United States v. Jose, 519 U.S. 54, 4 (1996) (per curiam)

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Cite as: 519 U. S. 54 (1996)

Per Curiam

prevail to the extent that the District Court imposed a condition—an unqualified requirement that the IRS provide five days' notice to the trustee before transferring summoned information from its Examination Division to any other IRS office. With that disposition, the District Court completed its adjudication. "[W]e have expressly held that IRS summons enforcement orders are subject to appellate review." Church of Scientology of Cal. v. United States, 506 U. S. 9, 15 (1992) (citing Reisman v. Caplin, 375 U. S. 440, 449 (1964)). We adhere to that view, and note that appellate jurisdiction over final decisions does not turn on which side prevailed in the District Court.

Finality, not ripeness, is the doctrine governing appeals from district court to court of appeals. In this case, to gain access to appeal from the District Court's final decision to the extent that it disfavored the Service, the IRS is not obligated, first, to defy the District Court's order. Nor is the IRS required to provide notice of its intention to transfer documents internally, for this is the very condition the IRS seeks to attack on appeal.

The Court of Appeals cited no authority supporting its cryptic declaration that the conditional enforcement order was not ripe for appeal. We have found none. Indeed, prior to this case, the Ninth Circuit itself had twice upheld similar conditional enforcement orders. See United States v. Zolin, 809 F. 2d 1411, 1417 (CA9 1987); United States v. Author Servs., Inc., 804 F. 2d 1520, 1525-1526 (CA9 1986). In neither case did the Court of Appeals avoid the merits by interjecting the doctrine of ripeness. Aggrieved by the conditional enforcement upheld in Zolin, the United States petitioned this Court for a writ of certiorari. We granted the writ, 488 U. S. 907 (1988), and affirmed the Ninth Circuit's ruling by an equally divided Court, 491 U. S. 554, 561 (1989). We hardly would have done so had we considered the matter unfit for review.


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