G. LANCE SALLADAY, as Personal Representative for, and on behalf of, the Estate of Roger John Troutner, Plaintiff-Respondent,
ERIC BOWEN and KATHRYN BOWEN, husband and wife, Defendants-Appellants, and CALDWELL IRRIGATION LATERAL DISTRICT, Defendant.
Opinion No. 5
from the District Court of the Third Judicial District, State
of Idaho, Canyon County. Hon. Molly J. Huskey, District
court order remanding case to irrigation district, reversed.
O'Connor Law, PLLC, Boise, for appellants. William J.
Strother Law Office, Boise, for respondent. Jeffrey A.
BURDICK, Chief Justice
and Kathryn Bowen (Bowens) purchased property located at 615
E. Chicago Street, Caldwell, Idaho, through a tax deed sale
conducted by the Caldwell Irrigation Lateral District (CILD).
G. Lance Salladay brought suit arguing that the sale was void
because the property was part of the Estate of Roger Troutner
(the Estate), and Salladay, as personal representative of the
Estate, was entitled to notice of the sale and never received
such notice. The Canyon County district court ruled that
Salladay was entitled to notice and since he had not received
notice of the sale there was no final decision regarding
issuance of the deed as required by Idaho Code section
43-719(2). The district court then remanded the case to CILD.
On appeal, Bowens argue the district court erred in its
determination that Salladay was entitled to notice and that
even if Salladay was entitled to notice, his petition to the
district court was untimely.
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
prior to February 7, 2012, Salladay and Kelly Joe Stroud
entered into a contract for the sale of the property at 615
E. Chicago Street. On February 7, 2012, a Memorandum of Sale
(Memorandum) was recorded with the Canyon County Recorder.
The Memorandum stated that Kelly Joe Stroud was the purchaser
of the property and assuming compliance with the contract,
the sale would "vest" in April 2017. The Memorandum
was notarized and signed by Salladay but not Stroud. No other
documents relating to the sale or ownership of the property
prior to the issuance of the tax deed are in the record on
a tax deficiency, CILD issued a tax deed for the property on
July 14, 2014. CILD provided written notice of the issuance
of the tax deed and its sale to Stroud and also provided
notice via newspaper publication. No other notice was
provided. On December 16, 2014, CILD conducted the tax deed
sale and accepted a bid from Eric Bowen for the property.
Thereafter, CILD assigned the property to Bowens, and the
Bowens recorded their tax deed on December 19, 2014.
January 5, 2015, Salladay filed a petition with the district
court to reverse CILD's assignment of the tax deed to
Bowens and to clear title. A hearing was held on May 14,
2015. In district court, Salladay argued that because he did
not have notice the tax deed should never have been issued
and, therefore, was void ab initio. Bowens argued the
Memorandum was not properly recorded and as such CILD was not
required to provide notice of the sale to Salladay because he
was not the record owner. Therefore, Bowens argued, because
no notice was required to be given to Salladay, the tax deed
was properly issued and subsequently purchased by Bowens. The
district court ruled that because Salladay did not receive
notice, Salladay was entitled under Idaho Code section
43-719(4) to seek a hearing in front of CILD and request a
final decision regarding the issuance of the tax deed. Bowens
then filed a motion for reconsideration. The district court
held a hearing on the motion for reconsideration and
thereafter issued a written decision denying the motion. In
its decision denying the motion to reconsider, the district
court ruled that the Memorandum was properly recorded and
that even if it was not properly recorded CILD was still
required to provide notice of the tax deed sale to Salladay.
Bowens timely appeal.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
case centers on whether CILD violated the notice requirements
of Idaho Code section 43-717 when it issued a tax deed for
the property located at 615 E. Chicago Street. "This
Court exercises free review over questions regarding whether
the board has violated a statutory provision, which is a
matter of law." In re Jerome Cty. Bd. of
Comm'rs, 153 Idaho 298, 308, 281 P.3d 1076, 1086
The Memorandum was improperly recorded as a summary
district court found the Memorandum substantially complied
with Idaho Code title 55, chapter 7 and therefore was
entitled to be recorded as a properly acknowledged instrument
under Idaho Code section 55-805. Specifically, the court
found the Memorandum had been properly acknowledged under
Idaho Code section 55-710, which provides the form required