Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County in the case of In Re: Consolidated Return of the Tax Claim Bureau of the County of Delaware of the Real Estate sold at the Tax Claim Bureau Delinquent Real Estate Tax Upset Price Sale of Monday, October 29, 1979, No. 79-20039.
Edwin E. Thompson, with him Alfred O. Breinig, Jr., for appellant.
Rose M. Hykel, Francis Pileggi Law Associates, with her James E. Del Bello, Assistant County Solicitor, for appellees.
Judges Rogers, Williams, Jr. and MacPhail, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge MacPhail.
[ 75 Pa. Commw. Page 109]
Glyder Realty Corp. (Appellant), the purchaser at a tax sale of real estate owned by one Sara C. Beitler (Landowner), appeals from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County setting aside the sale.
There is no dispute as to the relevant facts. Landowner was the owner of and resided in the subject real estate at all relevant times. The Delaware County Tax Claim Bureau sold the real estate on October 29, 1979 to collect delinquent 1977 and 1978 taxes. Appellant was the highest bidder at the tax sale. The sale was confirmed absolutely and a tax deed was issued to and recorded by Appellant.
When Appellant attempted to take possession of the real estate by legal process, the issue of Landowner's competency was raised for the first time. After an evidentiary hearing, the trial judge on May 12, 1981, found that Landowner was incompetent and that she had been incompetent in 1978 and 1979. Appellant has not challenged those findings.
The trial judge then ordered the tax sale to be set aside.
[ 75 Pa. Commw. Page 110]
Appellant's brief frames the issue for our resolution in the following language:
Was it proper for a common pleas court to set aside an otherwise valid tax sale for the sole equitable reason that the delinquent taxpayer was later found to have been incompetent at the time of the sale, though no decree of incompetency was made or filed of record until long after the tax sale was confirmed absolutely and though a tax deed was issued to and recorded by the ...