HOUSE BILL NO. 65
AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 9 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO SEWERS.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:
Section 1. Amend Chapter 45 of Title 9 of the Delaware Code by inserting the heading “Subchapter I. General Provisions” before § 4501 and adding a new subchapter after § 4521 as follows:
“Subchapter II. Monition Method of Sale in Kent County.
§ 4522. Established.
In addition to all existing methods and authority for the collection of service charges due to the Kent County Receiver of Taxes, the monition method and authority is hereby established.
§ 4523. Praecipe; judgment; monition.
(a) The tax collecting authority may file a praecipe in the Office of the Prothonotary of the Superior Court in and for the County where the property is located.
(b) The praecipe shall contain the name of the person against whom the service charges sought to be collected were assessed, a copy of the bill or bills showing the amount of service charges due, and the property against which the service charges were assessed. The description of the property, as the same appears upon the assessment rolls of the county where the property is located, shall be a sufficient identification and description of the property. Thereupon the Prothonotary shall make a record of the same on a special judgment docket of the Superior Court against the property mentioned or described in the praecipe which record shall consist of the following:
(1) The name of the person in whose name the assessment was made;
(2) The description of the property as the same shall appear upon the assessment rolls;
(3) The year or years for which the service charges are due and payable;
(4) The date of the filing of such praecipe;
(5) The amount of the judgment, the same being the amount set forth in the praecipe.
Such judgment shall be indexed in the judgment docket itself under the hundred in which the property is located as the location appears upon the assessment rolls so prepared, and under the hundred by communities where the name of the community appears upon the assessment rolls so prepared, and by referring to the page in the judgment docket whereon the record shall appear.
(c) Thereafter upon a praecipe for monition filed in the office of the Prothonotary by the tax collecting authority, a monition shall be issued by the Prothonotary to the Sheriff of the County where the property is located, which monition shall briefly state the amount of the judgment for the service charges due and the years thereof, including accrued penalty thereon, together with a brief description of the property upon which the service charges are a lien. A description of the property as it appears upon the assessment rolls shall be sufficient.
§ 4524. Form of monition.
The monition shall be in substantially the following form:
‘To all persons having or claiming to have any title, interest or lien upon the within described premises, take warning that unless the judgment for the service charges stated herein is paid within 20 days after the date hereof or within such period of 20 days, evidence of the payment of service charges herein claimed shall be filed in the Office of the Prothonotary, which evidence shall be in the form of a receipted service charge bill or duplicate thereof, bearing date prior to the filing of the lien in the Office of the Prothonotary for the County where the property is located, the tax collecting authority may proceed to sell the property herein mentioned or described for the purpose of collecting the judgment for the service charges herein stated, including accrued penalties and all costs incurred in the collection process.
Name of Person Description Year or Amount
In Whose Name of Property Years of Judgment
Property is Assessed.’
§ 4525. Posting of monition; Sheriff’s return; alias or pluries monition.
(a) The monition, or a copy thereof, shall be posted by the Sheriff upon some prominent place or part of the property against which the judgment for the service charges is a lien, and the Sheriff shall make due and proper return of his proceedings under the monition to the Prothonotary, within 10 days after the posting of the monition.
(b) Alias or pluries monition may issue upon like praecipe. The posting of the Notice as herein required shall constitute notice to the owner or owners and all persons having any interest in the property.
§ 4526. Issuance and form of writ of venditioni exponas.
(a) At any time after the expiration of 20 days following the return of the Sheriff upon the monition, unless before the expiration of the 20 days the judgment and cost on the judgment shall be paid or evidence of the payment of such service charges evidenced by a receipted service charge bill or a duplicate thereof bearing date therefore prior to the filing of the lien for record in the Office of the Prothonotary, upon application in writing by the tax collecting authority, a writ of venditioni exponas shall issue out of the Office of the Prothonotary directed to the Sheriff commanding the Sheriff to sell the property mentioned or described in the writ and make due return of such proceedings thereunder in the same manner as is now applicable with respect to similar writs of venditioni exponas issued out of the Superior Court. The property shall be described in the writ under the description thereof as it appears on the assessment rolls and by metes and bounds where obtainable, but nothing herein contained shall be construed to invalidate a writ or a sale pursuant thereto containing only the description as it appears on the assessment rolls or a writ bearing only a description by metes and bounds.
(b) The writ shall be substantially in the following form:
‘KENT COUNTY, SS.
The State of Delaware.
TO THE SHERIFF OF KENT COUNTY,
WHEREAS, by a Monition issued out of the Superior Court dated at ………, the …… day of …….A.D. 20.., IT WAS COMMANDED, that you should post the said Monition or copy thereof upon the real estate therein mentioned and described, and make a return to the said Superior Court within ten days after said posting. That on the …….. day of ……. A.D. 20.., you returned that a copy of the said Monition was posted on the real estate therein mentioned and described on the ….. day of ……, A.D. 20….
We therefore now command you to expose to public sale, the real estate mentioned and described in said Monition as follows: ………. And that you should cause to be made as well a certain debt of ……… Dollars ($.....) lawful money of the United States, which to the said Receiver of Taxes for Kent County, is due and owing, as also the sum of ……. Dollars ($.....) lawful money as aforesaid, for its costs, which it has sustained by the detaining of that debt, whereof the said …….. was convicted as it appears of record and against which said property it is a lien:
And have you that money before the Judges of our Superior Court at ……., on Monday the …… day of Next, to render to the Receiver of Taxes for Kent County as aforesaid, for its debt and costs as aforesaid, and this writ:
WITNESSETH, the Honorable …………. at ………., the ……. day of …….. A.D. 20……
(c) The description contained in such monition shall be a sufficient description of the real estate to be sold under such writ.
§ 4527. Sales subject to approval of Department of Finance or Chief County Financial Officer.
The Department of Finance or the Chief County Financial Officer as designated by the county governing body may approve or disapprove the final bid at a sale made by the Sheriff under this subchapter provided that the notice of the public sale includes that such sale is ‘subject to the approval of the Department of Finance or the Chief County Financial Officer’ in the terms of sale. In the event the Department of Finance or the Chief County Financial Officer does not approve the final bid at such sale, the said Department of Finance or Chief County Financial Officer may expose the property to another and as many succeeding sales as it chooses.
§ 4528. Title of property sold.
Any real estate or interest therein sold under the provisions of this subchapter shall vest in the purchaser all the right, title and interest of the person in whose name the property was assessed, and/or all right, title and interest of the person or persons who are the owners thereof, and likewise freed and discharged from any liens and encumbrances, dower or curtesy or statutory right, in the nature of a dower or curtesy, whether absolute or inchoate, in or to the real estate.
§ 4529. Petition by purchasers for deed of conveyance.
If the owner of the property or his legal representatives fail to redeem the property as provided in this subchapter, the purchaser of the property or his legal representatives, successors or assigns may present a petition to the Superior Court setting forth the appropriate facts in conformity with this subchapter and pray that the Superior Court make an order directing the Sheriff, then in office, to execute, acknowledge and deliver a deed conveying the title to the property to the petitioner; and thereupon the Superior Court shall have power, after a hearing upon the petition, to issue an order directing the Sheriff to execute, acknowledge and deliver a deed as prayed for in the petition. A description of the property as the same shall appear upon the assessment rolls, and a description by metes and bounds where obtainable shall be a sufficient description in any such deed.
§ 4530. Redemption by owner.
The owner of any such real estate sold under this subchapter or his legal representatives may redeem the same at any time within 60 days from the day the sale thereof is approved by the Court, by paying to the purchaser or his legal representatives, successors or assigns, the amount of the purchase price and 15 percent in addition thereto, together with all costs incurred in the cause; or if the purchaser or his legal representatives, successors or assigns refuse to receive the same, or do not reside or cannot be found within the County where the property is located, by paying the amount into the Court for the use of the purchaser, his legal representatives or assigns.
§ 4531. Petition by owner after redemption for entry on judgment record.
If the owner of any real estate sold under an order of sale or his legal representative redeems the real estate, he may present to the Superior Court a petition setting forth that fact and thereupon the Superior Court, after hearing and determining the facts set forth in the petition, shall have power to cause to be entered upon the record of the judgment, under which the real estate was sold, a memorandum that the real estate described in the proceedings upon which the judgment was entered has been redeemed. Thereafter the owner shall hold such redeemed real estate subject to the same liens and in the same order of priority as they existed at the time of the sale thereof, excepting so far as the liens have been discharged or reduced by the application of the proceeds by the Sheriff from the sale.
§ 4532. Regularity of proceedings under venditioni exponas.
Upon the return of the proceedings under a writ of venditioni exponas, the Superior Court may inquire into the regularity of the proceedings thereunder, and either approve the sale or set it aside.
§ 4533. No proceedings unless tax is a lien upon property; construction of term ‘Superior Court’.
(a) No proceedings shall be brought under this subchapter unless the service charge or assessment sought to be collected hereunder shall at the time of the filing of the praecipe in the Office of the Prothonotary be and constitute a lien upon the property against which the service charge or assessment was assessed or laid.
(b) Whenever the Superior Court is mentioned in this subchapter, the same shall be held to embrace the Judges or any Judge thereof, and any act required or authorized to be done under this subchapter may be done by the Superior Court or any Judge thereof in vacation thereof, as well as in term time.
§ 4534. Fees and costs.
(a) The fees and costs to be taxed in all proceedings under this subchapter, where not otherwise provided for, shall be as follows:
The following fees shall be charged by the Prothonotary:
Filing praecipe $1.10
Issuing monition and copy $2.75
Issuing alias or pluries, monition and copy $2.75
Writ of venditioni exponas $2.25
Filing any petition in Superior Court under this subchapter $1.00
Costs of paying money into Superior Court $1.00
Cost of paying money out of Superior Court for each check drawn $1.00
The following fees shall be charged by the Sheriff:
Posting monition or copy thereof $0.75
Posting each alias or pluries, monition or copy thereof $0.75
(b) The County government of Kent County may provide by ordinance for fees and costs to be taxed in all proceedings under this subchapter.
§ 4535. Purchase at Sheriff’s Sale by agent of County.
Kent County Levy Court may authorize any person to bid at the sale of any real estate under this Chapter and, in the event that such person is the highest and best bidder therfor, title thereto shall be taken in the name of Kent County. Levy Court shall not authorize any person to bid in excess of the aggregate amount of all taxes, service, charges, penalties and obligations due to Kent County, including costs incurred in the collection process.”.
Section 2. This Act shall become effective upon its enactment into law.
Approved May 17, 2005