Appeal from Circuit Court, Knox County
Buffum Vs. Commonwealth
ACTION: Reversed
BUFFUM et al.
March 28, 1913.

Action by the Commonwealth against A. E. Buffum and others to forfeit lands for nonpayment of taxes. Judgment for the Commonwealth, and defendants appeal. Reversed.

Appellants, A. E. Buffum and others, are the owners of 3,000 acres of land and 17,000 acres of mineral rights located in Knox county, Ky., and embraced in 36,000 acres granted to John Lewis February 18, 1790, by the commonwealth of Virginia. Appellants acquired title in the year 1904, and paid the taxes thereon for the years 1904, 1905, and 1906. On September 1st they listed the land in question at a valuation of $54,500. They did not list the property for the years 1908, 1909, 1910, and 1911. This action was brought by the commonwealth to forfeit the land in question, on the ground that appellants had failed to list the land for taxation for five successive years, beginning with September 1, 1906, and had also failed to pay the taxes thereon for five successive years, beginning with the year 1907.

From the judgment forfeiting the land to the commonwealth, this appeal is prosecuted.

Several grounds are urged for reversal, but we deem it necessary to consider but one. It appears that appellants did not pay the taxes assessed on September 1, 1906, for the year 1907, and the lands and mineral rights were thereafter sold by the sheriff of Knox county, and the commonwealth became the purchaser on December 23, 1907. Thereafter the county attorney of Knox county instituted an equitable action in the Knox circuit court against appellants to recover the lands in question by virtue of the aforesaid tax sale. On December 23, 1909, judgment was entered in that action, adjudging the commonwealth to be the owner of the lands in question, and awarding it a writ of possession against the appellants. It further appears that after the institution of this action appellants redeemed the lands in controversy by paying the taxes, interest, and costs for the year 1907, and also paid the taxes for the year 1912. Thereupon the auditor executed to appellants a deed.

Judgment reversed, and cause remanded for proceedings consistent with this opinion.


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