iowa Department of Revenue for the years 2000, 2002, 2006, and 2007. Id. The department issued an assessment on May 31, 2010, and Walbaum failed to submit a protest within the sixty-day period prescribed by Iowa Code section 422.28 (2009). Id. The department issued a notice of intent to levy on March 7, 2011. Id.

         In April 2013, Walbaum sent a letter requesting an administrative hearing, which the department noted was not timely because he had not timely protested the 2010 assessment. Id. The department responded to another letter sent by Walbaum in August 2013, explaining that Walbaum's letter sent before the assessment was not a timely protest. Id.

         On September 24, 2013, Walbaum sent a protest in the proper format, which was assigned a docket number. Id. The protest was denied as untimely but deemed as a request for reinstatement. Id. Reinstatement was denied by letter on April 2, 2014, and the department "informed Walbaum of a 'second opportunity to protest the assessment' pursuant to Iowa Code section 421.60(4)(h) (2013)."[1] Id.

         Walbaum did not protest the assessment pursuant to section 421.60(4)(h). Rather, on June 10, 2014, Walbaum filed a petition for declaratory relief to review agency action, which the district court rejected for his failure to exhaust administrative remedies. Id. at *2. This court affirmed, id., and the supreme court denied further review.

         Instant appeal. On April 5, 2016, the department filed a distress warrant with Walbaum's bank demanding it remit any funds belonging to Walbuam.[2] On April 18, 2016, Walbaum filed a motion to "continue declaratory judgment previously abated, " arguing the "remedy of 421.60(4)(h) is in total opposition to and not equivalent to the remedy provided by 422.28, and is thus 'inadequate.'" He ...


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