Hannon v. United States, No. 13-1022 (1st Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
The IRS held a tax lien against Patrick Hannon’s property, including a parcel of land Hannon owned in Newton, Massachusetts. The IRS discharged that specific parcel from its tax lien under 26 U.S.C. 6325(b)(2)(A) to allow the City of Newton could take the property by eminent domain, and the IRS authorized the discharge upon its receipt of a portion of the amount paid by Newton. Following the taking, Hannon sued Newton in Massachusetts state court and was awarded damages for undercompensation. Both the government and Rita Manning, a lower-priority creditor who had obtained a judgment against Hannon, intervened and asserted priority to receive the damages award. A federal district court entered summary judgment in favor of Manning on the issue of whose lien had priority, concluding that the IRS’s decision to discharge the property from federal tax liens in exchange for payment from the taking meant the government had relinquished any tax lien on the later damages award. The First Circuit Court of Appeals reversed, holding (1) the IRS certificate issued under section 6325(b)(2)(A) did not release any claims the IRS had on the post-taking proceeds awarded to Hannon; and (2) the IRS tax lien on those post-taking proceeds was valid and thus senior to Manning’s judgment lien.