Laws, Regulations & Annotations

Property Taxes Law Guide – Revision 2017

Revenue and Taxation Code

Property Taxation

Part 6. Tax Sales

CHAPTER 1. Publication of Delinquent List and Notice of Sale

Article 1.5. Deeds to the State*

Section 3365

3365. Notice to assessee of default and power to sell property. After the first publication of the notice and not less than 21 days nor more than 35 days before July 1, the tax collector shall send by registered mail to the last assessee of the tax-defaulted property at his or her last known address a notice of default and power to sell the property for nonpayment of taxes. The tax collector shall make a reasonable effort to ascertain the address of the last assessee of the tax-defaulted property, including, but not limited to, an examination of the assessment of this property on the rolls beginning with the year of delinquency to and including that of the last equalized roll, an examination of the most recent telephone books in the county in which the tax-defaulted property is located, and an examination of the telephone book covering the area of the last known address of the last assessee.

Any failure of the tax collector to make a reasonable effort to ascertain the address of the last assessee as required by this section shall not affect the validity of any subsequent sale to satisfy the lien of unpaid taxes.

History.—Stats. 1971, p. 2135, in effect March 4, 1972, added the provisions concerning an examination of the telephone books to the second sentence of the first paragraph and added the second paragraph. Stats. 1984, Ch. 988, in effect September 11, 1984, deleted "of intent to deed to the state" after "publication of the notice" added "days" after "21", substituted "the power to sell for nonpayment of taxes arises" for "of deeding, when tax-sold property is to be deeded" after "date"; substituted "tax-defaulted" for "tax-sold" after "the"; added "or her" after "his", and substituted "a notice of default . . . taxes" for "either a copy of the publication or a notice of intent to deed the property to the state" after "address" in the first sentence, and substituted "tax-defaulted" for "tax-sold" after each "the" in the second sentence of the first paragraph; and substituted "Any" for "The," and substituted "any subsequent . . . taxes" for "the deed to the state" after "validity of" in the second paragraph. Stats. 1991, Ch. 532, in effect January 1, 1992, substituted "July 1" for "the date the power to sell for nonpayment of taxes arises" after "before" in the first sentence.

Note.—See note following Section 2194.

Ascertainment of address.—The inquiry of the tax collector in endeavoring to ascertain the address of the delinquent property owner need not extend beyond the examination of the assessment roll from the date of the delinquent assessment to that of the last assessment before the sale. If no address appears and in the absence of evidence to the contrary, it must be assumed, in accordance with the presumption of law that official duty has been regularly performed (Code of Civil Procedure Section 1863, Subdivision 15), that the address was not known to the tax collector, so that the mailing of the notice is not required. Jacoby v. Wolff, 198 Cal. 667, cited and followed in Scott v. Beck, 204 Cal. 78, and Tasker v. Nieto, 108 Cal.App. 135. See also to the same effect with respect to sales of tax-deeded property under former Political Code Section 3897: Campbell v. Moran, 161 Cal. 325; Smith v. Boston, 161 Cal. 341; Crouch v. Shafer, 177 Cal. 154.

Mailing.—It is not required that the postal authorities be instructed to return the notice in the event that it is not delivered. Bray v. Jones, 20 Cal.2d 858.

If the notice is returned to the tax collector prior to the sale without having been delivered, due to the fact that the wrapper contained instructions that the parcel should be returned to the sender within 10 days if not claimed, Numitor Gold Mining Co. v. Katzer, 83 Cal.App. 161, or if it is mailed within 21 days of the date of sale, Sawyer v. Berkeley Securities Co., 99 Cal.App. 545, the sale is void.

Deed as evidence.—Under Subdivision (e) of Section 3517 the tax collector's deed is prima facie evidence that the notice was properly mailed. Usher v. Henkel, 205 Cal. 413; Bell v. Brigance, 74 Cal.App. 322.

Failure to give notice.—An action based on the failure to give the notice required by this section, whether or not such defect is considered to be a jurisdictional one, is barred by Section 3521 of the Revenue and Taxation Code in a case in which defendant has occupied land under a tax deed from the state for over the period prescribed in that section and the plaintiff has had actual notice of that fact throughout such period. Tannhauser v. Adams, 31 Cal.2d 169.

* Article 1.5 was added by Stats. 1967, p. 2342, in effect November 8, 1967.