*This is a guest post by contributing author Michele Inman.
What’s Sufficient Notice Due to You if the County Auctions Your Tax Delinquent Property?
If you’ve lost real property in Oklahoma or are currently facing a potential property tax auction due to failure to pay property taxes, here’s what you need to know:
A recent Oklahoma Supreme Court ruling has been critical of the way some Oklahoma Counties provide notice to property owners who owe back taxes. Giving constitutionally adequate notice to property owners is called Due Process, to which everyone is entitled.
This new ruling suggests that people who have lost their tax delinquent properties through a tax auction, or are currently under a threat of a tax auction, may have an opportunity to recover.
In fact, based on the historical Oklahoma case law, lawmakers should not be surprised by this ruling since the Oklahoma Supreme Court has consistently ruled that the state law provides insufficient due notice. Therefore, even if the County complied with State law in providing notice to the tax delinquent property owner, that may be no defense to a lack of notice claim by the property owner.
Finally, purchasers of property at a tax action need to be on the alert that the County complied with constitutionally sufficient due notice to the tax delinquent property owner. Otherwise, they may be taken by surprise when they are forced to either pay the back taxes of the property or sell back the property because the county did not supply constitutional sufficient notice to the tax delinquent property owner.
Michele Inman is currently a J.D. Candidate, 2018, at Oklahoma City University School of Law, where she is the 2017-2018 Articles Editor for the School’s Law Review. She has research interests in Landowner Rights, environmental issues and animal rights. She may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.