Matter of Smerecki v. Keough

Real Property

New York Law Journal


Justice Thomas Mercure

Smerecki appealed from a judgment denying her application to review a decision by the Broome County real property tax service director, Keough, who denied her request for a hardship sell-back of real property. Smerecki was the daughter and attorney-in-fact for the former property owner. Keough began an in rem action to foreclose delinquent tax liens. No answer was filed, but Smerecki requested a hardship sell-back of the property based on her mother's allegedly deteriorating physical and mental condition. Keough denied the request and the county acquired title via a judgment. Smerecki's appeal was denied and dismissed as Supreme Court found no evidence of fraud or illegality, and ruled the decision had a rational basis. The panel noted as the lien was valid and Keough followed all proper procedures in foreclosing, Smerecki's property interests were lawfully extinguished when the right of redemption expired and upon entry of judgment of foreclosure. It stated the county had no legal obligation to sell the property back once the valid judgment of foreclosure awarded it title, ruling Keough provided a factually supported, rational basis for a determination that a sell-back was unjustified. Thus, the judgment was affirmed.

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