Appealed from the First Judicial District Court for the Parish of Caddo, Louisiana. Trial Court No. 569969. Honorable Michael A. Pitman, Judge.
SHUEY SMITH, By: Richard E. Hiller, Counsel for Appellants.
BLANCHARD, WALKER, O'QUIN & ROBERTS, By: Jerry Edwards, Counsel for Appellee.
Before WILLIAMS, DREW and LOLLEY, JJ.
[49,631 La.App. 2 Cir. 1] LOLLEY, J.
Defendants, Larry Allen Michael, Penny Gail Michael, and the Estates of Emma Hill and Henry Hill, appeal a judgment of the First Judicial District Court, Parish of Caddo, State of Louisiana, granting summary judgment in favor of Cropprue Rental Properties, L.L.C. Finding genuine issues of material fact as to one of the parties, we reverse in part, affirm in part, and remand for further proceedings.
Cropprue Rental Properties, L.L.C. (" Cropprue" ), initiated this lawsuit against the defendants, Larry Allen Michael, Penny Gail Michael, and the Estates of Emma Hill and Henry Hill (" the Michaels" and " the Hills" ), to quiet title to property acquired by Cropprue from the Parish of Caddo (" the parish" ) and the City of Shreveport (" the city" ) by virtue of a cash sale of adjudicated property. The property
at issue is located at 5612 Jewella Avenue, Shreveport, Louisiana (" the property" ).
Beginning in 1996, parish and city taxes on the property became delinquent. As a result, the Caddo Parish Sheriff's Office (" the sheriff's office" ) sent written notice to the record owners of the property, the Michaels, at 7803 Capri Circle, Houston, Texas 77095 (" the Capri Circle address" ). The Michaels received notice at this address.
When property taxes became delinquent in 1997, the sheriff's office once again mailed notice to the Michaels at the Capri Circle address along with their intent to adjudicate the property if the tax debt was not satisfied. However, unlike the previous year, notice was returned undeliverable. [49,631 La.App. 2 Cir. 2] Unbeknownst to the sheriff's office, the Michaels moved to a new home located at 13503 Olden Court, Cypress, Texas 77429.
As was required by law, the sheriff's office published notice of the tax delinquency in the Shreveport Times on April 8, 1998, and May 6, 1998. Ultimately, the taxes assessed to the Michaels were never paid, and the property was adjudicated to the parish and the city.
Contemporaneous to these adjudication proceedings, the Hills began to operate a daycare facility on the property. By way of a bond for deed recorded on August 8, 1996, the Michaels conveyed what they believed to be all of the property they owned on Jewella Avenue to the Hills--the Michaels owned both 5610 and 5612 Jewella Avenue in Shreveport. However, for reasons unclear, the bond for deed only included the legal description for the property located at 5610 Jewella Avenue and not the property at issue in this case.
After the Hills satisfied all payments pursuant to the bond for deed, the Michaels executed a cash sale deed in favor of the Hills on February 8, 2006. Again, only the property located at 5610 Jewella Avenue was conveyed to the Hills. Despite having no title to the property at issue, the Hills have maintained and operated a daycare facility at both 5610 and 5612 Jewella Avenue since at least 1998.
In early 2013, Cropprue became interested in purchasing the property. Cropprue, through its manager, Shannon Cropprue, contacted the sheriff's office in an attempt to gain the most current address of the owners of the [49,631 La.App. 2 Cir. 3] property. Shannon obtained the Michaels' Capri Circle address, and mailed written notice to the Michaels notifying them of Cropprue's intent to purchase the property. However, this notice was returned undeliverable as the Michaels no longer lived at that address. Additionally, Shannon and the sheriff's ...