Burns v. Sonador REI LLC, 090319 MSCA, 2018-CA-00767-COA

Docket Nº:2018-CA-00767-COA
Opinion Judge:LAWRENCE, J.
Party Name:BRIAN BURNS APPELLANT v. SONADOR REI LLC APPELLEE
Attorney:ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: NOAH MANASEH DRAKE ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: ROGER LANE McGEHEE JR.
Judge Panel:BEFORE J. WILSON, P.J., TINDELL AND LAWRENCE, JJ. BARNES, C.J., CARLTON AND J. WILSON, P.JJ., GREENLEE, WESTBROOKS, TINDELL, McDONALD, McCARTY AND C. WILSON, JJ., CONCUR.
Case Date:September 03, 2019
Court:Court of Appeals of Mississippi
 
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BRIAN BURNS APPELLANT

v.

SONADOR REI LLC APPELLEE

No. 2018-CA-00767-COA

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

September 3, 2019

DATE OF JUDGMENT: 05/02/2018

HINDS COUNTY CHANCERY COURT, HON. WILLIAM H. SINGLETARY TRIAL JUDGE

ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: NOAH MANASEH DRAKE

ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: ROGER LANE McGEHEE JR.

BEFORE J. WILSON, P.J., TINDELL AND LAWRENCE, JJ.

LAWRENCE, J.

¶1. The issue before this Court is one of standing. Brian Burns appeals the Hinds County Chancery Court's decision to confirm patent and quiet title for 469 Rockdale Drive, Jackson, Mississippi 39206. The State of Mississippi acquired the possessory rights to the property as a result of Brian Burns's failure to pay his 2012 property taxes. Burns allowed the two-year redemption period to expire without payment, and the State sold the property to Sonador Rei LLC on October 21, 2016.

¶2. After Burns discovered Sonador's owner, James Gosa, on the property in November 2016, he sued Sonador for trespass. At the same time, Sonador filed suit in accordance with Mississippi Code Annotated section 11-17-3 (Rev. 2004) to confirm the tax patent and quiet title. The chancellor confirmed the tax patent. Burns, who at the time of the judgment was not a party to the lawsuit against the State, filed a motion to set aside the judgment confirming title. The court denied Burns's motion, citing Burns's failure to challenge the validity of the tax sale. This Court finds that Burns lacks standing to challenge the chancellor's judgment because he had no interest in the subject property after it was sold to Sonador. For that reason, we affirm the chancellor's judgment.

FACTS

¶3. On August 26, 2013, the State acquired the subject property for failure to pay taxes in 2012. At that time, Burns owned the property. After the two-year redemption period expired without payment of the taxes, the chancery clerk certified the property to the Secretary of State. Burns, apparently unaware that the property had been sold to the State, continued to live at 469 Rockdale Drive.

¶4. On October 21, 2016, Sonador purchased the property from the State by way of a tax- forfeited land patent. James Gosa, the owner of Sonador, testified that it was his normal custom to go and see the properties he acquired as investments. Gosa attempted to meet with Burns on three separate occasions, but Burns never appeared. On November 11, 2016, Gosa returned to the property he purchased from the State and found Burns there. Gosa testified that Burns told him that the taxes had been paid on the property and that Burns was the rightful owner. Gosa tried to get Burns to agree to go to the chancery clerk's office to find the discrepancy, but Burns refused.

¶5. After Burns left, Gosa changed the locks on the property. Gosa testified that while the...

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