Circuit Court Has Exclusive Jurisdiction Over Judicial Redemption From Tax Sales

Williams v. Mari Properties, LLC, [Ms. SC-2022-0872, Aug. 18, 2023] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. 2023). The Court (Cook, J.; Parker, C.J., and Wise, Sellers, and Stewart, JJ., concur) affirms the Jefferson Probate Court’s determination that it lacked jurisdiction over Eleanor Williams’s petition to redeem real property that had been sold for taxes.

The Court reiterates that “a circuit court has jurisdiction over the ‘judicial redemption’ process, see First Props., L.L.C. v. Bennett, 959 So. 2d 653, 654 (Ala. Civ. App. 2006), while ‘the probate court has, to the exclusion of all other courts, exclusive jurisdiction over the statutory redemption process,’ see Ex parte Foundation Bank, 146 So. 3d 1, 6 (Ala. 2013).” Ms. *10.

The State purchased the subject property at a tax sale in 2003 and subsequently sold the property to a third party in 2016. Ms. *2. “Because Williams did not redeem the property ‘at any time before the title passe[d] out of the state,’ she was not entitled to statutory redemption” pursuant to § 40-10-120(a) Ala. Code 1975 which provides in pertinent part “‘[r]eal estate which hereafter may be sold for taxes and purchased by the state may be redeemed at any time before the title passes out of the state or, if purchased by any other purchaser, may be redeemed at any time within three years from the date of the sale by the owner…..’” Ms. *13.

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