Court of Appeals Opinions

Format: 05/28/2016
Format: 05/28/2016
Theorun J. Murvin and Melody S. Murvin v. Thomas F. Cofer and Cynthia H. Cofer
03A01-9702-CH-00055
Authoring Judge: Judge Charles D. Susano, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Chancellor Howell N. Peoples

This dispute arose out of the sale of a residence in Signal Mountain, Tennessee. The trial court found that the sellers, Thomas F. Cofer and wife, Cynthia H. Cofer, had violated the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act of 1977 (“the Act”) in connection with the sale of their five-bedroom, two and a halfbath residence to the plaintiffs, Theoren J. Murvin and wife, Melody S. Murvin. The Cofers appealed, arguing that the Act does not apply to this transaction, and that the evidence does not show that the Cofers “knowingly withheld information from the [Murvins] to constitute fraud.”

Hamilton County Court of Appeals 12/08/97
Jerry Hammock and wife, Ruby Hammock, et al., v. Sumner County, Tennessee
01A01-9710-CV-00600
Authoring Judge: Judge William C. Koch, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Thomas Goodall

This interlocutory appeal involves the right of a party to discover the appraisal report of a testifying expert in a condemnation case. The Circuit Court for Sumner County denied the property owners’ request for the appraisal report in order to prepare to depose the appraiser on the grounds that the report is “privileged, as work porduct [sic]” but granted the property owners permission to apply for an interlocutory appeal pursuant to Tenn. R. App. P. 9. We concur that an interlocutory appeal will prevent needless, expensive, and protracted litigation in this case. Because the application and the response thereto fully set forth the parties’ positions and the material facts, we dispense with further briefing and oral argument and proceed to the merits in order to save the parties additional time and expense.1 We vacate the trial court’s order and remand the case with instructions to enter an order compelling the production of the testifying appraiser’s reports.
 

Sumner County Court of Appeals 12/05/97
Fairly Hubbard Adelsperger, v. David Robert Adelsperger
01A01-9705-CH-00206
Authoring Judge: Judge William C. Koch, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Chancellor Robert E. Corlew, III

This appeal presents a custody and visitation dispute. The parties were declared divorced in the Chancery Court for Rutherford County, and the wife received sole custody of the parties’ three minor children. Six months later, the wife moved to Mississippi, and the father petitioned for a change of custody. Following a bench trial, the trial court granted the father custody of the children after concluding that there had been a material change of circumstances and that placing the children in the father’s custody would be in their best interests. The mother asserts on this appeal that the evidence does not support the trial court’s decision. We agree and, therefore, reverse the judgment.

Rutherford County Court of Appeals 12/05/97
Ginger C. Snead and James D. Snead, v. Lois V. Metts
01A01-9702-CV-00085
Authoring Judge: Judge David R. Farmer
Trial Court Judge: Judge Henry Denmark Bell

The plaintiffs, Ginger C. Snead and James D. Snead, sued the defendant, Lois A. Metts as a result of a vehicular accident which occurred on July 22, 1994. It is undisputed that the car driven by Ms. Metts struck the car driven by Ms. Snead in the rear while the Snead vehicle was stopped at a stop sign. Ms. Snead sued for injuries and damages and Mr. Snead sued for loss of consortium.
 

Williamson County Court of Appeals 12/05/97
Jerry Ray Brown, v. Phillip L. Davidson
01A01-9702-CV-00049
Authoring Judge: Judge Holly Kirby Lillard
Trial Court Judge: Judge Thomas W. Brothers

This is a legal malpractice action. The trial court dismissed the action as time-barred by the
applicable statute of limitations. We affirm.

Davidson County Court of Appeals 12/05/97
Reiko McCullough v. Whitford B. McCullough
01A01-9701-CV-00039
Authoring Judge: Judge Holly Kirby Lillard
Trial Court Judge: Judge Muriel Robinson

This case involves a petition for the modification of alimony payments. The ex-husband
appeals the trial court’s denial of his petition to reduce his alimony obligations to his ex-wife. We
affirm.

Davidson County Court of Appeals 12/05/97
Joni Smart Holt v. Jack Sanders Holt
01A01-9609-CH-00423
Authoring Judge: Judge William C. Koch, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Chancellor Tom E. Gray

This appeal involves the dissolution of a nineteen-year marriage. The wife filed suit for divorce in the Chancery Court for Sumner County but then suspended the proceedings while the parties attempted to reconcile. The efforts proved fruitless, and, following a bench trial, the trial court granted the wife a divorce on the grounds of adultery. The trial court also awarded the wife custody of the parties’ two children, divided the marital estate, and awarded the wife spousal support as well as additional funds for her legal expenses. The husband takes issue on this appeal with the financial aspects of the divorce decree, including the division of the marital property, the long-term spousal support award, and the additional award to defray the wife’s legal expenses at trial. While the trial court properly divided the marital property and awarded the wife funds for her legal expenses at trial, we modify the spousal support award to provide for rehabilitative alimony and for reduced longterm spousal support.

Sumner County Court of Appeals 12/05/97
State of Tennessee O/B/O Juanita Whitehead v. Mattie (Whitehead) Thompson
01A01-9511-CH-00538
Authoring Judge: Judge William C. Koch, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Chancellor James L. Weatherford

This appeal involves a trial court’s authority to enter and enforce a child support award when proceedings involving the child were already pending in another court. After the Wayne County Juvenile Court gave custody of the child to the State in a dependent and neglect proceeding, the Department of Human Services filed separate petitions in the Chancery Court for Wayne County seeking to require the child’s divorced parents to pay child support. The trial court directed both parents to pay child support to the State. After the State’s repeated efforts over five years to require the mother to pay child support, she questioned the trial court’s subject matter jurisdiction because the dependent and neglect proceeding was still pending in the juvenile court. The trial court denied the mother’s motion to dismiss, and on this appeal, the mother renews her claim that the trial court should have deferred to the juvenile court. We agree and, therefore, reverse the order denying the mother’s motion to dismiss.

Wayne County Court of Appeals 12/05/97
Sandra K. Baker (Abroms), v. State of Tennessee, ex rel., Gary D. Baker
01A01-9509-CV-00428
Authoring Judge: Judge William C. Koch, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Walter C. Kurtz

This appeal involves a trial court’s discretion not to employ the mechanisms in Title IV-D for the payment and collection of child support. In a post-divorce proceeding seeking changes in visitation and child support arrangements, the Circuit Court for Davidson County declined to order the obligor parent to execute a wage assignment or to pay child support through the trial court clerk. On this appeal, the Attorney General and Reporter, on behalf of the Title IV-D contractor who represented the custodial parent, asserts that the trial court was statutorily required to direct the non-custodial parent to pay child support through the trial court clerk. We agree. Even though requiring the child support to be paid through the trial court clerk will, in this case, extract an unnecessary five percent penalty from the noncustodial spouse, paying child support through the trial court clerk is statutorily required in Title IV-D proceedings.

Davidson County Court of Appeals 12/05/97
William W. Goad, Jr., v. Alphonse Pasipanodya, M.D., Meharry Hubbard Hospital, Frank Thomas, M.D. and Larry Woodlee
01A01-9509-CV-00426
Authoring Judge: Judge William C. Koch, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Hamilton V. Gayden, Jr.

This appeal involves a prisoner’s medical malpractice suit stemming from the repair of an epigastric hernia. The prisoner filed a pro se complaint against the surgeon who had performed the surgery, the hospital where the surgery was performed, and a physician and physician’s assistant employed by the prison. The Circuit Court for Davidson County first granted the motion for summary judgment filed by the physician’s assistant and later granted the summary judgment motion filed by the hospital. The prisoner appealed from the order summarily dismissing his claims against the hospital. We have determined that the prisoner’s appeal must be dismissed because he has not complied with the mandatory requirements of Tenn. R. App. P. 3(f) and 4(a).

Davidson County Court of Appeals 12/05/97
Phillip Gene McDowell vs. Roberta Grissom Boyd - Concurring
01A01-9509-CH-00413
Authoring Judge: Judge William C. Koch, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Charles D. Haston, Sr.

This appeal involves a posthumous paternity dispute. While the decedent’s estate was pending in probate court, a person claiming to be the decedent’s son filed a petition in the Chancery Court for Van Buren County against the decedent’s estate and his widow seeking to establish the petitioner’s right to inherit part of the decedent’s estate. The trial court  heard the evidence without a jury and determined that the petitioner had presented clear and convincing evidence that he was the decedent’s  biological son. The decedent’s wife asserts on this appeal that the evidence does not support the trial court’s conclusion. We affirm the judgment.

Van Buren County Court of Appeals 12/05/97
Antonio Sweatt v. Robert Conley, et al.
01A01-9706-CH-00247
Authoring Judge: Judge Samuel L. Lewis
Trial Court Judge: Chancellor Ellen Hobbs Lyle

This is an appeal by petitioner/appellant, Antonio Sweatt, from an order of the Davidson County Chancery Court dismissing Appellant’s petition against respondents/appellees Robert Conley, William Calhoun, Dale Basham, Shelia Roberts, Hattie Moore, Edna Freeman, and Dr. Harold Butler. The chancery court dismissed Appellant’s petition with prejudice after determining Appellant failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted. The facts out of which this matter arose are as follows

Davidson County Court of Appeals 12/05/97
Fredrika A. Steiner v. The Parman Corporation - Concurring
01-A-01-9705-CV-00233
Authoring Judge: Judge Henry F. Todd
Trial Court Judge: Judge Walter C. Kurtz

The plaintiff, Fredrika A. Steiner, has appealed from the summary dismissal of her suit against the defendant, The Parman Corporation, for damages for personal injury sustained in a fall on the premises of  defendant.

Davidson County Court of Appeals 12/05/97