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Pocono Springs Civic Association Inc. v. MacKenzie

    Brief Fact Summary. MackEnzies, appellees and owners of property discovered it was not suitable for an on lot sewage system. Believing the property worthless they made various attempts to ‘abandon’ the property. Association sued to collect association fees on the property.

    Synopsis of Rule of Law. To abandon a property you must relinquish all right title and claim to possession with intention to terminate ownership. Other actions to disassociate from the land will not be enough.

    Facts. The MacKenzies attempted to turn the property over to the Association upon learning that it could not meet sewer requirements. Association declined to accept. The MacKenzies attempted to gift it to the association as a park and the Association declined. They failed to pay taxes and the tax bureau attempted to sell the property but failed to find a purchaser. The MacKenzies sent a notarized statement to all interested parties stating the desire to abandon their lot.

    Issue. Whether the actions of the MacKenzies were sufficient to constitute an abandonment of the property such that the association fees were not owed?

    Held. Judgement as a matter of law in favor of the association was proper. Under Pennsylvania law, real property could not be abandoned unless all right, title, claim and possession was relinquished. Since the MacKenzies continued to hold perfect title and fee simple in the property it was not abandoned as a matter of law. Therefore, the MacKenzies owed the fees.

    Discussion. The controlling state law was such that real property cannot be abandoned. Yet the MacKenzies could not rid themselves of title in order to abandon.


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