Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Washington County in case of Sarah M. Brown v. Barnes Real Estate Company, and Maggie Lewis v. Barnes Real Estate Company, No. 175 February Term, 1977.
Sanford S. Finder, for appellants.
Jay W. Troutman, for appellee.
Judges Mencer, DiSalle and Craig, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Craig.
[ 44 Pa. Commw. Page 440]
This action to quiet title, as to a tax sale property, involves so much confusion in the record, the lower court opinion and the briefs, as to the identity of the proper plaintiff-owner, that we have been able to determine the correct history only with considerable difficulty.*fn1
On September 13, 1976, the Tax Claim Bureau of Washington County (Bureau) held a sale for delinquent 1974 taxes on property assessed in the name of a decedent, Susan Cathcart. She had died on January 19, 1975, and probate of her will resulted in a final decree and distribution of Orphans' Court on December 11, 1975, pursuant to which Sarah Brown became record owner of the house and lot in question, Lot 298 in the Muse Plan, Beech Street, Cecil Township; a probate certification was filed with us as a supplemental record, confirming that Sarah Brown was the owner. Appellee Barnes Real Estate Company was the tax sale purchaser.
As original plaintiff, Sarah Brown brought an action to quiet title, to have the tax sale set aside. During the trial, Maggie Lewis, another devisee under Susan
[ 44 Pa. Commw. Page 441]
Carthcart's will, and a daughter of the decedent, testified that she had lived in the house in question and that she was owner of that property.
The supplemental record filed with this court shows that she was mistaken in part. She lived on Lot 298, but she in fact had become the record owner of Lot 297, the house and lot adjoining the one sold at the tax sale.
However, at the trial, the trial judge ruled that the complaint could be amended to add Maggie Lewis as plaintiff, along with Sarah Brown, against the tax sale purchaser.*fn2
The ultimate action of the court below apparently was to dismiss the complaints, as to both ...