Question: Is it illegal or unethical to act as an appointed attorney ad litem for unknown heirs in a tax case, then later buy the property at a tax sale? Does later buying the property at a tax sale call into question the attorney ad litem's attempt to locate? At what point do you question "clean hands"?A broker takes a lease from heirs of last owner of record, and heirs have a documented history of questioning the broker regarding the validity of his title work and that said heirs actually own an interest. A few years later, it’s discovered that a sheriff’s tax deed from 10 years prior was missed in the title work, and the warranty clause in the lease requires the lessor to return the bonus.
However, to what standard is an appointed attorney ad litem in a tax case held if it appears there was a less than moderate attempt to locate the unknown heirs, even further, if it appears that the AAL merely rode the coattails of the tax collection firm hired by the taxing entity and simply accepted their findings. What is considered adequate defense of a tax suit by an AAL? Further, is it unethical for an AAL to later participate in the tax sale? Can the AAL individually participate in the tax sale and purchase the property?This is complicated by the fact that, in this particular county, for many, many years, the Sheriff's Tax Deeds or Tax Deeds have been improperly indexed under the Sheriff's name, with no indexing for the Defendant in the tax suit. This tax deed may have been one of them. Since the indexing is constantly being corrected with the hiring of Kofile and the advent of better online records, we don’t know about ten years prior. It is helpful to have a list of sheriffs in this county and the dates of their terms when working on title. I have found many, many tax deeds that were pertinent to my title by employing this list. Indeed, they were improperly indexed.AGAIN, MY QUESTION: ILLEGAL OR UNETHICAL OR JUST OK TO ACT AS AN ATTORNEY AD LITEM FOR UNKNOWN HEIRS IN A TAX CASE, AND THEN LATER PURCHASE THE PROPERTY AT THE TAX SALE?------------------------------Leslie KnoxJewell 49, LLCPecos TX(432) 559-9462------------------------------
Seems wrong to me for the ad litem to benefit. Did the court know that was happening? If so, it may be legal but the ethics is another story.
Alyce Hoge, JD, CPLTA, CDOAMIDLAND COLLEGE PLM CERTIFICATE, INSTRUCTORwww.landtraining.net