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Williams B. Burns v. Frances Gunter Harris, 957 So.2d 921, 41,881 (La. App. 2 Cir. 5/23/07)

Purchaser of property at tax sale filed quiet title action. Tax debtor's estate petitioned to annul the tax sale and for declaration that redemption had been timely initiated for the property. The First Judicial District Court, Parish of Caddo, No. 442650, Trial Judge denied the petition to annul the sale, but ruled that redemption had been timely initiated. Purchaser appealed.

Tax sale adjudicatee argues that the trial court erred in finding that redemption was timely initiated and asserts that redemption must be accomplished within the three-year peremptive period and that allowing redemption to be completed thirteen years after recordation of the tax sale deed does not serve the public policy favoring certainty of titles to immovable property.

In opposition, tax sale debtor contends that equity favors redemption and contends that the property had been over-assessed for years prior to the tax sale, that tax sale debtor's father tried his best to have the problem corrected, and that he was due a credit over the amount of the taxes for 1992, when the property was sold by the City of Shreveport for nonpayment. Tax sale debtor also contends that even though her father dealt with the Parish of Caddo instead of the City of Shreveport, timely payment was still received by the City, which then failed to apply it for redemption and asserts the City's clerical error, as well as the failures of the taxing authorities regarding the assessment problem, stymied her father's efforts over the years to correct the assessment and then redeem the property.

The Court of Appeal reversed Trial Judge and held that checks sent to parish before peremption were insufficient for equity to render the property redeemable. Tax debtor failed to timely initiate redemption of the property with the city within the three-year peremptive period after recordation of tax deed as required for equity to render the property redeemable after expiration of the peremptive period, even though debtor sent cashier's checks to parish for payment prior to expiration of the peremptive period, given that checks were sent to the incorrect taxing authority, debtor failed to contact the city about redemption, there was nothing to indicate that the checks forwarded to the city were sufficient to cover the tax deficiency, and the checks did not indicate that they were intended to redeem the property sold at tax sale.

Shoreline Gas, Inc., v. Grace Resources, et al., 786 So.2d 137, 34,517 (La. App. 2 Cir. 4/4/01)

After depositing applicable payments into registry of court, purchaser of gas filed action seeking determination of whether original or purported owner of gas was entitled to payments, and original and purported owners filed demands seeking declaratory judgment that respective contracts with purchaser were valid and enforceable. The First Judicial District Court, Parish of Caddo, No. 444284, Trial Judge entered judgment awarding payments to original owner and attorney fees to purchaser. Purported owner appealed.

The Court of Appeal affirmed and held that: (1) letter, which assigned profits of sale of gas to purported owner, did not affect ownership of gas, terminate gas purchase contract, nor transfer title in wells, and thus purported owner, as mere, assignee had no right to enter into competing contract to sell same gas; (2) letter directing payments was merely parol evidence as to alleged agreement to transfer interest in gas from original to purported owner; and (3) that trial court, in role as fact-finder, chose to adopt factual findings submitted by purchaser did not constitute abdication of duties.

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