Indiana Tax Deed Notice Requirement
A recent Indiana decision, 219 Kenwood Holdings v. Properties 2006, 2014 Ind.App. LEXIS 512 (Ind.App. 2014), examined the requirements for the notice that must be provided by a tax sale purchaser to the property owner.
Unexpected Holdings, LLC purchased a property in Lake County, Indiana at a tax sale on April 25, 2013, and the rights related to that purchase were assigned to Properties 2006, LLC. On June 21, 2013, Properties 2006, LLC sent notice of its purchase and its intent to petition for a tax deed to the owner, 219 Kenwood Holdings, LLC, as required by Indiana Code § 6-1.1-25-4.5. The notice provided “A petition for a tax deed will be filed on or after August 24, 2013.” On August 30, 2013, Properties 2006, LLC sent notice to the owner that it had petitioned for a tax deed, as required by Indiana Code § 6-1.1-25-4.6.
Attempting to set aside the sale, 219 Kenwood Holdings, LLC argued that the first notice provided by the tax sale purchaser did not satisfy the statutory requirements. Indiana Code § 6-1.1-25-4.5(e) provides fifteen (15) requirements for that notice, although only the following two (2) requirements were in dispute in the case:
The notice that this section requires shall contain at least the following:
- A statement that a petition for a tax deed will be filed on or after a specified date.
- The date on or after which the petitioner intends to petition for a tax deed to be issued.
The owner argued that (a) Section 4.5(e) required two (2) separate statements to satisfy requirements (1) and (2), and (b) Section 4.5(e)(2) requires a prediction as to the date on which the tax deed would be issued. The Court found both arguments unavailing. The Court acknowledged the partial redundancy of (1) and (2) and determined that a single statement that a petition for tax deed would be filed on or after a specific date, as had been provided to the owner in this case, satisfied both (1) and (2). Furthermore, predicting the date the deed would be issued would only be required under Section 4.5(e)(2) if the phrase “to petition” were omitted from the provision. Consequently, the provided notice satisfied the statutory requirements, and the Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed that the purchaser was entitled to the issuance of a tax deed.