FAILURE TO STRIKE EVIDENCE - STEPHANIE BERRY AND EVA BERRY V. DEUTSCHE BANK NATIONAL TRUST CO.
In Stephanie Berry and Eva Berry v. Deutsche Bank National Trust Co., [Ms 2080840, May 14, 2010] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. Civ. App. 2010), the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals held that an uncertified tax notice valuing property at $84,800 constituted substantial evidence establishing a genuine issue of material fact that Deutsche Bank's payment in a foreclosure sale was so low in relation to the market value that it would shock the conscience, which would deprive Deutsche Bank of standing to prosecute an ejectment action. Recognizing that the tax assessing authority's evaluation is generally not relevant to prove market value, the Court held that Deutsche Bank's failure to move to strike the 2008 tax notice permitted the trial court to consider the otherwise inadmissible evidence (the only exception D that consideration of the evidence would cause a gross miscarriage of justice D was not applicable here). The Court then held that the tax notice constituted substantial evidence that "fair-minded persons in the exercise of impartial judgment could reasonably infer from the 2008 tax notice that the market value of the property was $84,800 when Deutsche Bank sold the property to itself for $33,915 at the foreclosure sale." The Court thus reversed the trial court's granting of Deutsche Bank's motion for summary judgment.