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Henderson v. Seamon

Alabama Court of Civil Appeals

March 23, 2018

Cornelius Henderson
v.
Henry J. Seamon

          Appeal from Elmore Circuit Court (CV-16-900164)

          MOORE, Judge.

         Cornelius Henderson appeals from a judgment entered by the Elmore Circuit Court ("the circuit court") providing that, upon the payment of $3, 781.63, Henry J. Seamon could redeem, through the statutory-redemption process, certain property that Henderson had purchased at a tax sale ("the property").

          Procedural History

         On May 20, 2013, Henderson purchased the property at a tax sale. On May 18, 2016, Seamon filed a petition in the circuit court, seeking a judgment declaring the proper official to oversee the statutory-redemption process and a stay of the delivery of the tax deed to the property to Henderson. Seamon included as a defendant Thomas Macon, in his official capacity as the revenue commissioner of Elmore County. Seamon alleged that, beginning on May 16, 2016, he had attempted to redeem the property and that a dispute had arisen as to the amount that he had to pay to Henderson to accomplish the redemption. Seamon alleged that he had attempted to commence an action in the Elmore Probate Court ("the probate court") but that the probate court had informed him that the revenue commissioner had jurisdiction over the statutory-redemption process in Elmore County, pursuant to Ala. Code 1975, § 45-26-241 (Local Laws, Elmore County). Seamon further alleged that, subsequently, the Elmore County revenue commissioner had also refused to accept the filing to commence the action. Seamon requested that the circuit court stay the issuance of the tax deed until it could be determined which official had jurisdiction over the redemption process. Seamon filed an affidavit in support of his petition, and, on May 19, 2016, he requested to interplead the funds that he alleged were required to redeem the property. The motion to interplead funds was granted on May 23, 2016.

         On August 5, 2016, Henderson filed a motion to dismiss the petition, alleging that, on May 27, 2016, the Elmore County revenue commissioner had issued to Henderson a tax deed to the property. Therefore, according to Henderson, the issues raised by Seamon in the circuit-court action were moot. The circuit court denied that motion on September 8, 2016. On March 28, 2017, Henderson filed a second motion to dismiss the circuit-court action based upon the same ground as asserted in his first motion. The circuit court did not rule on that second motion.

         On April 19, 2017, a hearing was held at which the attorneys argued their clients' respective positions; that same day, the circuit court entered the following judgment:

"Case called this date for trial on the issue of the redemption of tax sale property due to the Elmore County Revenue Commissioner not holding a hearing under Title 40 and assigned to the [R]evenue Commissioner under [§] 45-26-241, Code of Alabama, 1975. Parties appearing with counsel of record.
Revenue Commissioner not appearing. Stipulation heard as to the dates of the request for amount to redeem the subject property and amounts for items expended with dates received. Upon hearing the stipulation and review of the amounts and dates, it is ORDERED as follows:
"1. That ... Seamon can redeem for the joint interest of the owners.
"2. That ... Henderson is not entitled to charge for uncollected rents, lawn service paid for after the date of the redemption request and repairs/improvements made, not directed by the City of Wetumpka Fire Department.
"3. That [Seamon] shall pay into Court a total of $3, 781.63, consisting of these amounts, $2, 191.71, 2016 tax, two amounts for keys, plumbing expense, permit fee and electric repair. [Seamon] is to receive the credit for the funds already paid into Court.
"4. That upon the payment of these fees, the property is to be redeemed under the Title 40 procedure."

         On April 27, 2017, Seamon filed a motion requesting that the circuit court amend the judgment to ...


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