Court of Appeals Opinions

Format: 09/24/2016
Format: 09/24/2016
TRW Steering Systems Company, v. John D. Snavely
03A01-9706-CH-00216
Authoring Judge: Judge Charles D. Susano, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Chancellor Earl H. Henley

This is a suit for declaratory judgment. The petitioner, TRW Koyo Steering Systems Company (“TRW Koyo”), seeks a declaration that a document filed by the defendant, John D. Snavely (“Snavely”), in the Monroe County Register of Deeds’ office is a cloud on its title to real property in Monroe County. The trial court granted TRW Koyo summary judgment, decreeing that the purported lien filed by Snavely “is...of no legal effect and, thus, is lifted and removed from [TRW Koyo’s] title.” Snavely appealed pro se.

Monroe County Court of Appeals 12/09/97
C. Sam Roberts v. James E. Houston
03A01-9706-CH-00199
Authoring Judge: Judge Herschel Pickens Franks
Trial Court Judge: Chancellor Billy Joe White

Plaintiff brought this action against defendant and his wife, Diane, alleging that defendant “entered into agreement with plaintiff for plaintiff to grade and excavate . . . in order to make said land usable”. Plaintiff further averred that he expended over $29,000.00 for heavy equipment and operators on excavation, and “purchased and installed piping at the cost of $3,604.00, for a total due in the amount of $33,530.09".

Court of Appeals 12/09/97
Robert W. Bagby, v. Dean Russell Carricco
03A01-9705-CV-00183
Authoring Judge: Judge Charles D. Susano, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Chancellor G. Richard Johnson

In this case, the plaintiff claims that the defendant made an intentional misrepresentation in connection with the sale of a tract of unimproved real property. Following a bench trial, the court found that the defendant, Dean Russell Carrico (“Carrico”), had fraudulently misrepresented a material fact, resulting in a judgment of $21,911.97 for the plaintiff, Dr. Robert W. Bagby (“Bagby”). The trial court also found that Carrico’s conduct violated the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act of 1977, T.C.A. § 47-18-101, et seq. (“the Act”). Carrico appealed, raising three issues that present the following questions for our review:

Carter County Court of Appeals 12/09/97
Wade Spurling D.C. v. Kirby Parkway Chiropractic, et al
02A01-9609-CH-00225
Authoring Judge: Judge David R. Farmer
Trial Court Judge: Chancellor D. J. Alissandratos

The plaintiff, Wade Spurling, D.C., appeals from the order of the trial court granting the defendants’ motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted pursuant to Rule 12.02(6) T.R.C.P. Spurling filed a complaint titled “Complaint For Deceit in Inducement to Contract, Promissory Fraud, Fraud, Intentional Interference With Performance ofContractual Obligations and Breach of Contract.” The complaint alleges that Plaintiff owned and operated Spurling Chiropractic Clinic (SCC). He entered into negotiations with Defendant Michael K. Plambeck (Plambeck) for Plambeck to purchase SCC.

Shelby County Court of Appeals 12/09/97
Gloria E. Hill-Evans v. Bredell Michael Evans, Sr.
02A01-9607-CV-00157
Authoring Judge: Judge David R. Farmer
Trial Court Judge: Judge George H. Brown, Jr.

In this divorce action brought by Gloria E. Hill-Evans (Mother) against Bredell Michael Evans, Sr. (Father), the trial court awarded custody of the parties’ two minor sons to Mother with Father to have reasonable visitation. However, the trial court’s decree further provided that visitation be suspended “until both of the parties and the children have completed a counseling program which is satisfactory to the court, and the court has been furnished a report that the counseling course has been successfully completed. When the counseling process has been successfully completed, the court will consider the defendant’s visitation rights.”

Shelby County Court of Appeals 12/09/97
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