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TAX CLAIM BUREAU (08/11/80)

decided: August 11, 1980.

IN RE: TAX CLAIM BUREAU, SALE OF PROPERTY FOR DELINQUENT TAXES. DORIS W. KASUBA STEPHENS, APPELLANT


Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Greene County, No. 6, August Term, 1978, Miscellaneous Docket.

COUNSEL

Harry J. Cancelmi, Jr., Thompson and Baily, for appellant.

James Hook, with him A. J. Marion, for appellee.

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

Author: Macphail

[ 53 Pa. Commw. Page 424]

(Appellant) Doris W. Kasuba Stephens, formerly Doris W. Kasuba, appeals from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Greene County which confirmed absolutely the tax sale of five separate parcels of land situated within Greene County, of which the Appellant at the time of sale in September, 1978, was owner of an undivided one-eighth (1/8) as a tenant in common with her former husband Albert Kasuba.

The subject property was deeded in 1958 to "Albert Kasuba and Doris W. Kasuba," as tenants by the entireties, residing at "414 Lexington Avenue, McKeesport,

[ 53 Pa. Commw. Page 425]

Pennsylvania." The recorded transfer was registered on the deed sheets of the Greene County Tax Assessment Office as a conveyance to "Albert Kasuba, et ux. (Doris W.), 414 Lexington Avenue, McKeesport, Pa." In 1968, Albert and Doris Kasuba moved from the Lexington Avenue residence to another property at 462 30th Street, McKeesport. After living two months at that Allegheny County location, Albert Kasuba left his wife Doris Kasuba to reside in Rices Landing, Greene County. To the time of hearing before the common pleas court, Doris Kasuba continued to reside in McKeesport at the 30th Street address, receiving mail addressed to her there or to her at the old Lexington Avenue address. Albert and Doris Kasuba were divorced June 22, 1978.

Until 1969, the Greene County Tax Assessment Office sent tax notice mailings regarding the subject property to the address of "Albert Kasuba, et ux., 414 Lexington Avenue, McKeesport, Pa." In 1970 or 1971, however, the address in the assessment office was changed presumably at Albert Kasuba's request to "Albert Kasuba, et ux., Box 74, Rices Landing, Pa. 15357." Thereafter, tax notices were sent to the Rices Landing address, where at no time did Doris Kasuba reside. Doris Kasuba herself never notified the tax assessment office of a change of address or of the divorce in 1978.

Claims for delinquent taxes were filed by the Greene County Tax Claim Bureau (Bureau) against the subject properties in 1976 and 1977. In both years the certified mail notices were mailed to: "Albert Kasuba, et ux., Box 74, Rices Landing, Pennsylvania 15357." Above this address, which appeared through the cellophane window on the envelope, was written "Mr. and Mrs. Albert Kasuba." In both years, the delivered claim notices were signed for by Albert Kasuba.

[ 53 Pa. Commw. Page 426]

The taxes on the properties remained unpaid and, in 1978, the Bureau gave notice of tax sale of the properties pursuant to the notice provisions of Section 602 of the Real Estate Tax Sale Law (Act), Act of July 7, 1947, P.L. 1368, as amended, 72 P.S. ยง 5860.602.*fn1 The published notice listed the owner and identified the property as "Albert Kasuba, et ux., Claim Nos. . . . , Parcel No. . . ." The certified mail notice was addressed to "Mr. or Mrs. Albert Kasuba, Box 74, Rices Landing, Pennsylvania 15357," and the property was posted in the name of "Albert Kasuba, et ux." or "Mr. or Mrs. Albert Kasuba." Doris ...


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