The multiyear legal odyssey of Frederick Williams to keep his home in West Baltimore after the city mistakenly sold it at tax sale might finally be over.

In a one-sentence order dated on June 18, Maryland Supreme Court Justice Shirley M. Watts wrote that there had been “no showing” that taking up an appeal in the case was “desirable and in the public interest.”

“I’m thrilled,” Williams said. “I’m very happy.”

In 2021, Williams wrote a check to the city for more than $13,000 to pay off the outstanding property taxes as part of his purchase of a fixer-upper on Reisterstown Road that’s within walking distance of Druid Hill Park. But the city did not immediately cash the check.

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Later, Baltimore finally cashed his check, but on the same day erroneously sold the house at tax sale. Caret Bay LLC bought the property and later assigned the tax sale certificate to Cicada Investments LLC, which moved in Baltimore Circuit Court to foreclose on the home.

The city realized what happened and reported that it would take action to void the tax sale. Cicada Investments also wrote in an email to Donna Bernstein, a staff attorney at Maryland Legal Aid who represented Williams, that the tax sale would be voided.

But the city did not immediately act. And Cicada Investments continued and eventually succeeded in its effort to foreclose on the home.

Circuit Judge Martin H. Schreiber II in 2022 vacated the foreclosure and declared the tax sale certificate void. The Appellate Court of Maryland later upheld the ruling.

“The sum total of the actions taken by the City as well as Cicada was more than enough to constitute constructive fraud under Maryland law,” Appellate Judge Stuart R. Berger wrote in the opinion.

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Cicada Investments’ attorney, Aaron Naiman, could not be reached.

A Baltimore Banner investigation published in 2023 found that some 41,000 properties — mostly in Black neighborhoods — had cycled through the tax sale system since 2016.

Baltimore Banner reporter Hallie Miller contributed to this story.