Gleeson sets status conference in couple's case against tax purchaser

By Christina Stueve Hodges | Aug 15, 2013

St. Clair County Circuit Judge Andrew Gleeson set a Nov. 25 status conference in a couple’s lawsuit against a Florida man who they claim purchased their property in an illegal fashion after failing to inform them of a property tax delinquency on it.

Daniel and Susan Duncan filed suit against Vinod Gupta of Boca Raton, Fla. May 1 in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

A status conference was held Aug. 12 in Gleeson's court.

Gupta denies the allegations and says he received a tax deed for the subject real estate.

The Duncans claim they obtained an undivided interest in a piece of property on June 21, 2006. Unknown to them, defendant Vinod Gupta purchased the same property at a delinquent property tax sale on Nov. 6, 2006.

“Thereafter, defendant knowingly and purposefully failed to adhere to strict notice provisions owed to the plaintiffs due to his purchase of the property at the tax sale,” the suit states. “As a direct result of the defendant’s intentional violation of the code, plaintiffs were unaware of any property tax delinquency and were unable to redeem their property within the redemption period.”

Due to his alleged failure to notify the Duncans of the tax delinquency, Gupta was able to obtain full ownership of the property on Sept. 1, 2009, the complaint says. The Duncans claim they were not aware of the situation until December 2012.

The Duncans allege fraud, fraudulent concealment, consumer fraud, unjust enrichment, negligence and tortuous interference with a business expectancy against Gupta.

Gupta responded to the complaint May 28, stating his tax deeds convey merchantable title, and the tax deed is a prima facie of regularity of sale. He also states a remedy at law is available in that the tax deed can be contested and challenged.

In their complaint, the Duncans seek more than $50,000.

Alvin C. Paulson of Becker, Paulson, Hoerner and Thompson in Belleville represents the plaintiffs.

Vinod Gupta is a defendant pro se.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 13-L-226.

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