Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Lackawanna County in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, acting by and through the Pennsylvania Game Commission v. Lackawanna County Tax Claim Bureau and Rocky Glen Rod and Gun Club, now by succession known as Shiney Mountain Sportsmen Club, No. 71 September Term, 1978.
William R. Pouss, Assistant Attorney General, with him Benjamin B. Solomon, Assistant Attorney General, for appellant.
Sidney Z. Levy, for appellee, Lackawanna County Tax Claim Bureau.
Albert E. Nicholls, Jr., Hughes, Nicholls & Moran, for appellee, Rocky Glen Rod & Gun Club, predecessor of Shiney Mountain Sportsmen Club.
Judges Mencer, Blatt and Craig, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Craig.
The Pennsylvania Game Commission (commission) appeals from a decision of the Court of Common Pleas of Lackawanna County, which dismissed the commission's petition to set aside a sale of real
estate made by the Tax Claim Bureau (bureau) of Lackawanna County at a private auction held under Section 702(h) of the Real Estate Tax Sale Law (Law), Act of July 7, 1947, P.L. 1368, as amended, 72 P.S. § 5860.702(h).
The property involved in this dispute is a 454.6-acre tract of land located in Spring Brook Township, Lackawanna County, formerly assessed to John Mitchell, and acquired in 1940 by the Lackawanna County Commissioners through a treasurer's sale. In 1970 the Lackawanna County Real Estate Board leased the property to the Rocky Glen Rod and Gun Club.
Pursuant to Section 701 of the Law, 72 P.S. § 5860.701, the county, in 1973, transferred the tract to the bureau. When the bureau, in September 1977, first solicited offers for a private sale of the tract, it had an upset price*fn1 of $5,605.53. Three parties, the commission, George Benjamin and Rocky Glen Rod and Gun Club, each submitted an offer which exceeded the tract's upset price.
The bureau, however, rejected the offers and notified the interested parties that it would conduct a private auction of the property on November 3, 1977. Despite ...