Aspen Storage, Inc. v. Lawrence County, No. 24212.

CourtSupreme Court of South Dakota
Writing for the CourtKonenkamp
Citation2007 SD 66,737 N.W.2d 277
PartiesASPEN STORAGE, INC., Plaintiff and Appellee, v. LAWRENCE COUNTY and Craig R. Hayes, Defendants, v. Brandon Flanagan, Defendant, Third Party Plaintiff and Appellant, v. Raymond Hertel and Delores Hertel aka Eloise Hertel, Third Party Defendants. Aspen Storage, Inc., Plaintiff and Appellee, v. Brandon Flanagan, Defendant and Appellant, The City of Deadwood, a municipal corporation, and Lawrence County, Defendants.
Decision Date03 July 2007
Docket NumberNo. 24212.,No. 24213.
737 N.W.2d 277
2007 SD 66
ASPEN STORAGE, INC., Plaintiff and Appellee,
v.
LAWRENCE COUNTY and Craig R. Hayes, Defendants,
v.
Brandon Flanagan, Defendant, Third Party Plaintiff and Appellant,
v.
Raymond Hertel and Delores Hertel aka Eloise Hertel, Third Party Defendants.
Aspen Storage, Inc., Plaintiff and Appellee,
v.
Brandon Flanagan, Defendant and Appellant,
The City of Deadwood, a municipal corporation, and Lawrence County, Defendants.
No. 24212.
No. 24213.
Supreme Court of South Dakota.
Considered on Briefs on February 13, 2007.
Decided July 3, 2007.

[737 N.W.2d 278]

Jerry C. Rachetto, Deadwood, South Dakota, Attorney for appellees Aspen Storage, Inc.

Brandon Flanagan, Spearfish, South Dakota, Pro Se appellant.

KONENKAMP, Justice.


[¶ 1.] In Aspen Storage, Inc. v. Flanagan (Aspen I), 2005 SD 107, ¶ 10, 705 N.W.2d 863, 866, we affirmed the circuit court's judgment voiding a tax deed because a county official obtained it in violation of SDCL 6-1-1. However, while the appeal was pending, the county official acquired a quit claim deed from the owner of the same property. In a second suit, the circuit court voided the quit claim deed as another violation of SDCL 6-1-1. We affirm.

Background

[¶ 2.] On August 9, 1989, Lawrence County quit claimed to Craig Hayes the following described real property located in Lawrence County: "Inside Deadwood, Pt Wilmington P.C. 848 (22 acres more or loss [sic])," and referred to as Mineral Survey (MS) 848. In 1997, Hayes became delinquent on his property taxes. On December 21, 1998, Lawrence County issued itself a "Treasurer's Certificate of Tax Sale" reflecting that MS 848 was "sold" to Lawrence County for delinquent taxes.1

[¶ 3.] On July 24, 2003, Lawrence County "assigned ... all right, title and interest in [the] Certificate" to Brandon Flanagan. After the certificate was assigned to Flanagan, he issued a "Notice of Intent to Take Tax Deed" informing Hayes that he had sixty days from the last day of the publication to redeem his interest in the property. Because Hayes did not redeem, on September 9, 2004, Lawrence

737 N.W.2d 279

County issued Flanagan a "Tax Deed" to the property.

[¶ 4.] At the time the tax sale certificate was assigned to him, Flanagan was a Lawrence County Commissioner. When the county issued him the tax deed, he was the Lawrence County Planning and Zoning Administrator. Because Flanagan was a county official at the time of the transaction, Aspen Storage, Inc., who owned land just south of MS 848, brought an action requesting that the circuit court declare the tax deed void. The circuit court applied SDCL 6-1-1 and voided the deed. Flanagan appealed. On October 25, 2005, we affirmed the circuit court's ruling, holding that SDCL 6-1-1 "prohibits any county officer from obtaining an interest in or purchasing real property which is sold for taxes." Aspen I, 2005 SD 107, ¶ 7, 705 N.W.2d at 865.

[¶ 5.] While Aspen I was pending, on June 17, 2005, Flanagan obtained a quit claim deed from Hayes for MS 848. On August 10, 2005, Aspen Storage brought a second action against Flanagan, requesting that the circuit court void the quit claim deed and award damages. According to Aspen Storage, SDCL 6-1-1 still precluded Flanagan from obtaining an interest in MS 848 because he was a county official. Moreover, it asserted that MS 848 was not Hayes's property to convey because it was being held by Lawrence County. Flanagan argued that the quit claim deed was a transaction between two private individuals and, thus, outside the scope of SDCL...

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1 practice notes
  • In re Montana-Dakota Utilities Co., No. 24448.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of South Dakota
    • October 17, 2007
    ...to the agency's conclusions of law." Id. Questions of statutory interpretation are reviewed de novo. Aspen Storage, Inc. v. Flanagan, 2007 SD 66, ¶ 9, 737 N.W.2d 277, 280 (citing Town Square Ltd. P'ship v. Clay County Bd. of Equalization, 2005 SD 99, ¶ 9 n. 1, 704 N.W.2d 896, 899 n. 1 ......
1 cases
  • In re Montana-Dakota Utilities Co., No. 24448.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of South Dakota
    • October 17, 2007
    ...to the agency's conclusions of law." Id. Questions of statutory interpretation are reviewed de novo. Aspen Storage, Inc. v. Flanagan, 2007 SD 66, ¶ 9, 737 N.W.2d 277, 280 (citing Town Square Ltd. P'ship v. Clay County Bd. of Equalization, 2005 SD 99, ¶ 9 n. 1, 704 N.W.2d 896, 899 n. 1 ......

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