Turner v. Spera, No. 164-80

Docket NºNo. 164-80
Citation140 Vt. 19, 433 A.2d 307
Case DateJune 12, 1981
CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Vermont

Page 307

433 A.2d 307
140 Vt. 19
Thomas H. TURNER
v.
Pall SPERA.
No. 164-80.
Supreme Court of Vermont.
June 12, 1981.

[140 Vt. 20] Samuel C. FitzPatrick, Montpelier, for plaintiff.

John A. McVickar, Stowe, for defendant.

Before [140 Vt. 19] BARNEY, C. J., and LARROW, BILLINGS, HILL and UNDERWOOD, JJ.

[140 Vt. 20] UNDERWOOD, Justice.

Plaintiff taxpayer brought suit in Lamoille Superior Court seeking to void the Stowe tax collector's deed to the defendant, the culmination of a tax sale of plaintiff's real estate in Stowe. The trial court, in granting defendant's motion for summary judgment, ruled that plaintiff's claim was barred by a one year statute of limitations, 32 V.S.A. § 5294(4), and that the tax collector's failure to publish notice of the tax sale by three successive advertisements in the local newspaper, as required by 32 V.S.A. § 5252(2), was an omission of insufficient magnitude to negate jurisdiction to effectuate a tax sale. We agree and therefore affirm the judgment for the defendant.

At all relevant times, the plaintiff listed his address as "50 Avalon Trail, Webster, New York 14580" and tax bills were regularly mailed to that address. Although chronically delinquent, he would eventually pay his taxes after being dunned at the same address, remaining delinquent for anywhere from four to twelve months of any given year.

In 1973 and 1974, plaintiff failed to pay any real estate taxes whatsoever, although billed and dunned in the same manner as in previous years. As a result, the town treasurer issued a warrant to the tax collector commanding him to levy and collect the delinquent real estate taxes. Levy was made on March 17, 1975. After the levy, notice was sought to be given the plaintiff by four separate means. Notice was sent to the listed address by registered mail. This envelope was returned by the Webster post office with the notation "NOTIFIED." Notice was also sent by first class mail to the same address, [140 Vt. 21] in an envelope which was never returned to the sender. Finally, notice was posted locally, in a public place, and published twice in the local newspaper.

In all respects except one, the notice procedure was in strict compliance with 32 V.S.A. § 5252. The only omission was the failure to publish notice for a third consecutive week in the newspaper. Furthermore,

Page 308

notification by first class mail is not a part of the statutory notice procedure.

In an action instituted on February 7, 1977, the...

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7 practice notes
  • In re Brentwood Corp., Bankruptcy No. 93-10111 FGC
    • United States
    • United States Bankruptcy Courts. Second Circuit. U.S. Bankruptcy Court —District of Vermont
    • 5 Agosto 1993
    ...more recent cases require only substantial compliance with the statute. Brentwood looks for support for this argument to Turner v. Spera, 140 Vt. 19, 433 A.2d 307 (1981). In Turner, the plaintiff taxpayer challenged a tax sale on the grounds that the tax collector only published notice of t......
  • Billewicz v. Town of Fair Haven, 20-173
    • United States
    • Vermont United States State Supreme Court of Vermont
    • 26 Marzo 2021
    ...v. Spera, in which the Court applied § 5294 to a taxpayer's suit seeking to void a tax collector's deed on grounds of defective notice. 140 Vt. 19, 433 A.2d 307 (1981). And, drawing guidance from a federal bankruptcy case, In re Brentwood Corp., the court reasoned that the three-year limita......
  • Billewicz v. Town of Fair Haven, No. 2020-173
    • United States
    • Vermont United States State Supreme Court of Vermont
    • 26 Marzo 2021
    ...v. Spera, in which the Court applied § 5294 to a taxpayer's suit seeking to void a tax collector's deed on grounds of defective notice. 140 Vt. 19, 433 A.2d 307 (1981). And, drawing guidance from a federal bankruptcy case, In re Brentwood Corporation, the court reasoned that the three-year ......
  • Wilder v. Aetna Life & Cas. Ins. Co., No. 274-80
    • United States
    • Vermont United States State Supreme Court of Vermont
    • 12 Junio 1981
    ...cannot legitimately be labelled either goods or services as the Legislature has defined those terms. See 9 V.S.A. §§ 2451a(b), (c). [140 Vt. 19] In addition, we are not dealing with a contractual situation between buyer and seller. We are asked to read into the Act a transaction one step re......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
7 cases
  • In re Brentwood Corp., Bankruptcy No. 93-10111 FGC
    • United States
    • United States Bankruptcy Courts. Second Circuit. U.S. Bankruptcy Court —District of Vermont
    • 5 Agosto 1993
    ...more recent cases require only substantial compliance with the statute. Brentwood looks for support for this argument to Turner v. Spera, 140 Vt. 19, 433 A.2d 307 (1981). In Turner, the plaintiff taxpayer challenged a tax sale on the grounds that the tax collector only published notice of t......
  • Billewicz v. Town of Fair Haven, 20-173
    • United States
    • Vermont United States State Supreme Court of Vermont
    • 26 Marzo 2021
    ...v. Spera, in which the Court applied § 5294 to a taxpayer's suit seeking to void a tax collector's deed on grounds of defective notice. 140 Vt. 19, 433 A.2d 307 (1981). And, drawing guidance from a federal bankruptcy case, In re Brentwood Corp., the court reasoned that the three-year limita......
  • Billewicz v. Town of Fair Haven, No. 2020-173
    • United States
    • Vermont United States State Supreme Court of Vermont
    • 26 Marzo 2021
    ...v. Spera, in which the Court applied § 5294 to a taxpayer's suit seeking to void a tax collector's deed on grounds of defective notice. 140 Vt. 19, 433 A.2d 307 (1981). And, drawing guidance from a federal bankruptcy case, In re Brentwood Corporation, the court reasoned that the three-year ......
  • Wilder v. Aetna Life & Cas. Ins. Co., No. 274-80
    • United States
    • Vermont United States State Supreme Court of Vermont
    • 12 Junio 1981
    ...cannot legitimately be labelled either goods or services as the Legislature has defined those terms. See 9 V.S.A. §§ 2451a(b), (c). [140 Vt. 19] In addition, we are not dealing with a contractual situation between buyer and seller. We are asked to read into the Act a transaction one step re......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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