KNOX COUNTY, TENNESSEE ET AL.
DELINQUENT TAXPAYERS ET AL.
Session Date: January 26, 2017
from the Chancery Court for Knox County No. 187088-1 John F.
case involves an attempt by Omer G. Kennedy and Angela Helms
(landowners) to exercise their right of redemption with
respect to their property sold at a delinquent tax sale. Jon
Johnson (tax sale purchaser) bought the property on January
13, 2015. Within the one-year redemption period, landowners
paid $37, 892.81, the amount they thought was required to
redeem the property. Tax sale purchaser filed a motion for
additional funds, consisting of payments he had made for
insurance on the property and interest, under Tenn. Code Ann.
§ 67-5-2701 (Supp. 2016). The trial court granted the
motion in an order entered January 11, 2016. The order gave
landowners 30 days to pay the additional amount. Because
notice of the order was not sent to their last known address,
landowners did not receive the notice until after the 30 days
had passed. They paid the additional amount of $5, 869.43 on
February 18, 2016. Tax sale purchaser moved the court to deny
the redemption, arguing that the payment was not timely. The
trial court denied the motion, holding that its order of
January 11, 2016, was void because it was not effectively
entered under Tenn. R. Civ. P. 58. and not effectively served
under Tenn. R. Civ. P. 5. Alternatively, the trial court
ruled that landowners were entitled to relief for excusable
neglect under Tenn. R. Civ. P. 60. Tax sale purchaser
appeals. We affirm.
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Chancery
Court Affirmed; Case Remanded.
B. Stevenson, Nashville, Tennessee, for appellant, Jon
J. Harb, Knoxville, Tennessee, for appellees, Omer G. Kennedy
and Angela Helms.
Charles D. Susano, Jr., J., delivered the opinion of the
court, in which D. Michael Swiney, C.J., and John W.
McClarty, J., joined.
CHARLES D. SUSANO, JR., JUDGE
property is a three-acre tract located at 2720 Thorngrove
Pike, in an industrial area of East Knoxville. Landowners use
the property to run their business, Metro Trailer Repair.
Their daughter and business manager, Melissa Kennedy,
testified that, although there is a mailbox at the property,
they use a P.O. Box exclusively for their business
operations, and had done so for at least 21 years. She said
that the mailbox at 2720 Thorngrove Pike had been frequently
vandalized and that the only mail that arrived there
consisted of advertisements and other junk mail.
case was initiated on March 10, 2014, when Knox County filed
a complaint for collection of delinquent property taxes. The
property was among those listed as subject to a tax lien for
delinquent payment of taxes. Attached to the complaint was an
exhibit, which contained, among other things, a description
of the property. There are two mailing addresses of record
listed: P.O. Box 6702 in Knoxville, and 3835 Admiralty Lane,
also in Knoxville. The record reflects that Knox County sent
tax notices regarding the property to P.O. Box 6702.
sale took place on January 13, 2015. The trial court entered
an order on February 13, 2015 confirming the sale and vesting
the property in the tax sale purchaser, subject to the
one-year right of redemption. On November 2, 2015, landowners
filed a motion to redeem the property. They paid into court
the purchase price of the tax sale plus interest, an amount
totaling $37, 892.81. Tax sale purchaser filed a motion for
additional funds, pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. §
67-5-2701, which at that time had been recently
amended to provide, in pertinent part, as follows:
(d) The purchaser may within thirty (30) days after the
mailing of the notice of redemption, file a response seeking
additional funds to be paid by the proposed redeemer to
compensate the purchaser for amounts expended by the
purchaser for the purposes set out in subsection (e). . . .
If no response is timely filed, the court shall determine
whether the redemption has been properly made, and if so,
shall cause an order to be entered requiring the proposed
redeemer to pay additional interest at the rate set forth in
subsection (b), accruing from the date the motion to redeem
was filed until the date of such payment.
(e) Additional sums to be paid by the proposed redeemer at
the demand of the purchaser, shall include the following:
(2) Reasonable payments made by the purchaser for insurance
on the parcel and any ...