Appeal, No. 4, Jan. T., 1959, from order of Court of Common Pleas of Chester County, No. 1302, in equity, in case of Carrie L. March v. John T. Banus et al. Order reversed. Equity. Adjudication filed sustaining defendants' preliminary objection in the nature of demurrer and dismissing complaint, and order entered, opinion by HARVEY, P.J. Plaintiff appealed.
Fred T. Cadmus, III, for appellant.
William E. Parke, for appellees.
Before Jones, C.j., Bell, Musmanno, Jones, Cohen, Bok and Mcbride, JJ.
OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE MUSMANNO
Carrie L. March, the plaintiff in this case, was the owner in fee simple of property in North Coventry Township, Chester County, which was sold at a tax sale to the defendants John T. and Dorothy R. Banus for a sum considerably less than its market value. Miss March did not learn of the sale until hours after it had taken place, on July 9, 1956. She promptly advised the treasurer and the director of the Tax Claim Bureau of Chester County that she had not received notice of the intended sale and offered to redeem the property, reimbursing to the defendants the sum of $1600, the amount they had paid. The named officials refused to accept her offer and she accordingly instituted an action in equity to set aside the transfer of title.
In her complaint, Miss March specified that on June 7, 1956, the Tax Claim Bureau mailed in her
name, to an address which she had abandoned, a written notice of the proposed sale scheduled for July 9, 1956. The letter was returned to the sender unclaimed. A month later, on July 6, 1956, a written notice of the tax sale was posted on the premises stating that they would be sold on July 9, 1956. Miss March did not see this notice. Then, on the afternoon or evening of July 9th, she learned for the first time that a tax sale had been contemplated and, by now, was accomplished. In her complaint Miss March averred that her property was valued $10,000 and prayed the court to order the defendants to deliver up for cancellation the deed of the property, upon payment to them by the plaintiff of the sum of $1600.
The defendants filed preliminary objections by way of demurrer.
The court sustained the objections, the complaint was dismissed, and judgment was entered in favor of the defendants. The plaintiff appealed.
The lower court was in error. Article VI, Sec. 602 of the Real Estate Tax Sale Law, as amended May 10, 1951, P.L. 258, 72 PS § 5860.602, prescribes that notice of a tax sale shall be published once a week for three consecutive weeks in two newspapers of general circulation in the county and once in a legal journal designated by the court for publication of legal notices. The same section also provides: "In addition to such publications, notice of the sale shall also be given by the bureau, by United States registered mail, return receipt requested, postage prepaid, to each owner as defined by this act at least ten (10) days before the date of sale, addressed to his last known post office address, or ...