Court of Appeals Opinions

Format: 04/23/2017
Format: 04/23/2017
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
Fredrika A. Steiner v. The Parman Corporation - Concurring
01A01-9705-CV-00233
Authoring Judge: Judge Ben H. Cantrell
Trial Court Judge:

I concur in the result reached in Judge Todd’s opinion. My only reasonfor writing separately is to focus on what I perceive to be decisive in this case: the fact that the defendant did not violate a duty to the plaintiff. In that way, I avoid the nagging problem of the court apportioning fault in a case in which the plaintiff was entitled to a jury trial.

Davidson County Court of Appeals 12/05/97
Janice Blalock Yates v. William Mark Yates
02A01-9706-CH-00122
Authoring Judge: Judge David R. Farmer
Trial Court Judge: Judge William B. Acree

Defendant William Mark Yates (Husband) appeals the final divorce decree entered by the trial court which awarded primary physical custody of the parties’ minor child to Plaintiff/Appellee Janice Blalock Yates (Wife), ordered the Husband to pay child support and alimony in solido to the Wife, and distributed the parties’ real and personal property. We affirm.

Dyer County Court of Appeals 12/04/97
David McAlister v. Peregrine Enterprises, Inc., formerly known as Empire Enterprises, Inc., et al
02A01-9610-CH-00262
Authoring Judge: Judge Holly Kirby Lillard
Trial Court Judge: Chancellor D. J. Alissandratos

This suit involves an action for the redemption of preferred stock. The trial court found that the stock could be redeemed even though the redemption would render the corporation unable to pay its debts in the normal course of business. We reverse and remand.

Shelby County Court of Appeals 12/04/97
Annette Dubose, v. Debbie Ramey
02A01-9705-CV-00096
Authoring Judge: Judge Alan E. Highers
Trial Court Judge: Judge John Franklin Murchison

Plaintiff/Appellant, Annette Dubose (“Dubose”), appeals the judgment of the trial court denying her motion for a new trial and specifically finding that the jury verdict and the judgment previously entered in this case were proper and correct. For reasons hereinafter stated, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Madison County Court of Appeals 12/02/97
Ronnie Bradfield v. Billy Compton, et al
02A01-9705-CH-00111
Authoring Judge: Judge Holly Kirby Lillard
Trial Court Judge: Chancellor J. Steven Stafford

This case involves a claim under 42 U.S.C.A. § 1983, filed by a state prisoner against employees of the Tennessee Department of Corrections. One defendant is a physician employed by Department. Plaintiff appeals the dismissal of his claims against all defendants. We affirm.

Lake County Court of Appeals 12/02/97
John H. Fournier v. M. V. Tichenor and Bowling, Bowling, and Associates
02A01-9602-CV-00032
Authoring Judge: Judge David R. Farmer
Trial Court Judge: Judge Robert A. Lanier

Plaintiff-Appellant, John H. Fournier (“Fournier), appeals the order of the trial court entering summary judgment in favor of Defendants-Appellees, M. V. Tichenor (“Tichenor”) and Bowling, Bowling & Associates (“Law Firm”), on Fournier’s claims for negligent misrepresentation and breach of contract.

Shelby County Court of Appeals 12/02/97