Court of Appeals of Missouri, Eastern District, Second Division
from the Circuit Court of St. Louis County Honorable Thea A.
S. ODENWALD, JUDGE
R., Sharon, and Diana Gladney (collectively "the
Gladneys") appeal from the trial court's grant of
summary judgment to WMAC 2013, LLC ("WMAC13") in a
quiet title and ejectment action. In their sole point on
appeal, the Gladneys challenge the trial court's entry of
summary judgment. The Gladneys contend a genuine issue of
material fact exists as to whether the tax lien certificate
on their property was sold to a prohibited purchaser under
Section 140.190.2. Because the sale of the tax-deficient
property to a statutorily prohibited purchaser does not
address a material fact given the circumstances of this case,
we deny the Gladneys' point on appeal and affirm the
judgment of the trial court.
and Procedural History
R. and Sharon Gladney acquired the real property at 3815
Brown Road in St. Louis, Missouri ("the Property")
in 2010. Subsequently, Dennie R. and Sharon Gladney failed to
pay property taxes on the Property. In August 2015, WMAC
2014, LLC ("WMAC14") purchased a tax lien
certificate for the Property at a public tax sale auction. In
2016, Dennie R. and Sharon Gladney transferred the Property
to their daughter, Diana Gladney.
Gladneys did not redeem the Property within the year
following the tax sale. Consequently, in September 2016, the
St. Louis County Collector of Revenue issued a
Collector's Deed for Taxes for the Property ("the
Deed") to WMAC14, which later conveyed the Deed to
WMAC13. WMAC13 filed a petition to quiet title pursuant to
the Deed and to eject Dennie R. and Sharon Gladney from the
Property. Subsequently, Diana Gladney was granted leave to
moved for summary judgment against the Gladneys on its
petition to quiet title. In an attempt to defeat summary
judgment, the Gladneys argued that they raised a genuine
issue of fact regarding the validity of the Deed.
Specifically, the Gladneys offered evidence that WMAC14 was a
successor company of WMAC13. The Gladneys maintained that
WMAC14's successor liability rendered it a prohibited
purchaser at the tax sale under Section 140.190.2 because
WMAC13 had failed to pay property taxes on other St. Louis
County properties at the time WMAC14 acquired the Property.
The Gladneys reasoned that since WMAC14 was a successor
company of WMAC13 and WMAC13 was a prohibited purchaser, then
WMAC14 was a prohibited purchaser as well. Accordingly, the
Gladneys argued that WMAC13 was not entitled to summary
judgment on its petition because WMAC14 obtained the Deed
through an invalid sale.
trial court found that WMAC13 presented a prima facie case
for summary judgment and that no credible evidence was
presented to successfully challenge the Deed under Section
140.610. Accordingly, the trial court granted summary
judgment. The Gladneys now appeal.
their sole point on appeal, the Gladneys contend that the
trial court erred in granting summary judgment. The Gladneys
maintain that they raised a genuine issue of fact regarding
WMAC14's status as a prohibited purchaser in the tax
sale, which, if shown, would render WMAC13's title
invalid and, as a matter of law, defeat its right to judgment
on the petition to quiet title.
review an appeal from summary judgment de novo. Farrow v.
Saint Francis Med. Ctr., 407 S.W.3d 579, 587 (Mo. banc
2013) (citing ITT Commercial Fin. Corp. v. Mid-Am. Marine
Supply Corp., 854 S.W.2d 371, 376 (Mo. banc 1993)).
"[We review] the record in the light most favorable to
the party against whom judgment was entered and afford that
party the benefit of all reasonable inferences."
Id. (citing Lewis v. Gilmore, 366 S.W.3d
522, 524 (Mo. banc 2012)). We also review questions of