Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Monroe County in the case of Financial Management Professional Corporation v. Tax Claim Bureau of Monroe County and Robert E. Plank, No. 479-1986 Civil.
David A. Martino, Zito, Martino and Karasek, for appellant.
James P. Gregor, for Tax Claim Bureau of Monroe County.
Mark S. Love, Miller and Love, for appellee.
Judges Colins and Smith, and Senior Judge Kalish, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Colins. Judge MacPhail did not participate in the decision in this case.
[ 121 Pa. Commw. Page 206]
Robert E. Plank (appellant) appeals an order of the Monroe County Court of Common Pleas (trial court) which overturned a tax upset sale of certain unimproved real property. Appellant purchased this property on September 9, 1985 at a tax sale held pursuant to the Real Estate Tax Sale Law*fn1 (Tax Law). We affirm.
[ 121 Pa. Commw. Page 207]
The relevant facts are as follows. The property in dispute, designated for tax purposes as 1-15-1-84, is an unimproved parcel of land located in Barret Township, Monroe County, Pennsylvania. Prior to the tax sale, the property's registered owner was Financial Management Professional Corporation (FMPC), a Delaware corporation which maintained its place of business at 402 Barker Circle, Suite 5, West Chester, Pennsylvania. The property was sold by the Monroe County Tax Bureau (Bureau) as a result of FMPC's nonpayment of 1983 and 1984 taxes.
FMPC purchased the property in dispute on November 29, 1983 and a deed was duly filed. The signature of one Kathleen Clark (Clark) appears on the deed three times; as a witness to the transfer, as a notary public and also to certify FMPC's address.*fn2
In November, 1984, the Bureau attempted to notify FMPC of its 1983 tax delinquency. A notification letter was addressed to FMPC at 402 Barker Circle, Suite 5, West Chester, Pennsylvania. For some reason, this letter was returned unclaimed. Thereafter, on July 15, 1985, the Bureau mailed notice of the pending tax sale by certified mail to FMPC in care of Clark. This notice was received and signed for by Clark at an address located in Wilmington, Delaware.
Since no action was taken on behalf of FMPC to pay the taxes or to stay the sale, the Barret Township property was sold by the Bureau to appellant on September 9, 1985. Subsequently, the Bureau attempted to send the requisite post sale notice to FMPC by sending notice by certified mail to FMPC ...