Zinvest v. HudginsAnnotate this Case
In 2012, following a tax sale, Zinvest, LLC purchased improved property in Ravalli County. Zinvest subsequently learned that Michael and Angela Hudgins, the record owners of the property, had not paid the delinquent taxes on the property. Zinvest therefore applied for and received a tax deed to the property. Zinvest then proceeded with a quiet title action. The Hudginses opposed the action, arguing that the tax lien was void. During the quiet title proceeding, Zinvest moved for summary judgment. The Hudginses responded that the sale of the property to Zinvest was void because the County Treasurer failed to comply with Mont. Code Ann. 15-17-123. The district court, sua sponte, converted the Hudginses’ response to a cross-motion for summary judgment. The court then granted the Hudginses’ cross-motion for summary judgment and denied Zinvest’s on the ground that the County Treasurer failed to file an affidavit of publication as required by section 15-17-123. The Supreme Court reversed, concluding that because the notices were duly and properly published and the Hudginses were accorded full notice and due process of law in the proceedings, the failure to contemporaneously file the affidavit did not render the tax deed void.