Appeals Court Rules Sale Of Ooltewah Woman's Home At Back Tax Sale Be Voided Because She Did Not Get Proper Notice

Saturday, December 1, 2018

The Tennessee Court of Appeals has ruled that a woman whose Ooltewah home was sold at a back tax sale without her knowledge should get title to the house back.

Chancellor Pam Fleenor had dismissed a suit filed by Linda Owens.

However, the Appeals Court directed the chancellor to declare the sale of the property to Kenneth Stiner Sr. void.

The Appeals Court said Ms. Owens never received proper notice from the county that her house was being sold for unpaid back taxes.

Ms. Owens said the first she learned about the sale was when the new "owner" showed up at her house. He had bought the substantial house at 9210 Dexter Lane for $42,000.

The Appeals Court noted that the county never sent a notice to 9210 Dexter Lane, but to other nearby addresses - mainly to a vacant lot.  

The Appeals Court said, "Turning to the record, it is undisputed that Ms. Owens never received personal service. She also never received service by mail because both mailed summonses were returned to the County. Furthermore, neither summons was mailed to her correct address. The address listed on the deed for Ms. Owens’s property is “9410 Dexter Lane.” Her deed also states that tax bills shall be sent to the same address. Additionally, the tax bill for 2011 states the “Taxpayer Mailing Address” as “9410 Dexter LN.” Furthermore, Ms. Owens testified by affidavit that she never contacted the assessor’s office requesting that mail be sent to any address other than “9410 Dexter Lane.” Despite this information, the first summons was sent via certified mail to “09410 Dexter LN” and was returned to the County as: “Not Deliverable as Addressed, Unable to Forward.”

"After unsuccessful service of the first summons, the County unilaterally changed Ms. Owens’s address to “9412 Dexter LN” and again attempted to serve her at that address via certified mail. The second summons was returned to the County and read: “Return to Sender, No Such Number.” In her affidavit, Ms. Owens testified that she never received or rejected any mailings related to the property tax lawsuit. Despite being notified by the post office that “no such number” existed for “9412 Dexter LN,” Deputy Bowman attempted to personally serve Ms. Owens with the third summons at “9412 Dexter LN.” Deputy Bowman indicated on his return that he did not serve Ms. Owens and that “9412 Dexter LN” was a vacant lot. The County never attempted service at “9410 Dexter Lane,” Ms. Owens’s actual address. The County failed to serve Ms. Owens either personally or by mail."

The opinion, written by Judge Kenny Armstrong, says, "For the foregoing reasons, we reverse the trial court’s order. The case is remanded with instructions to the trial court to set aside the sale of Ms. Owens’s property and declare her the fee simple owner, and for such further proceedings as may be necessary and are consistent with this opinion. Costs of the appeal are assessed against the Appellee, Kenneth Stiner, Sr., for all of which execution may issue if necessary."

Ms. Owens was represented by attorneys John Konvalinka, Mark Litchford and Hollie Floberg.


Latest Hamilton County Arrest Report

New Soddy Daisy Fire Hall Not Yet Started Despite Major Gifts From Charitable Foundation

Rep. Howell Guides Licensure Bill Through Legislature


Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ANDERSON, WILLIAM MICHAEL 110 ALLGOOD STREET ROSSVILLE, 30741 Age at Arrest: 22 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga THEFT ... (click for more)

Since it was formed in 1992, the Red Bank Soddy Daisy Charitable Foundation has contributed $770,000 to the city of Soddy Daisy. Over the years, the money has bought a fire engine, contributed ... (click for more)

State Rep. Dan Howell (R-Cleveland) has successfully guided House Bill 951 through the Tennessee House of Representatives. The measure - which is part of Governor Bill Lee’s legislative ... (click for more)


Breaking News

Latest Hamilton County Arrest Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ANDERSON, WILLIAM MICHAEL 110 ALLGOOD STREET ROSSVILLE, 30741 Age at Arrest: 22 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga THEFT UNDER $1,000 --- BAKER, LARRY DEMARYES 1401 EAST 31ST STREET CHATTANOOGA, 37416 Age at Arrest: 37 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga REGISTRATION, DRIVING UNREGISTERED ... (click for more)

New Soddy Daisy Fire Hall Not Yet Started Despite Major Gifts From Charitable Foundation

Since it was formed in 1992, the Red Bank Soddy Daisy Charitable Foundation has contributed $770,000 to the city of Soddy Daisy. Over the years, the money has bought a fire engine, contributed to building a fire hall, and to moving and restoring Poe’s Tavern to its present location. Included in the gifts to the city have also been contributions that now total $244,000 to build another ... (click for more)

Opinion

Growth Can Continue At Ooltewah On Septic Tanks

I want to set the record straight about growth in North Hamilton County. On Feb. 21, 2019, County Mayor Coppinger called a “reset” meeting with the residents of Ooltewah/Harrison over the proposed sewer plant in North Hamilton County. In front of this community, I stood up and specifically asked the county mayor if growth could continue in Ooltewah and Harrison on septic tanks ... (click for more)

Our Roads Need To Be Repaired For Ironman

Chattanooga being a finalist for the 2021 Ironman is great news. The business gained at the local bicycle repair shops from bent rims, busted tires and warped frames should produce some great local revenue. The local physicians should see a surge as well from the twisted ankles and busted up knees from dips, humps and pot holes on our area roads that could swallow a small child. ... (click for more)

Sports

Ooltewah Invitational: Grissom's Tate Stifles Owls 7-2 With 14 Strikeouts

Grissom baseball coach Travis Tate saw his Tigers attack Ooltewah pitching on Friday and it wasn’t anything he hadn’t seen from other teams in Alabama’s Class 7A baseball over the years. “Batters in our league are aggressive, but we’ve been on an offensive skid lately because we’ve taken too many pitches early in the count,” Tate said. “We don’t want bad takes. If we get good ... (click for more)

Prep Baseball: Chargers Slip Past Trojans, 4-3, In Ooltewah Invitational

Versatile senior John Rhodes can impact a baseball game in multiple ways. Thursday’s Chattanooga Christian game against host Soddy-Daisy in the Ooltewah Invitational was a perfect example. Rhodes started his team’s scoring in the first inning and ended it with alert baserunning in the seventh as the Chargers came away with a 4-3 victory over the Trojans. “Baseball is a ... (click for more)