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Kerr v. Trescher

Decided: March 7, 1955.

GEORGE M. KERR, SR., PLAINTIFF,
v.
JOHN H. TRESCHER, ELOISE TRESCHER, GIACOMO MUCERINO, AND THE UNKNOWN HEIRS, DEVISEES AND PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVES OF GIACOMO MUCERINO AND HIS, HER, THEIR OR ANY OF THEIR SUCCESSORS IN RIGHT, TITLE AND INTEREST; MRS. GIACOMO MUCERINO, MRS. SALVATORE RUSSO, FILOMENA RUSSO, THE UNKNOWN HEIRS, DEVISEES AND PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVES OF FILOMENA RUSSO AND HIS, HER, THEIR OR ANY OF THEIR SUCCESSORS IN RIGHT, TITLE AND INTEREST; DOMINICK T. LERRO, THE EXECUTORS OF ADMINISTRATORS OF DOMINICK T. LERRO, THE UNKNOWN HEIRS, DEVISEES AND PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVES OF DOMINICK T. LERRO AND HIS, HER, THEIR OR ANY OF THEIR SUCCESSORS IN RIGHT, TITLE AND INTEREST; MATILDA KOHLER, GEORGE H. KOHLER, MR. KOHLER, HUSBAND OF MATILDA KOHLER AND THE UNKNOWN HEIRS, DEVISEES AND PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVES OF MATILDA KOHLER AND HIS, HER, THEIR OR ANY OF THEIR SUCCESSORS IN RIGHT, TITLE AND INTEREST; MARY E. HOOT, THE EXECUTOR OR ADMINISTRATOR OF MARY E. HOOT AND THE UNKNOWN HEIRS, DEVISEES AND PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVES OF MARY E. HOOT AND HIS, HER, THEIR OR ANY OF THEIR SUCCESSORS IN RIGHT, TITLE AND INTEREST, AND THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY, DEFENDANTS



Haneman, J.s.c.

Haneman

This suit involves the foreclosure of a tax sale certificate and the attempted redemption by defendant John H. Trescher, the record owner of the premises. The question here involved is the amount required upon such a redemption.

The facts in connection herewith are as follows: On March 29, 1930 the municipal taxes due the Township of Buena Vista, being in default for the year 1928, the tax collector of said township struck off and sold said property to said township and delivered to it a tax sale certificate.

By assignment dated June 22, 1954 the said township sold and assigned the said tax sale certificate to the plaintiff herein, who thereafter filed a complaint to foreclose.

Although there is no actual proof before me as to the amount for which the municipality so sold the said tax sale certificate, nor the amount actually then due on the date of sale to plaintiff, except by way of affidavit of the defendant Trescher, it is apparently admitted that plaintiff paid the sum of $1,242.33 for such assignment at a time when there was due to the municipality on said tax sale certificate, together with subsequent municipal liens and interest, the sum of $1,737.64. It is also apparently admitted that the assignment was made by virtue of N.J.S.A. 54:5-113, and at the date thereof the total amount of municipal liens exceeded the assessed value of the real estate as of the last sale thereof for unpaid taxes and assessments. Defendant now seeks to redeem by paying the sum of $1,242.33, asserting that by virtue of N.J.S.A. 54:5-60 plaintiff is entitled only to the sum which he actually paid to the municipality for the assignment of the tax sale certificate, and subsequent taxes actually paid by him. Plaintiff, contrariwise, contends that he is entitled upon redemption to the full amount of the original sale, with subsequent liens and assessments to the date of the assignment to him of the tax sale certificate, and taxes accruing subsequent to the assignment, and actually paid by him.

In order to determine the question here involved the entire statute and its related sections must be considered. The intention must be gathered from the spirit and policy of the statute rather than from the literal sense of particular terms. The sections providing for assignment as well as redemption being in pari materia must be considered together and apparent conflicting sections must be considered and reconciled with the general intent of the statute.

In Caputo v. Best Foods, Inc. , 17 N.J. 259 (1955), the court said:

"It is not 'the words of the law, but the internal sense of it that makes the law.' Eyston v. Studd , 2 Plowd. 459; 75 Eng. Repr. 695

(1574). The reason of the law, i.e. , the motive which led to the making of it, is one of the most certain means of establishing the true sense of the words. Valenti v. Board of Review of Unemployment Compensation Commission , 4 N.J. 287 (1950); In re Roche's Estate , 16 N.J. 579 (1955). In early English language usage, this was deemed the construction and application of the law according to the 'equity of the statute'; but it will be seen from the case cited that, as is true of the present-day canons of interpretation, it was from the beginning a rule in aid of the legislative intention within the four corners of the expression, considered in the context of its socio-economic setting, i.e. , the sense and reason of the law. Sutherland, Statutory Construction (3 d ed.), sec. 6001 et seq. The intention emerges from the spirit and policy of the statute rather than the literal sense of particular terms."

In Maritime Petroleum Corp. v. City of Jersey City , 1 N.J. 287 (1949), the court said:

"The context of an act or acts in pari materia may serve to enlarge or restrain general words, and thus to bring the operation of the act within the evident intention of the Legislature. A statute is to be construed as a whole with reference to the system of which it is a part. Apparently conflicting provisions are to be reconciled in accord with the general intent. The true meaning of any clause or provision ordinarily is that which best ...


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