ILNews

Tax sale petitions OK because of lack of notice

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled in favor of a woman in two separate cases involving the purchase of her property at tax sales in Franklin County after determining she received insufficient notice of the sales.

In both of the cases - Kimberly Neace v. Vinod C. Gupta, No. 24A01-0806-CV-255, and Kenneth Edwards v. Kimberly Neace, No. 24A04-0807-CV-401 - Neace had appealed the sale of parcels of property to Vinod Gupta and Kenneth Edwards. The Franklin County Auditor's office had an incorrect address listed for Neace, causing the pre-sale and post-sale notices of the tax sales and the petition for a tax deed to be returned as unclaimed or undeliverable.

The tax sale occurred in September 2005, and the tax deeds were ordered in January 2007 in both sales. Neace didn't learn of the sales until April 2007 and petitioned the court to set aside the sales, alleging she didn't receive notice.

In Neace v. Gupta, the trial court granted Gupta's motion to dismiss her petition. The Indiana Court of Appeals reversed, ruling that although there is a 60-day statutory limit to appeal the order to issue a tax deed, an exception may be made when the petition for relief from judgment alleges the tax deed is void due to inadequate notice, wrote Judge Nancy Vaidik, who authored both opinions. The exception allows for an appeal to be brought under insufficient notice within a reasonable time frame. The appellate court had previously found a delay of more than four months to be reasonable in the case Diversified Investments v. U.S. Bank, NA, 838, N.E.2d 536, 544 (Ind. Ct. App. 2006). The Court of Appeals remanded for the trial court to hold the evidentiary hearing provided for by Ind. Trial Rule 60(D).

In Edwards v. Neace, Edwards appealed the trial court denial of his motion to correct errors after the court set aside the tax deed issued to him. Edwards argued the trial court lacked subject matter jurisdiction over Neace's petition since she filed it after the 60-day time limit. However, because Neace alleges insufficient notice of the sale and order to issue the tax deed, the trial court did have subject matter jurisdiction over her petition, wrote Judge Vaidik.

When notices are returned as undeliverable, further, practical action must be taken to attempt to notify an interested party of tax sale proceedings, she wrote.

The county auditor should have been aware there was a discrepancy in Neace's record since the "property address" was listed in Ohio and not in Indiana. Neither Edwards nor the auditor sent notice to her address of record instead of the property address, making the notices constitutionally insufficient, she wrote.

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in Indiana Lawyer editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. I gave tempparry guardship to a friend of my granddaughter in 2012. I went to prison. I had custody. My daughter went to prison to. We are out. My daughter gave me custody but can get her back. She was not order to give me custody . but now we want granddaughter back from friend. She's 14 now. What rights do we have

  2. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

  3. I have a case presently pending cert review before the SCOTUS that reveals just how Indiana regulates the bar. I have been denied licensure for life for holding the wrong views and questioning the grand inquisitors as to their duties as to state and federal constitutional due process. True story: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS Shorter, Amici brief serving to frame issue as misuse of govt licensure: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners

  4. Here's an idea...how about we MORE heavily regulate the law schools to reduce the surplus of graduates, driving starting salaries up for those new grads, so that we can all pay our insane amount of student loans off in a reasonable amount of time and then be able to afford to do pro bono & low-fee work? I've got friends in other industries, radiology for example, and their schools accept a very limited number of students so there will never be a glut of new grads and everyone's pay stays high. For example, my radiologist friend's school accepted just six new students per year.

  5. I totally agree with John Smith.

ADVERTISEMENT