Court of Appeals Opinions

Format: 12/14/2019
Format: 12/14/2019
Dennis Michael Harris, et ux v. Mickey Deanne Haynes, et al.
E2012-02213-COA-R3-CV
Authoring Judge: Judge D. Michael Swiney
Trial Court Judge: Judge Donald R. Elledge

This appeal concerns whether certain exclusions in a coverage document are permissible. Dennis Michael Harris (“Harris”), then a patrolman with the Anderson County Sheriff’s Department, was injured when he was struck by a vehicle driven by Mickey Deanne Haynes (“Haynes”). Harris and his wife, Judy A. Harris, (collectively, “the Plaintiffs”) sued Haynes and the alleged owner of the vehicle, Richard H. Furrow, in the Circuit Court for Anderson County (“the Trial Court”). The Plaintiffs also raised claims against Anderson County’s motor vehicle liability coverage provider, Tennessee Risk Management Trust (“TRMT”), for uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage. TRMT filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that under the relevant coverage document (“the Coverage Document”), Harris was excluded from uninsured coverage as he was an employee of Anderson County who had received workers compensation. The Trial Court granted TRMT’s motion. The Plaintiffs appeal. We hold that Anderson County was self-insured through TRMT, and, therefore, the uninsured/underinsured motorist statutes do not apply. The Coverage Document excluded employees such as Harris from uninsured coverage. We affirm.

Anderson County Court of Appeals 07/10/13
In Re: Dakota D., et al
E2013-00229-COA-R3-JV
Authoring Judge: Per Curiam
Trial Court Judge: Chancellor William E. Lantrip

The order from which the appellant, Charlie D., seeks to appeal was entered on November 30, 2012. The Notice of Appeal was filed on January 4, 2013, more than thirty (30) days from the date of entry of the November 30, 2012 order. Because the Notice of Appeal was not timely filed, we have no jurisdiction to consider this appeal.

Anderson County Court of Appeals 04/24/13
Ann C. King (Walden) v. David M. King
E2011-02456-COA-R3-CV
Authoring Judge: Judge D. Michael Swiney
Trial Court Judge: Chancellor William E. Lantrip

Ann C. King (“Wife”) filed a motion seeking to renew a 2001 judgment against David M. King (“Husband”). After a hearing, the Chancery Court for Anderson County (“Anderson Chancery Court”) entered an order renewing the judgment. Husband appeals to this Court raising issues regarding whether the Anderson Chancery Court lacked jurisdiction and whether the renewal of judgment complied with Tenn. R. Civ. P. 69.04. We hold that the Anderson Chancery Court had jurisdiction and did not err in renewing the judgment.

Anderson County Court of Appeals 02/27/13
In Re: Tiashaun C., et al
E2012-01514-COA-R3-PT
Authoring Judge: Presiding Judge Charles D. Susano, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Brandon Fisher

This is a termination of parental rights case pertaining to two minor children (collectively “the Children”) of the defendant, Valtrella C. (“Mother”). The Children were placed in the custody of the petitioners, Jason C. and Edana B., in November 2009. The Children had been removed from Mother by the Department of Children’s Services (“DCS”) because of Mother’s substance abuse problems. Jason C. and Edana B. filed a petition in June 2011 seeking to terminate the parental rights of Mother. They alleged that grounds for termination existed due to abandonment based on Mother’s willful failure to visit or pay more than token support. Following a bench trial, the court granted the petition after finding, by clear and convincing evidence, that Mother had willfully failed to visit the Children. The court also found, by clear and convincing evidence, that termination was in the best interest of the Children. Mother appeals. We affirm.

Anderson County Court of Appeals 02/22/13
In Re: Jarrel X.W.
E2012-00380-COA-R3-PT
Authoring Judge: Judge John W. McClarty
Trial Court Judge: Judge Brandon K. Fisher

This is a termination of parental rights case in which Guardian, along with Custodial Parent, sought to terminate the parental rights of Father to the Child. Following a hearing, the trial court terminated Father’s parental rights, finding that Father abandoned the Child by failing to visit and by failing to provide child support and a suitable home; that the conditions which led to removal persisted; and that termination of Father’s parental rights was in the best interest of the Child. Father appeals. We affirm the termination of Father’s parental rights.

Anderson County Court of Appeals 12/18/12
In Re: Leland C.L.
E2012-00031-COA-R3-PT
Authoring Judge: Judge Herschel P. Franks
Trial Court Judge: Judge Brandon Fisher

This is a termination of parental rights case involving the biological father, David R. (“Father”), of the minor child, Leland C.L. The child was taken into custody on June 14, 2010, at two months of age, due to the biological mother’s drug use and the fact that he tested positive for opiates and hydrocodone at birth. The Department of Children’s Services (“DCS”) filed a Petition to Terminate Parental Rights naming the father as a respondent on January 7, 2011. Following a bench trial, the Court granted the Petition upon finding, by clear and convincing evidence, that the father had abandoned the child by failing to provide a suitable home for him, and also that the father was in substantial noncompliance with his permanency plans. The Court further found that termination was in the child’s best interest. The father appeals. We affirm.

Anderson County Court of Appeals 12/17/12
Edna H. Irwin v. Christopher Martin Anderson
E2012-00477-COA-R3-CV
Authoring Judge: Judge Herschel Pickens Franks
Trial Court Judge: Judge Donald R. Elledge

Plaintiff received serious injuries in an automobile accident, when she turned left in front of the oncoming vehicle operated by defendant. The suit resulted in a jury trial wherein the jury returned a verdict for defendant, which was approved by the Trial Judge. On appeal, we affirm the Trial Judge's Judgment.

Anderson County Court of Appeals 12/17/12
Kenneth E. King v. Anderson County, Tennessee
E2012-00386-COA-R3-CV
Authoring Judge: Judge Charles D. Susano, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Donald R. Elledge

Kenneth E. King was arrested for driving on a revoked license. He was put in a cell with several violent criminals. At his arraignment, the court ordered him released. The person charged with processing the release delayed his release by simply doing nothing. While awaiting his release, Mr. King was assaulted by one of his cellmates. He sustained serious injuries, including partial loss of vision in one eye. He filed this action against Anderson County (“the County”). After a bench trial, the court found the County 55% at fault and King 45% at fault for provoking the assault. It determined that the total damages were $170,000 reduced to $93,500 to account for King’s comparative fault. The County appeals. We affirm.

Anderson County Court of Appeals 11/29/12
Joseph J. Levitt, Jr. v. City of Oak Ridge, et al.
E2011-02732-COA-R3-CV
Authoring Judge: Judge John W. McClarty
Trial Court Judge: Chancellor William Everett Lantrip

This appeal involves the efforts of Oak Ridge’s Board of Building and Housing Code Appeals to demolish buildings in Applewood Apartment Complex pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated section 13-21-101, Tennessee’s Slum Clearance and Redevelopment Statute. Owner filed a petition for writ of certiorari when the Board voted to demolish the buildings. The trial court granted the petition but granted the Board’s motion for summary judgment. Owner appeals. We reverse the grant of summary judgment on the issue of whether the Board acted without material evidence but affirm the grant of summary judgment on all other issues. The case is remanded for proceedings consistent with this opinion.

Anderson County Court of Appeals 10/30/12
Blair Wood, et al v. Tony Wolfenbarger, et al.
E2011-01953-COA-R3-CV
Authoring Judge: Judge D. Michael Swiney
Trial Court Judge: Judge Donald R. Elledge

Blair Wood and Gary Wood (“Plaintiffs”) sued Tony Wolfenbarger and Brenda Wolfenbarger (“Defendants”) alleging, in part, that Defendants had wrongfully cut down six trees on Plaintiffs’ real property. After a trial, the Trial Court entered its judgment finding and holding, inter alia, that Defendants were liable for negligently cutting the trees, that the current market value of the timber cut was $840, and that Plaintiffs were entitled to a judgment in double the amount of the current market value of the timber pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. § 43-28-312. Plaintiffs appeal to this Court alleging that the Trial Court erred in awarding damages based upon the timber value. We find and hold that the evidence preponderates against the finding that timber value was the correct measure of damages in this case. We modify the Trial Court’s judgment to award Plaintiffs damages of $62,100 based upon the trunk formula method of valuation and affirm the judgment as so modified.

Anderson County Court of Appeals 08/15/12
Griffith Services, LLC, et al v. Arrow Gas & Oil, Inc.
E2012-00507-COA-R3-CV
Authoring Judge: Judge Charles D. Susano, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Donald R. Elledge

This appeal is from an order of the trial court entered February 23, 2012, which order denied the motion of the plaintiffs below, as later supplemented, seeking to amend, alter or set aside a prior order of the trial court dismissing the plaintiffs’ complaint. The order appealed from is not a final order. Accordingly, the plaintiffs’ appeal is hereby dismissed.

Anderson County Court of Appeals 07/24/12
In Re: Michael B.Q.
E2012-00219-COA-R3-PT
Authoring Judge: Judge J. Steven Stafford
Trial Court Judge: Judge Brandon K. Fisher

This is a termination of parental rights case. Father/Appellant appeals the trial court's termination of his parental rights to the minor child at issue. By clear and convincing evidence, the trial court found two grounds for termination of Father’s parental rights: (1) abandonment by an incarcerated parent, and (2) prison sentence of more than ten years, imposed when the child was under the age of eight. The trial court also found, by clear and convincing evidence, that termination of Father’s parental rights was in the child’s best interest. Discerning no error, we affirm.

Anderson County Court of Appeals 07/12/12
Amber D. Brewster v. Nicholas Galloway
E2011-01455-COA-R3-CV
Authoring Judge: Judge John W. McClarty
Trial Court Judge: Chancellor William E. Lantrip

This appeal arises out of a custody dispute over Amber D. Brewster and Nicholas Galloway’s minor child. When presented with a petition to establish paternity and set child support, Nicholas Galloway acknowledged paternity but filed a petition to be named the primary residential parent. The trial court denied Nicholas Galloway’s petition, designated Amber D. Brewster as the primary residential parent, and granted Nicholas Galloway co-parenting time. We affirm the decision of the trial court.

Anderson County Court of Appeals 07/11/12