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City of Chattanooga v. Tax Year 2011 City Delinquent Real Estate Taxpayers

Court of Appeals of Tennessee, Knoxville

May 26, 2017

CITY OF CHATTANOOGA, ET AL.
v.
TAX YEAR 2011 CITY DELINQUENT REAL ESTATE TAXPAYERS

          Assigned on Briefs April 3, 2017

         Appeal from the Chancery Court for Hamilton County No. 11222, 4759 Pamela A Fleenor, Chancellor

         This case involves a request to redeem real property following a tax sale. The trial court entered an order of redemption, divested title out of the tax sale purchaser, and directed the court clerk to refund the tax sale purchaser the money expended to purchase the property, plus other sums. We affirm. Finding the appeal to be frivolous, we remand for a determination of damages pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated section 27-1-122.

         Tenn. R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Chancery Court Affirmed and Remanded

          Wilson C. von Kessler, II, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellant, Thomas G. Hyde.

          James C. Davey, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellees, City of Chattanooga and Hamilton County Back Taxes.

          Barry L. Abbott, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellee, S & S Investment Group.

          Arnold B. Goldin, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Frank G. Clement, Jr., P.J., M.S., and John W. McClarty, J., joined.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION [1]

          ARNOLD B. GOLDIN, JUDGE.

         Background and Procedural History

         This appeal concerns rights to a parcel of real property located in Hamilton County, Tennessee. In July 2007, the property at issue was acquired by Thomas Woods ("Mr. Woods"). In connection with his purchase of the property, Mr. Woods executed a deed of trust in favor of Taylor, Bean & Whitaker Mortgage Corporation. Following a series of transactions, the deed of trust was eventually assigned to Carrington Mortgage Services, LLC in the fall of 2015.

         On June 4, 2015, Mr. Woods's property was sold at a delinquent tax sale to Thomas Hyde ("Mr. Hyde"). An order confirming the sale was entered by the Hamilton County Chancery Court on June 24, 2015. As is relevant to this appeal, Mr. Hyde's purchase of the property was subject to a one-year redemption period. See Tenn. Code Ann. § 67-5-2701 (providing that a right to redeem shall vest in all interested persons upon the entry of an order confirming the tax sale).

         On December 1, 2015, Mr. Woods transferred his remaining interest in the property to Mr. Hyde by quitclaim deed. The deed expressly provided that the conveyance included, "without limitation, all of [Mr. Woods's] rights pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. [§§]67-5-2701 et seq., and all other of [Mr. Woods's] rights arising out of the June 4, 2015 tax sale." The following day, a person identified as "Jim Hyde" filed a statement in the Hamilton County Chancery Court seeking to redeem the property. The quitclaim deed from Mr. Woods to Mr. Hyde was attached to the December 2 statement to redeem, as was a durable power of attorney appointing "Jim A. Hyde" as Mr. Hyde's attorney-in-fact. Pursuant to the power of attorney, Mr. Hyde gave "Jim A. Hyde . . . full power and authority to do and perform all and every act and thing necessary for the purchase, contracting, sale, and redemption of real property in Hamilton County, Tennessee." There does not appear to be any dispute among the parties that the December 2 statement to redeem was filed on behalf of Mr. Hyde.

         On December 8, 2015, Carrington Mortgage Services, LLC foreclosed on the subject property. The purchaser at foreclosure was S&S Investment Group, LLC ("S&S Group"). On December 28, 2015, shortly after S&S Group obtained an interest in the property pursuant to the substitute trustee's deed, Jason Sides, a member of S&S Group, filed a motion on behalf of the company seeking to redeem the property. Mr. Hyde ...


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