Court of Appeals Opinions

Format: 11/24/2014
Format: 11/24/2014
Authoring Judge:
Trial Court Judge: Robert S. Brandt
Davidson County Court of Appeals 04/10/96
Authoring Judge:
Trial Court Judge: Thomas W. Brothers
Davidson County Court of Appeals 04/10/96
Authoring Judge:
Trial Court Judge: Marietta M. Shipley
Davidson County Court of Appeals 04/10/96
Authoring Judge:
Trial Court Judge: Andrew J. Shookhoff
Davidson County Court of Appeals 04/10/96
Tammy Rushing Greene v. Bryan Lynn Greene
Authoring Judge: Presiding Judge W. Frank Crawford
Trial Court Judge: Judge James C. Witt

This is a child custody case. Bryan L. Greene (Father) and Tammy Rushing Greene, now Harris (Mother), were divorced by decree entered June 2, 1988. The decree incorporated a prior Marital Dissolution Agreement, which granted custody of the parties' minor child, Sara Ann 1This Court granted Mother’s Motion for Stay Pending Appeal, pursuant to T.R.A.P. 7. 2 Greene, to Mother, with liberal visitation rights to Father. On September 15, 1994, Father filed a petition seeking custody, alleging a material change in circumstances. After an evidentiary hearing on March 10, 1995, the trial court granted Father's Petition for Change of Custody. 1 Mother has appealed, and the only issue is whether the trial court erred in ordering a change of custody.

Monroe County Court of Appeals 04/09/96
Susiana Dixon, best next friend and Niece of Martha J. Moses, v. Johnnie Street, Defendant, Robert C. Irby, Guardian ad Litem-Appellee
Authoring Judge: Presiding Judge W. Frank Crawford
Trial Court Judge: Chancellor D. J. Alissandratos

This case involves an award of guardian ad litem fees. Appellant, Martha J. Moses, conservator of the person of Susiana Dixon, appeals the trial court’s order made final pursuant to Rule 54.02 awarding a money judgment against her in the sum of $3,127.00 in favor of 2 appellee Robert C. Irby, guardian at litem for Susiana Dixon.

Shelby County Court of Appeals 04/06/96
Betty Manis, v. Jerry K. Galyon
Authoring Judge: Per Curiam
Trial Court Judge: Chancellor Chester H. Rainwater

This action was instituted as a complaint for a declaratory judgment and for a partition of real estate. The appellant sought a declaratory judgment that she was the owner of an undivided interest in a tract of land located in Sevier County as a tenant in common with the appellee. She further sought to have the court partition the property in question. Both parties filed motions for summary judgment. The trial court sustained the defendant's motion for summary judgment, denied plaintiff's motion and fond that the appellant held no interest in the property. This appeal resulted. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Court of Appeals 04/04/96
John Phipps and Sandra Phipps, v. Robert Wayne Walker and Randall Wayne Walker
Authoring Judge: Judge David R. Farmer
Trial Court Judge: Judge W. Dale Young

This action for negligent hiring results from the alleged burglary of the home of Appellants, John and Sandra Phipps, by Randall Wayne Walker, son and employee of the appellee, Robert Wayne Walker.1 Appellee is the owner of Walker Electric which, in 1994, sub-contracted with Shore Builders, Inc. to perform the electrical work on the Appellants’ home, then under construction. Randall Walker was an employee of Walker Electric at this time.

Blount County Court of Appeals 04/04/96
Carol Louise Kepler, v. Scott James Kepler
Authoring Judge: Judge David R. Farmer
Trial Court Judge: Judge Bill Swann

This divorce litigation involves the dissolution of the twenty-one year marriage between Appellant, Scott James Kepler (Husband) and Appellee, Carol Louise Kepler (Wife). Their union produced two children, ages 17 and 14 at the time of trial. The final divorce decree granted an absolute divorce and custody of the children to Wife. Husband now appeals from the decree, challenging the trial court’s valuation of the marital residence, award of rehabilitative alimony and attorney’s fees to Wife and failure to establish an “ascertainable standard” by which to measure Wife’s progress towards completion of her educational goals. For reasons to be discussed, we affirm the trial court.

Knox County Court of Appeals 04/04/96
Atlanta Casualty Company, v. Margie Etta Fuson, Damon Lee Fuson and Shannon Nicole Fuson
Authoring Judge: Judge David R. Farmer
Trial Court Judge: Judge Conrad E. Troutman, Jr.

This appeal stems from a declaratory judgment action filed by Appellant, Atlanta Casualty Company (Atlanta Casualty), seeking a determination of whether an automobile insurance policy issued by Atlanta Casualty to Damon P. Fuson, now deceased, affords uninsured motorist coverage to the appellees, Margie Etta Fuson, surviving spouse of the deceased, and their two minor children, Damon Lee and Shannon Nicole Fuson (hereinafter “the Fusons”). The trial court entertained motions for summary judgment filed by both parties. The trial court denied Appellant’s motion, but entered summary judgment in favor of the appellees, finding that the insurance policy in question affords them coverage. For reasons hereinafter detailed, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Claiborne County Court of Appeals 04/04/96
Charles K. Lockwood and Frankie L. Lockwood, v. William M. Ables
Authoring Judge: Judge Ben H. Cantrell
Trial Court Judge: Judge William H. Inman

In this legal malpractice case, the trial judge directed a verdict for the defendant because he found that the plaintiffs failed to prove that but for the defendant’s negligence they would have won their lawsuit. We reverse and remand for a new trial.

Marion County Court of Appeals 04/04/96
Sandra K. Lewis, and husband, Carlton Lewis, v. Jason M. Pendergrass and R. Eugene Pendergrass
03A01- 9510- CV- 00369
Authoring Judge:
Trial Court Judge: Judge Herschel P. Franks

The determinative issue on appeal as framed by the appellant is: [Whether] the defendants were deprived of a fair and impartial jury because of Juror Rankin's failure to respond truthfully on voir dire and further, because Juror Rankin and plaintiffs' counsel both failed to reveal a recent attorney/client relationship and an upcoming trial wherein plaintiffs' counsel would be a crucial witness on behalf of Juror Rankin.

Court of Appeals 04/03/96
Allstate Insurance Company, v. Mary Louis Davis, John Rasnic, Carolyn Rasnic, and Tennessee Farmers Mutual Insurance Companies
Authoring Judge: Judge Herschel Pickens Franks
Trial Court Judge: Judge Conrad Troutman

In this declaratory judgment action, plaintiff, insurance company, sought a declaration that its insured, John H. Rasnic, was not an insured under its policy for the accident occuring between the Rasnic and Davis motor vehicles. Specifically, the complaint alleged that Rasnic had violated the policy provision:

We must be notified promptly of how, when, and where the accident or loss happened. Notice should also include the names and addresses of any injuried persons and of any witness. Allstate would assert that while the accident occurred on December 1, 1993, they did not receive notice until June 24, 1994.

Court of Appeals 04/03/96