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Tax Deed - Ejectment - Demand For Possession - Mesne Profits

Prescott v. Milne; Milne v. Prescott, [Ms. 2180270; 2180305, Dec. 13, 2019] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. Civ. App. 2019). The court (Donaldson, J.; Thompson, P.J., and Moore, Edwards, and Hanson, JJ., concur) affirms in part and reverses in part a judgment of the Mobile Circuit Court entered in an ejectment action. The court affirmed the circuit court’s judgment that the holder of a tax deed is not required to demand possession before instituting an ejectment action. The court explained:

Unlike the holder of a tax-sale certificate, the holder of a tax deed is vested with “all the right, title, interest and estate of the person whose duty it was to pay the taxes on [the] real estate [sold at the tax sale],” § 40-10-29, Ala. Code 1975, and his or her right to maintain an action in ejectment or in the nature of ejectment derives from his or her title to the property rather than the rights granted the holder of a certificate of sale in § 40-10-73. Section 6-6-280 does not require that the plaintiff in an action in ejectment or in the nature of ejectment demand possession before commencing his or her action.

Ms. *17.

The court reversed the judgment of the circuit court insofar as it determined that the plaintiff was not entitled to recover mesne profits during the period the defendant had occupied the house after the plaintiff obtained the tax deed. Ms. *14.

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