Hamilton v. Guardian Tax AL, LLC, et al.Annotate this Case
Shamblin Hamilton appealed a circuit court judgment concluding he had no interest in a Birmingham property, and ejected him from the property. In 1992, the property was conveyed to Shamblin and Carol Hamilton by general warranty deed. The Hamiltons owned the property in fee simple subject to a mortgage to Compass Bank recorded in 2003. In 2004, Shambin and Carol divorced, and pursuant to that divorce judgment, Shamblin was awarded sole ownership of the property. In 2009, the divorce judgment was modified by an agreement of the parties, and a court order adopting that agreement declared that Shamblin had assumed sole responsibility of a home-equity line of credit that Shamblin and Carol had jointly executed with Compass Bank. In his filings in the circuit court in this case, Shamblin asserted that he was still making payments on the home-equity line of credit as the litigation ensued. The Hamiltons failed to pay the ad valorem real-property taxes on the property, and in 2014, the State sold the property at auction to Mercury Funding, LLC ("Mercury"). Mercury conveyed its interested to Guardian Tax AL, LLC (“Guardian”) by quitclaim deed. In 2018, Guardian filed a complaint for ejectment and to quiet title to the property against the Hamiltons and Compass Bank. Shamblin denied not paying the ad valorem property taxes on the property, and he asserted that he had no notice of delinquency even though he had retained physical ownership of the property since 1992. Shamblin asserted a counterclaim for judicial redemption of the property, arguing he, not Carol as part title-holder, had a right to redeem. The Alabama Supreme Court determined the trial court erred in holding Carol had a right to redeem, and reversed.