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SALE BY LAWRENCE COUNTY TAX CLAIM BUREAU 10.85 ACRES LAND SITUATE WAYNE TOWNSHIP (04/16/80)

decided: April 16, 1980.

IN RE: SALE BY THE LAWRENCE COUNTY TAX CLAIM BUREAU OF 10.85 ACRES OF LAND SITUATE IN WAYNE TOWNSHIP, LAWRENCE COUNTY, PA. CHARLES J. KRAUS AND ELAINE KRAUS, HIS WIFE, APPELLANTS


Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Lawrence County in case of In Re: Sale by the Lawrence County Tax Claim Bureau of 10.85 Acres of Land Situate in Wayne Township, Lawrence County, Pennsylvania, No. 5-D of 1978.

COUNSEL

Richard J. Audino, Rea & Audino, for appellants.

Frank G. Verterano and Charles W. Garbett, for appellees.

Judges Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer and MacPhail, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Wilkinson, Jr.

Author: Wilkinson

[ 50 Pa. Commw. Page 534]

This is an appeal by Charles J. Kraus and Elaine Kraus, his wife (appellants) challenging the validity of a tax sale conducted pursuant to the provisions of the Real Estate Tax Sale Law (Law), Act of July 7, 1947, P.L. 1368, as amended, 72 P.S. ยง 5860.101 et seq. For the reasons which follow we must dismiss the instant appeal.

For purposes of the present appeal, the relevant facts are undisputed and can briefly be summarized. The tax sale land in question consists of 10.85 acres

[ 50 Pa. Commw. Page 535]

    located in Wayne Township, Lawrence County. The Borough of Ellwood City (Borough) entered into an Article of Agreement with appellants on December 18, 1974 for the purchase of the land. Under the terms of the agreement the purchase money was to be paid by the Borough in installments with the final payment due on or before May 1, 1977. The final payment was timely made. The agreement additionally provided that "[t]he [appellants] shall pay all taxes levied on the real estate for 1974 and all real estate taxes levied thereafter shall be paid by the Borough of Ellwood City."

The agreement was not recorded and the parties failed to inform the taxing authorities of the change in ownership. As a result, taxes assessed against the property in 1975, 1976, and 1977 went unpaid; and the property was sold on October 31, 1977 for delinquent 1975 real estate taxes.

Appellants challenge the validity of the tax sale on the ground that the Borough was an "owner" within the meaning of the Law and entitled to the protection of its notice provisions.*fn1 Since this Court is in agreement with the common pleas court's determination that appellants lack standing to pursue this appeal, we need not address the merits of their substantive legal arguments.

The appropriate analysis underlying the legal concept of standing was discussed by our Supreme Court in Wm. Penn Parking Garage, Inc. v. City of Pittsburgh, 464 Pa. 168, 346 A.2d 269 (1975). "The core concept, of course, is that a person who is not adversely affected in any way by the ...


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