Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Galvan v. Midland Central Appraisal District

Court of Appeals of Texas, Eleventh District

August 22, 2019

ART GALVAN, Appellant
v.
MIDLAND CENTRAL APPRAISAL DISTRICT, Appellee

          On Appeal from the 238th District Court Midland County, Texas Trial Court Cause No. TX13799

          Panel consists of: Bailey, C.J., Stretcher, J., and Wright, S.C.J. [1]

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          JOHN M. BAILEY CHIEF JUSTICE

         This appeal concerns a claim for excess proceeds from a tax sale. In a single issue, Appellant asserts that the Midland Central Appraisal District (the District) failed to comply with the notice requirements of Section 34.03 of the Texas Tax Code. See Tex. Tax Code Ann. § 34.03 (West Supp. 2018). We affirm.

         Background Facts

         Appellant did not pay ad valorem taxes on property he owned in Midland County from 2010-2013. On September 17, 2014, the District, on behalf of the Midland Independent School District, the Midland County Hospital District, and the Midland College District, filed a lawsuit to collect delinquent taxes on the property. Midland County appeared in the case as an intervenor. On December 15, 2014, the trial court entered a judgment finding a tax delinquency of $2, 910.03. The district clerk subsequently entered an order of sale on January 16, 2015. Appellant's property was sold at a tax foreclosure sale on March 3, 2015. The sale resulted in excess proceeds of $10, 389.27, which were deposited in the registry of the trial court.

         The district clerk issued Appellant a Notice of Excess Funds on April 23, 2015. As set forth below, the notice included a prior version of Section 34.04 of the Texas Tax Code. See Tax § 34.04 (West 2015). The district clerk mailed the Notice of Excess Funds to Appellant by certified mail. Appellant signed for the notice on May 2, 2015.

         On April 19, 2017, Appellant filed a Petition for Release of Excess Proceeds and Notice of Hearing. On May 24, 2017, the District filed a Motion to Withdraw Excess Proceeds from the Tax Sale. The District alleged that Appellant did not timely file his petition for release of the excess funds within two years of the date of the tax sale. The District also filed an Objection to the Defendant's Petition for Release of Excess Proceeds, asserting that Appellant's petition fell outside the two-year period prescribed by the Tax Code as measured from the date of the tax sale.

         After a hearing, the trial court denied in part and granted in part Appellant's Petition for Release of Excess Proceeds and granted in part the District's Motion to Withdraw Excess Proceeds from Tax Sale. In this regard, Midland County declined to receive its pro rata share of the excess proceeds and agreed to allow Appellant to receive the share that the county would have been entitled to receive from the excess proceeds. Accordingly, the trial court ordered the district clerk to pay to the District the remaining portion of the excess proceeds. The trial court subsequently denied Appellant's motion for new trial. This appeal ensued.

         Analysis

         In his sole issue, Appellant asserts that the district clerk failed to comply with the notice requirements of Section 34.03 because the clerk sent a copy of an older version of Section 34.04 in the notice. Appellant also contends that the notice given by the clerk deprived him of due process under Article 1, section 19 of the Texas Constitution by failing to provide him with the date of the tax sale. We disagree with both contentions.

         If the resolution of an issue requires the court to construe statutory language, we apply a de novo standard of review to the statute's construction. MCI Sales & Serv., Inc. v. Hinton, 329 S.W.3d 475, 500 (Tex. 2010); Entergy Gulf States, Inc. v. Summers, 282 S.W.3d 433, 437 (Tex. 2009). Excess proceeds from tax foreclosure sales are governed by Sections 34.03 and 34.04 of the Tax Code. Section 34.03(a) requires the clerk to send written notice by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the former owner of the property regarding excess proceeds from a tax sale. See Tax § 34.03. Section 34.03(a)(1)(C) requires the clerk to "include[ ] a copy or the complete text of [Section 34.03] and Section 34.04."

         The notice provided by the clerk to Appellant contained a recitation of the text of Sections 34.03 and 34.04. The recitation of Section 34.04 in the clerk's notice provided as follows for subsection (a):

(a) A person, including a taxing unit, may file a petition in the court that ordered the seizure or the sale setting forth a claim to the excess proceeds. The petition must be filed before the second anniversary of the date of the sale of the property. The petition is not required to be filed as an original suit separate from the underlying suit for seizure of the property or foreclosure of ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.