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WILLIAM L. HICKS v. MARY M. OCH AND JULIA K. SPANITZ (01/30/75)

decided: January 30, 1975.

WILLIAM L. HICKS, APPELLANT,
v.
MARY M. OCH AND JULIA K. SPANITZ, APPELLEES



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin County in case of Mary M. Och and Julia K. Spanitz v. William L. Hicks, No. 940 January Term, 1972.

COUNSEL

Ronald M. Katzman, with him Goldberg, Evans and Katzman, for appellant.

Norman M. Yoffe, for appellees.

President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Kramer, Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer, Rogers and Blatt. Opinion by Judge Wilkinson.

Author: Wilkinson

[ 17 Pa. Commw. Page 191]

This case is before us on appeal from the Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin County which sustained the position of appellees-plaintiffs in an action to quiet title. The issue is the validity of a tax sale under the provisions of the Real Estate Tax Sale Law, Act of July 7, 1947, P.L. 1368, as amended, 72 P.S. § 5860.101. The lower court, after a trial without a jury, found that the Tax Claim Bureau had failed to comply with the mandatory requirements of Section 602, 72 P.S. § 5860.602, with regard to the notice. The court found that there were three deficiencies:

(1) Failure to advertise the property in the name of the owner;

(2) Failure to properly post the premises; and

(3) Perhaps failure to send the registered mail notice to each of the owners by separate mail.

[ 17 Pa. Commw. Page 192]

We must affirm, but do so on the basis of the first deficiency, i.e., failing to have the names of the owners in the advertisement. We need not and do not consider the other two deficiencies, nor whether actual notice or actual knowledge by the owner would cure these deficiencies, if any.

Stating the relevant facts very briefly and only with regard to the advertising deficiency, appellees obtained title to the subject property by deed dated April 30, 1969. On September 13, 1971, the Tax Claim Bureau sold the property to appellant for an upset sale price in the amount of the 1969 school taxes, plus interest and costs. These taxes admittedly were unpaid. All other taxes before and since have been paid by the former owners and by the present owners.

It is undisputed that the advertisement of the sale was not in the name of the appellees, the owners, but rather in the name of the previous owner. That this does not meet the requirements of the Act, as candidly admitted by appellant's brief, was unmistakably established by our Supreme Court in Ross Appeal, 366 Pa. 100, 76 A.2d 749 (1950). We agree with the position of the court ...


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