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Appeals court upholds motion to correct error, voiding Elkhart tax deed

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An Alabama company that purchased a property at a tax sale in Elkhart but subsequently failed to pay property taxes did not receive adequate notice that the city was seeking a tax deed on the property, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Friday.

In a unanimous ruling, the court affirmed an Elkhart Circuit ruling in City of Elkhart, Indiana v. SFS, LLC and Jefferson Group, LLC  that concluded Elkhart officials didn’t comply with state law to provide notice of tax sale proceedings. The appeals court also affirmed the trial court’s ruling that vacated Elkhart’s tax deed for a single-family home at 1701 Kilbourn St. 

“We hold that the trial court did not abuse its discretion when it granted SFS’ motion to correct error and that its order was correct both as a matter of fact and as a matter of law. Because the City failed to provide adequate notice, the City’s tax deed is void,” Judge Edward Najam Jr. wrote for the panel.

At issue is the city’s failure to provide notice to a company that owned the property after a paralegal found an address for the company through independent investigation.

State law spells out a variety of means by which officials can use public records to obtain addresses of property owners to serve notice of tax sales, but other requirements for notice are unsettled, according to the ruling.

Najam wrote that the city was required to use “ordinary means” to give notice to SFS under I.C. 6-1.1-25-4.5(d). “Our case law does not define the ‘ordinary means’ requirement … we hold simply that where, as here, a governmental entity has knowledge or the means of knowledge at hand of the address of a person with a substantial property interest of public record, it is not ordinary to disregard that knowledge when providing notice to that person.”



 

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  1. My husband financed a car through Wells Fargo In dec 2007 and in Jan 2012 they took him to court to garnish his wages through a company called autovest llc . Do u think the statue of limitations apply from the day last payment was received or from what should have been the completion of the loan

  2. Andrew, you are a whistleblower against an ideologically corrupt system that is also an old boys network ... Including old gals .... You are a huge threat to them. Thieves, liars, miscreants they understand, identify with, coddle. But whistleblowers must go to the stake. Burn well my friend, burn brightly, tyger.

  3. VSB dismissed the reciprocal discipline based on what Indiana did to me. Here we have an attorney actually breaking ethical rules, dishonest behavior, and only getting a reprimand. I advocated that this supreme court stop discriminating against me and others based on disability, and I am SUSPENDED 180 days. Time to take out the checkbook and stop the arrogant cheating to hurt me and retaliate against my good faith efforts to stop the discrimination of this Court. www.andrewstraw.org www.andrewstraw.net

  4. http://www.andrewstraw.org http://www.andrewstraw.net If another state believes by "Clear and convincing evidence" standard that Indiana's discipline was not valid and dismissed it, it is time for Curtis Hill to advise his clients to get out the checkbook. Discrimination time is over.

  5. Congrats Andrew, your street cred just shot up. As for me ... I am now an administrative law judge in Kansas, commissioned by the Governor to enforce due process rights against overreaching government agents. That after being banished for life from the Indiana bar for attempting to do the same as a mere whistleblowing bar applicant. The myth of one lowly peasant with the constitution does not play well in the Hoosier state. As for what our experiences have in common, I have good reason to believe that the same ADA Coordinator who took you out was working my file since 2007, when the former chief justice hired the same, likely to "take out the politically incorrect trash" like me. My own dealings with that powerful bureaucrat and some rather astounding actions .. actions that would make most state courts blush ... actions blessed in full by the Ind.S.Ct ... here: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS

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