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Tax sale petitions OK because of lack of notice

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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.

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  1. From his recent appearance on WRTV to this story here, Frank is everywhere. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy, although he should stop using Eric Schnauffer for his 7th Circuit briefs. They're not THAT hard.

  2. They learn our language prior to coming here. My grandparents who came over on the boat, had to learn English and become familiarize with Americas customs and culture. They are in our land now, speak ENGLISH!!

  3. @ Rebecca D Fell, I am very sorry for your loss. I think it gives the family solace and a bit of closure to go to a road side memorial. Those that oppose them probably did not experience the loss of a child or a loved one.

  4. If it were your child that died maybe you'd be more understanding. Most of us don't have graves to visit. My son was killed on a state road and I will be putting up a memorial where he died. It gives us a sense of peace to be at the location he took his last breath. Some people should be more understanding of that.

  5. Can we please take notice of the connection between the declining state of families across the United States and the RISE OF CPS INVOLVEMENT??? They call themselves "advocates" for "children's rights", however, statistics show those children whom are taken from, even NEGLIGENT homes are LESS likely to become successful, independent adults!!! Not to mention the undeniable lack of respect and lack of responsibility of the children being raised today vs the way we were raised 20 years ago, when families still existed. I was born in 1981 and I didn't even ever hear the term "CPS", in fact, I didn't even know they existed until about ten years ago... Now our children have disagreements between friends and they actually THREATEN EACH OTHER WITH, "I'll call CPS" or "I'll have [my parent] (usually singular) call CPS"!!!! And the truth is, no parent is perfect and we all have flaws and make mistakes, but it is RIGHTFULLY OURS - BY THE CONSTITUTION OF THIS GREAT NATION - to be imperfect. Let's take a good look at what kind of parenting those that are stealing our children are doing, what kind of adults are they producing? WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENS TO THE CHILDREN THAT HAVE BEEN RIPPED FROM THEIR FAMILY AND THAT CHILD'S SUCCESS - or otherwise - AS AN ADULT.....

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