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People ex rel. Lake Placid Co. v. Williams

Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division

May 3, 1911

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK ex rel. LAKE PLACID COMPANY, Relator,
v.
CLARK WILLIAMS, as Comptroller of the State of New York, and HARVEY G. ALFORD, Respondents.

Page 35

CERTIORARI issued out of the Supreme Court and attested on the 5th day of August, 1909, directed to Charles H. Gaus, as Comptroller of the State of New York, commanding him to certify and return to the office of the clerk of the county of Albany all and singular the proceedings had in refusing to permit the relator to redeem lands sold by the Comptroller at a tax sale.

COUNSEL

George J. Hatt, 2nd, for the relator.

Thomas Carmody, Attorney-General and J. A. Kellogg, Deputy Attorney-General, for the respondent Comptroller.

T. Almern Griffin, for the respondent Alford.

BETTS, J.:

The parcels of land in question here are small pieces of land in lots 333 and 314, township 11, Old Military tract, in the town of North Elba, Essex county, N.Y.

These lands with others had been purchased for the relator by Melvil Dewey, its president, in 1898 and conveyed to the relator in February, 1901, by deeds duly recorded.

The relator paid all tax bills presented by the town tax collector and supposed that it had paid all taxes on these lands but through inadvertence or otherwise some payments were omitted and the two small lots in question were sold at the tax sale of 1905 for certain taxes for a small amount thereon, assessed sometime prior thereto. No notice was served upon the relator, which claims to be both owner and occupant, by the purchasers at the tax sale or any person in their behalf. Relator attempted to pay the taxes within one year but through a misunderstanding its check arrived too late for that purpose, whereupon this proceeding was had to redeem them under section 137 of the Tax Law (Gen. Laws, chap. 24; Laws of 1896, chap. 908; now

Page 36

Consol. Laws, chap. 60; Laws of 1909, chap. 62) on the ground that they were in actual occupancy of the Lake Placid Company, the owner, and its tenant, the Lake Placid Club, during all the times subsequent to the purchase of the property in 1898 and until the date of the affidavits, which was on December 15 and December 19, 1908, and, of course, including one year from December 23, 1905, the last day of the tax sale. The purchasers at the tax sale or their representatives were allowed to file affidavits in opposition, and upon the affidavits thus submitted, the Deputy Comptroller, Kelsey on April 1, 1909, denied the application to redeem, whereupon this certiorari proceeding was brought.

It appears from all the papers here that the relator owns lot 278 upon which its inn and many other of its buildings are, and also other lots bordering on Mirror lake; that it owns a portion or the whole of lot 277 on East lake which is a part of Lake Placid and the greater portion of lots 335, 333, 313 and 314, the last three being on Moose island and 335 being on the mainland nearly opposite and southeast from 314.

The map submitted shows that the nearest part of the lot sold from the northeast corner of lot 314 was about two miles and a quarter from the Lake Placid Inn of relator; that the nearest part of lot 333 sold was about two and three-quarter miles from the inn of relator; that lots 313, 335, 333 and 314 were connected with the boathouse of relator on lot 277 by a nature's highway, being the waters of the East lake which is a part of Lake Placid, the nearest parts of lots 314 and 277 being only about two miles apart; that a portion of lots 333, 313, 314, 335 and 277 are all under water of the East lake or Lake Placid; that these various lots are each one-half mile square, and lot 314 is in the third tier of lots north of 277 and the second tier east thereof and lot 333 is in the fourth tier north of 277 and the third tier east thereof and that lot 335 is in the second tier north of 277 and in the third tier east thereof, as I ...


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