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ISAAC L. LAPP AND RUTH A. LAPP v. COUNTY CHESTER (06/04/82)

decided: June 4, 1982.

ISAAC L. LAPP AND RUTH A. LAPP, HIS WIFE, APPELLANTS
v.
COUNTY OF CHESTER, TAX CLAIM BUREAU AND TOM SWIFT, APPELLEES



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Chester County in case of Isaac L. Lapp and Ruth A. Lapp, his wife v. County of Chester Tax Claim Bureau and Tom Swift, No. 302-P-8 Misc. Term, 1979.

COUNSEL

Frank J. Williams, with him Susan P. Windle, Weiss, Hagner & Williams, for appellants.

Wayne C. Buckwalter, with him Fred T. Cadmus, III, Cadmus, Patten and Werner, for appellee, Tom Swift.

President Judge Crumlish and Judges Rogers, Blatt, MacPhail and Doyle. Opinion by Judge MacPhail. Judge Mencer did not participate in the decision in this case.

Author: Macphail

[ 67 Pa. Commw. Page 87]

Isaac L. and Ruth A. Lapp (Appellants) appealed here from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Chester County which denied their petition to set aside a tax sale by the Tax Claim Bureau of Chester County. We affirm.

The underlying facts follow:

The Tax Claim Bureau had a lien on Appellants' property for unpaid county taxes for the years 1977 and 1978. Notice of the tax claim and notice of the tax sale were sent to "Lapp, Isaac L. and Ruth A., Box 145A, Gap, Pennsylvania 19527" in early July, 1979. This address was obtained by the Tax Claim Bureau from the Tax Assessment Office of Chester County. The return postal receipt accompanying the notice of the tax sale was signed by Ruth A. Lapp

[ 67 Pa. Commw. Page 88]

    showing the date of delivery thereof as July 6, 1979. Appellants are husband and wife who resided together in Gap, Pennsylvania at the time of these notices. Ruth A. Lapp identified the signature on the return postal receipt as her own. She said she placed the envelope and its contents on the counter for her husband to see, as was her custom. Mr. Lapp could not recall whether he saw that mail or not. The deputy sheriff testified that he posted Appellants' premises with a Notice of Tax Sale on August 2, 1979 at 1:05 P.M. The deputy sheriff further testified that he had an independent recollection of posting the tax sale notice by attaching it with scotch tape to the glass sliding door on Appellants' business premises, the premises which was the subject of the tax sale.

On September 10, 1979, Appellants' property which was the subject of the Tax Sale Notice, was sold to Mr. Swift for $2,400, a sum in excess of the upset price. Appellants' had purchased the property in 1972 for $40,000.

In this appeal, the issues presented by Appellants are:

(1) Whether the September 10, 1979 tax sale of their property should be set aside because the notice sent to the property owners did not comply with Section 602 of the Real Estate Tax Sale Law (Act), Act of July 7, 1947, P.L. 1368, Art. VI, § 602, as amended, 72 P.S. § 5860.602 and the case law interpretation of that section and (2) whether the ...


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