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BEERS v. PUSEY (05/27/57)

May 27, 1957

BEERS
v.
PUSEY, APPELLANT.



Appeal, No. 138, Jan. T., 1957, from decree of Court of Common Pleas of Clearfield County, Nov. T., 1954, No. 3, in equity, in case of Ruth Beers et al. v. William Pusey and Mary Pusey. Decree affirmed.

COUNSEL

Frank A. Whitsett, with him Whitsett & Lee, for appellants.

Edward T. Kelley, for appellees.

Before Jones, C.j., Musmanno, Arnold, Jones and Cohen, JJ.

Author: Musmanno

[ 389 Pa. Page 118]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE MUSMANNO

The question involved in this case may be summed up in one sentence, namely, May the wife of a tenant in common buy property of the tenancy at a tax sale and obtain a good title against the other tenants?

[ 389 Pa. Page 119]

Instead of withholding the answer to the end of the opinion we state at once that she may not. Law, equity, and fair dealing all dictate that she may not, as the opinion will disclose.

Frank Pusey died intestate, leaving to survive him his wife and eight children. Seven of these children are the plaintiffs in this case; the eighth, William Pusey, is defendant, together with his wife, Mary Pusey. At the time of his death Frank Pusey owned a property described as "house, 6 acres and 30 acres," and one-half interest in a tract of 175 acres, all in Bigler Township, Clearfield County. Prior to his father's death, the son, William Pusey, purchased the remaining one-half of the 175-acre tract, thus becoming tenant in common with his father as to that tract.

Frank Pusey died owing taxes on all these properties, and on January 10, 1936, they were sold for delinquent taxes to the County Commissioners of Clearfield County who on January 22, 1942, sold them at a public sale to Mary Pusey, wife of William Pusey, for the amount of$263. Twelve years later, the other seven children (their mother having in the meantime died intestate with her interest vesting in the children) brought an action in equity against William Pusey and Mary Pusey, averring that the properties had been obtained by the defendants "clandestinley" and "by fraud," and praying, therefore, for certain reconveyances and accounting.

The Court of Common Pleas of Clearfield County, after various pleadings unnecessary to relate here, and the taking of testimony, concluded that the position of the plaintiffs was well taken and decreed, inter alia, reconveyance to each of the plaintiffs of one-eighth interest in the Pusey property and one-sixteenth ...


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