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CITY SCRANTON v. ELSIE SULZ (07/24/87)

decided: July 24, 1987.

CITY OF SCRANTON, APPELLANT
v.
ELSIE SULZ, ET AL., APPELLEES



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Lackawanna County in case of City of Scranton v. Elsie Sulz, et al. and Consumers Coal and Fuel Company, Inc., 84 Civil 4283.

COUNSEL

Edmund J. Scacchitti, Olivetti & Scacchitti, for appellant.

David J. Reedy, Jr., for appellees.

Judges Craig, Palladino, and Senior Judge Blatt, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Palladino.

Author: Palladino

[ 107 Pa. Commw. Page 635]

The City of Scranton (Appellant) appeals from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Lackawanna County (trial court) granting the Consumer Coal and Fuel Company (Appellee) leave to submit bids on certain parcels of real estate held for sale by Appellant. We affirm.

This case concerns two parcels located at 511 and 513 New Street in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Appellant purchased the properties previously owned by Appellee at separate treasurer's sales held on December 12, 1966 and September 16, 1968 for delinquent taxes owed for the years 1962 and 1964 respectively.

On February 15, 1984, Appellant approved a proposal by one Daniel Maro to purchase the properties pursuant to the Act of June 28, 1967, P.L. 122, 53 P.S. §§ 30901-30915. After Appellant filed a Petition for Validation of Tax Title and Approval of Sale of Real Estate pursuant to Section 12(a) of the Act, 53 P.S. § 30912(a), Appellee filed objections: (1) challenging the validity of the treasurer's sale under Section 12(b), 53 P.S. § 30912(b);*fn1

[ 107 Pa. Commw. Page 636]

    and (2) contesting the price under Section 14, 53 P.S. § 30914. The trial court permitted Appellee to submit bids on the properties in question and stated that "the court will approve the offer which appears to be in the best interest of taxing authorities having claims against the land."*fn2

Appellant contends that Appellee, as a former owner of the properties, is precluded from submitting bids on the properties since the time for redemption has passed. Appellee, on the contrary, contends that since their right of redemption has passed, they may submit bids as ordinary strangers to the properties. We agree with Appellee.

The right of redemption is a statutory right provided in Section 3 of the Act, 53 P.S. § 30903,*fn3 which permits the owner, or any interested party, to redeem property sold at treasurer's sale for the full amount paid by the purchaser, plus ten percent, plus the balance (if any) of taxes and costs. This right exists for a period of one year beyond the date of treasurer's sale. Appellee, in the instant case, lost all right of redemption after 1968.

However, Section 15 of the Act, 53 P.S. § 30915, which controls disposition of lands purchased at treasurer's sale by Appellant, states: "All lands heretofore purchased by any city . . . at a sheriff's sale, treasurer's sale or any sale for nonpayment of city taxes, and held beyond the period of redemption, may be sold to a purchaser under the terms of sections eleven, twelve, ...


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