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WALTER H. DOUGLASS v. GRACE BUILDING CO. (12/04/75)

decided: December 4, 1975.

WALTER H. DOUGLASS, JR., AND DALLAS DOUGLASS, HIS WIFE, APPELLANTS,
v.
GRACE BUILDING CO., INC., APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Bucks County in case of Walter H. Douglass, Jr. and Dallas Douglass, his wife, v. Grace Building Co., Inc., No. 31 September Term, 1970.

COUNSEL

Ward F. Clark, for appellants.

Alfred O. Breinig, Jr., for appellee.

President Judge Bowman and Judges Crumlish, Jr., Kramer, Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer, Rogers and Blatt. Opinion by Judge Crumlish, Jr. Dissenting Opinion by Judge Mencer. Judge Kramer joins in this dissent.

Author: Crumlish

[ 22 Pa. Commw. Page 175]

The sole issue for our determination in this appeal, as stipulated below, is whether tender to the county treasurer of an uncertified personal check in payment for delinquent taxes constitutes payment under the relevant redemption statute, Section 15 of the Act of May 29, 1931, P.L. 280, as amended, 72 P.S. § 5971 (Act) which states:

"§ 5971o. Redemption money

"If any owner, his heirs or legal representatives, or any lien creditor, his heirs, assigns or legal representatives, or other person interested, shall, within two years after the day such sale was made, redeem such real estate for the benefit of the owner, by payment of the taxes and interest for which the lands were sold, and the costs, with an additional sum of fifteen per centum, and any taxes which may have been levied against any such property since the treasurer's sale,

[ 22 Pa. Commw. Page 176]

    and which remain unpaid by the owner or redeemer, to the county treasurer, he shall receive and receipt for the same, and pay said taxes, interest, costs and additional percentage over to the purchaser upon demand, and the accrued taxes to the district entitled thereto; and the county treasurer shall forthwith acknowledge the receipt of the redemption moneys upon the margin of the acknowledgement of the treasurer's deed, as the same is entered and recorded in the prothonotary's office as aforesaid, and, if said deed has been recorded in the office for recording of deeds, cause an entry to be made on the margin of the record of the deed in the office of the recorder of deeds, by marking thereon the word 'redeemed', which shall be signed by the county treasurer, and attested by the recorder of deeds, and thereafter said deed shall be void and of no effect. If such deed be not recorded, then such owner or person interested, as aforesaid, shall be entitled to have the treasurer's deed delivered to such owner, creditor, heir, assign, legal representative, or persons interested, for cancellation. The county treasurer shall certify all such redemptions to the boards of county commissioners, who shall enter the same on the Tax Return Docket, and who shall certify such redemptions to the county assessors, so that the property may thereafter be assessed in the name of the owner." (Emphasis supplied.)

Underlying this action to quiet title brought by Plaintiff-Appellants Walter H. Douglass, Jr. and Dallas Douglass, his wife, against Grace Building Company, Appellee and purchaser of the disputed tract at a tax sale, are the following facts:

In 1965, Plaintiffs bought a residence in Bucks County and thereafter paid the realty taxes through the mortgagee. However, ...


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