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SKL Invs., Inc. v. Hardin

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

November 18, 2014

SKL INVESTMENTS, INC., APPELLANT
v.
NATALIE T. HARDIN AND LESLIE B. TORRENCE, APPELLEES

COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: LAFAYETTE COUNTY CHANCERY COURT. DATE OF JUDGMENT: 05/29/2013. TRIAL JUDGE: HON. GLENN ALDERSON. TRIAL COURT DISPOSITION: GRANTED DISMISSAL WITH PREJUDICE.

FOR APPELLANT: DAVID MARK SLOCUM JR.

FOR APPELLEES: GEORGE STOUTON HAYMANS IV.

BEFORE IRVING, P.J., FAIR AND JAMES, JJ. LEE, C.J., BARNES, ISHEE, ROBERTS, CARLTON, MAXWELL, FAIR AND JAMES, JJ., CONCUR. GRIFFIS, P.J., NOT PARTICIPATING.

OPINION

Page 589

NATURE OF THE CASE: CIVIL - REAL PROPERTY

IRVING, P.J.:

[¶1] SKL Investments Inc. (SKL), a company that buys property at tax sales, purchased property owned by Natalie Hardin and Leslie Torrence at a tax sale. SKL made substantial improvements to the house situated on the property before the tax sale was voided because of a defect in the notice procedure. SKL later filed a complaint against Natalie and Leslie, in the Lafayette County Chancery Court, claiming unjust enrichment and seeking reimbursement for the improvements made to the house. During trial, after SKL rested its case, Natalie and Leslie made an ore tenus motion for dismissal of SKL's claim. The chancery court granted the motion, and SKL appeals.

[¶2] Finding no error, we affirm.

FACTS

[¶3] Sisters, Natalie and Leslie, inherited a parcel of improved land in Oxford, Lafayette County, Mississippi.[1] On August 27, 2007, after Natalie and Leslie failed to pay the 2006 taxes assessed to the property, the property was sold by the tax collector for the City of Oxford to SKL at a tax sale. About a year later, on or about August 25, 2008, after some discussion with Natalie and Leslie, Lelon Davidson, Natalie and Leslie's former neighbor and close family friend, purchased the property by paying the 2007 and 2008 taxes owed to the City of Oxford and to Lafayette County.

[¶4] SKL received the tax deed to the property from the city clerk on May 10, 2010. On May 11, 2010, SKL issued a check to the chancery clerk as payment for delinquent county taxes on the property. That check was never deposited by the chancery clerk, and there is no evidence that the payment was ever deducted from SKL's account. In June 2010, SKL began making improvements to the house, and according to SKL, SKL made approximately $114,000 in improvements. While improvements were being made, Lelon informed Susan Prisock, the owner of SKL,

Page 590

that he had purchased the property, and that he believed he owned it. On September 2, 2010, the chancery clerk issued a tax deed to Lelon, and that deed was ...


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