Court of Appeals Opinions

Format: 02/22/2018
Format: 02/22/2018
Mohammad Al-Haddad v. Walter Ritter and Wife, Helma Ritter
Authoring Judge: Judge Ben H. Cantrell
Trial Court Judge: Judge Donald P. Harris

Pursuant to Rule 11, Tenn. R. Civ. P., the trial court sanctioned the appellants and their attorneys. The appellants argue on appeal that they cannot be sanctioned under Rule 11 because they did not sign the offending pleading and that the facts do not establish a violation of the rule. We hold that a party may be sanctioned under Rule 11 without actually signing the pleadings, but we find that the facts of this case do not justify a Rule 11 sanction and that the proof fails to show any expenses incurred as a result of the alleged violation. Therefore we reverse the judgment against the appellants for sanctions.

Williamson County Court of Appeals 02/05/97
Mavis A. Combs, v. The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, and the Civil Service Commission
Authoring Judge: Judge Samuel L. Lewis
Trial Court Judge: Chancellor Ellen Hobbs Lyle

This is an appeal by petitioner/appellant, Mavis A. Combs, from the decision of the Davidson County Chancery Court upholding the decision of respondent/appellee, the Metropolitan Civil Service Commission (“the Commission”), to deny Ms. Combs in-line-of-duty injury leave. The facts out of which this matter arose are as follows.

Davidson County Court of Appeals 02/05/97
Barbara Gatlin, v. State of Tennessee, Department of Human Services, In the Matter of Felicia Gatlin, a child under the age of 18
Authoring Judge: Judge Ben H. Cantrell
Trial Court Judge: Judge Andrew J. Shookhoff

The Juvenile Court of Davidson County terminated Barbara Gatlin’s parental rights respecting her ten year old daughter, Felicia. Because we find that the record does not contain clear and convincing evidence of abandonment, we reverse.

Davidson County Court of Appeals 02/05/97
Vickie Elaine Spiegel, v. Jeremy Percy Julian Spiegel
Authoring Judge: Judge Ben H. Cantrell
Trial Court Judge: Chancellor Robert E. Corlew, III

The issues on appeal in this divorce case include the restrictions put on the father’s visits with his minor daughter and the award of attorneys fees to the mother. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.


Rutherford County Court of Appeals 02/05/97
James Fletcher and Ronald Lanier Fletcher v. Kenneth Sterlin Vasser
Authoring Judge: Judge Ben H. Cantrell
Trial Court Judge: Judge Gerald L. Ewell, Sr.

The holder of an easement across his neighbor’s property sought to replace two gates with cattle guards. The Chancery Court of Coffee County denied the request. We affirm.

Coffee County Court of Appeals 02/05/97
Nathan Jack Toler, a minor child, B/N/F Shirley Lack and Shirley Lack next of kin and as Administratrix of the Estate of Nathan Jack Toler, Jr., v. City of Cookeville, D/B/A Cookeville General Hospital, et al.
Authoring Judge: Judge Samuel L. Lewis
Trial Court Judge: Judge John A. Turnbull

Appellee, Dr. Mark Giese, is one of several defendants involved in a medical malpractice suit arising out of the alleged wrongful death of Nathan Jackson Toler, Jr. The trial court entered an interlocutory order granting summary judgment to Dr. Giese based upon the plaintiffs' failure to properly secure service of process on him. Pursuant to Tenn. R. App. P. 9, Plaintiffs have appealed. We have determined that the trial court was correct and therefore affirm the grant of summary judgment.

Putnam County Court of Appeals 02/05/97
City Bank & Trust Company and B. Timothy Pirtle, v. Dave Allen Webb and Debbie Lynn Webb
Authoring Judge: Judge Samuel L. Lewis
Trial Court Judge: Chancellor John W. Rollins

This is an appeal by defendants Dave Allen Webb and wife Debbie Lynn Webb, from the trial court's judgment setting aside a foreclosure sale and, in effect, putting the parties in the same position they were in before the foreclosure.

Warren County Court of Appeals 02/05/97
Bradley Mark Butler, v. Prince E. Spradlin and wife, Sylvia S. Spradlin
Authoring Judge: Judge David R. Farmer
Trial Court Judge:

The purpose of this litigation was to establish the boundary line between property owned by the Plaintiff, Bradley Mark Butler, and the defendants, Prince E. Spradlin and Sylvia S. Spradlin. Each party presented several witnesses and exhibits including the testimony of their respective surveyors. Upon completion of the evidence, the chancellor made findings of fact including a finding that the plaintiff had established his title by a clear preponderance of the evidence. The court accepted the survey of Eddie Coleman, the surveyor who testified in behalf of the plaintiff, and established the property line according to the Coleman survey.

Chester County Court of Appeals 02/04/97
Dorothy H. Long, v. David G. Long and Release Coatings of Tennessee, Inc.
Authoring Judge: Senior Judge Hewitt P. Tomlin
Trial Court Judge: Chancellor D. J. Alissandratos

In this divorce case Dorothy H. Long (“Wife”) filed suit for divorce in the Chancery Court of Shelby County from David G. Long (“Husband”) alleging inappropriate marital conduct. Husband filed an answer and a cross-complaint. The parties stipulated that Husband was guilty of inappropriate marital conduct. The chancellor entered an order awarding Wife a divorce on these grounds.
The chancellor at the same time appointed a Special Master and assigned him the responsibility of ascertaining if either party had dissipated or secreted marital assets during the marriage, determining the value of certain marital property and the current ownership of same and recommending to the court an appropriate division of marital assets, along with alimony, if any, as well as the assessment of costs and fees. After several hearings, the Special Master filed his final report to the chancellor covering the scope of his assignment. The chancellor affirmed the findings of the Special Master and included the Master’s findings in his final decree.

Shelby County Court of Appeals 02/04/97
John P. Squibb, Martha Jo Squibb and James H. Widener v. Ted C. Smith and Rose E. Smith - Concurring
Authoring Judge: Judge Don T. McMurray
Trial Court Judge: Chancellor Thomas J. Seeley

This action was instituted by the plaintiffs to recover a prorata share of monies they were required to pay on a guaranty agreement where in the defendants were co-guarantors. The trial court found that  there were three co-guarantors, Mr. Squibb, James H. Widener and Ted C. Smith (defendant).  He apportioned liabilit y equally among the three.  The court found that the purported signature of Ms. Smith on the guaranty agreement was not her signature.  The case was dismissed as to the defendant, Rose E. Smith.  No appeal was taken from the action of the court dismissing the case as to Ms. Smith.  Judgment was entered in favor of the plaintiffs, John P. Squibb and wife Martha Jo Squibb, in the amount of $45, 402.04 plus prejudgment interest at the rate of 10% per annum from April 10, 1991 to April 9, 1996, in the amount of $22, 701.02 for a total judgment of $68, 103.06.  A like judgment was entered in favor of the plaintiff, Widener.  From these judgments, the defendant appeals.  We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Washington County Court of Appeals 02/03/97
Harry Gray Smith, v. City of Knoxville, Code Enforcement
Authoring Judge: Presiding Judge Houston M. Goddard
Trial Court Judge: Chancellor Sharon Bell

This is an action for damages for personal injury and the negligent, mailicious, and wrongful destruction of real and personal property of the plaintiff, Harry Gray Smith. Plaintiff filed suit in the Chancery Court for Knox County alleging that the defendant destroyed three pieces of his property, located at 1417 Magnolia Avenue, 1421 Magnoli Avenue, and 400 Winona Street North, without preper notice. Plaintiff claimed that, not withstanding a "No Trepassing" sign he had erected on the premises, employees of the City destroyed the structure without service of any final condemnation or demlition notice. He further asserts that the defendant refused to allow him to remove medical equipment from one of the structures in which he was living. He further alleged that as a result of the demolition and verbal threats of bodily harm which he claims were made by agents of the defendant, laintiff suffered a heart attack necessitating hospitilization.

Court of Appeals 02/03/97
John T. Meador and wife, Pelea E. Meador, v. Charles E. Johnson and James O. Campbell v. Millard P. Oakley
Authoring Judge: Per Curiam
Trial Court Judge: Chancellor Frank V. Williams III

This case originated i the trial court as a boundary line dispute. Before we examine the merits of the issues raised on appeal, however, it is necessary for us to address a preliminary issue, i.e., was a notice of appeal timely filed. If a notice of appeal was not timely filed, we have no jurisdiction to entertain this appeal. See Rule 4, Tennessee Rule s of Appellate Procedur e .

Court of Appeals 02/03/97
Reginald Fentress v. Memphis Housing Authority
Authoring Judge: Judge David R. Farmer
Trial Court Judge: Judge Robert A. Lanier

Appellant, Reginald Fentress (Fentress), appeals from the summaryjudgment entered
by the trial court in favor of the appellee, Memphis Housing Authority (MHA). The issue before us is whether the trial court was correct in doing so upon finding, as a matter of law, that Fentress was not entitled to a grievance hearing prior to his termination of employment with MHA. For the reasons expressed hereafter, we affirm.

Shelby County Court of Appeals 02/03/97