Court of Appeals Opinions

Format: 07/28/2014
Format: 07/28/2014
Grover R. Bass, v. John C. Kimbrough
02A01-9508-CH-00178
Authoring Judge: Judge Alan E. Highers
Trial Court Judge: Chancellor Floyd Peete, Jr.

This case concerns liability in connection with the default on a promissory note for the purchase of stock in a closely held corporation. After a bench trial, the trial court awarded a judgment in favor of the plaintiff and also awarded attorneys’ fees to plaintiff. Two principal issues are before the Court. The first is whether the plaintiff gave the necessary parties proper notice of default under the terms of the promissory notes executed by the parties. The second is whether the guarantor of the promissory notes is liable under the personal guaranty if proper notice was, in fact, given. We find that the trial court was correct in its holding that proper notice was given and that the personal guarantor was liable. Accordingly, we affirm the trial court’s conclusion.

Shelby County Court of Appeals 10/03/96
Pamela Lemoine Ford v. Michael Burke Ford
02A01-9507-CH-00153
Authoring Judge: Judge Alan E. Highers
Trial Court Judge: Judge Joe G. Riley. Jr.

In this post-divorce proceeding, Pamela Ford (“wife”) filed a petition to modify child support and alimony. Although the trial court declined to increase alimony, the court increased the amount of child support that Michael Ford (“husband”) was obligated to pay based upon his increased income. Wife has appealed and argues that the trial court erred in several respects. First, she asserts that the trial court erred in holding that the husband’s receipt of principal from an irrevocable trust is not “gross income” as that term is defined within the child support guidelines. Next, she contends that the trial court improperly failed to consider the value of the trust in increasing child support. Furthermore, wife argues that the trial court should have imputed income to husband based upon his voluntary unemployment. Finally, wife argues that the trial court erred in denying her request for an increase in alimony. For the reasons stated below, the judgment below is affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded for further proceedings.

Dyer County Court of Appeals 10/03/96
Joseph Collins, III v. Helene Larose Clegg
02A01-9502-CH-00028
Authoring Judge: Judge Holly Kirby Lilley
Trial Court Judge: Judge Joe G. Riley. Jr.

The mother and father lived together in Michigan for approximately fifteen (15) years but were never married. They had a daughter, Cnanah, now seven (7) years of age.

Lake County Court of Appeals 10/03/96
William A. Winningham Executor of the Estate of Alston Winningham v. Tammy K. Winningham - Concurring
03A01-9604-PB-00152
Authoring Judge: Judge Don T. McMurray
Trial Court Judge: Judge Gary W. Dodson

We are called upon in this appeal to determine whether relying on the advice of an attorney in filing an unfounded will contest constitutes probable cause sufficient to avoid the enforcement of a forfeiture clause in the will. For the reasons set forth below, we find that such reliance does constitute probable cause, and reverse the judgment of the trial court.

Cumberland County Court of Appeals 10/02/96
Mark McCain v. Airport Honda and Bob Rutherford
03A01- 9603- CV- 00099
Authoring Judge: Judge Herschel Pickens Franks
Trial Court Judge: Judge W. Dale Young

In this action asking damages for alleged retaliatory discharge, the Trial Court granted employer summary judgment, and plaintiff has appealed. We affirm.

 

Court of Appeals 10/02/96
Ada Bell Brown and Beverly J. Everett, Marion Evertt Barton, and Gerald Joseph Everett, v. Ralph Everett (Individually) and as Executor of the Estate of Joseph Robert Everett, et al.
03A01-9605-00174
Authoring Judge: Judge Herschel Pickens Franks
Trial Court Judge: Judge Buddy L. Perry

Walter Everett died in 1993; his children Marion Everett Barton and Gerald Joseph Everett were substituted as plaintiffs in place of their father. In this contest of the will of the deceased, Joseph Everett, a jury returned special verdicts that the deceased did not have sufficient mental capacity to make a valid will, and Joseph Robert Everett, Deceased, was unduly influenced by Ralph Everett on March 11 to the extent that such influence amounted to coercion, destroying the free will of the deceased and substituting his will for the deceased and compelling the deceased to make a disposition he otherwise would not have made.

 

Bledsoe County Court of Appeals 10/02/96
Richard Briggs and Stephanie R. Briggs, v. Riversound Limited Partnership, William S. Nix, D/B/A WEN Enterprises, General Partner, and Daryl Wagner
03A01-9603-CV-00115
Authoring Judge: Judge Don T. McMurray
Trial Court Judge: Judge Dale C. Workman

The single issue in this case is whether a remote purchaser of a home may maintain a negligence action against the builder of the home despite a lack of contractual privity. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the defendant and this appeal resulted. We reverse the judgment of the trial court.

Knox County Court of Appeals 10/02/96
Victoria Angozi Anene v. John N. Namdi Anene
03A01-9511-CV-00387
Authoring Judge: Presiding Judge Houston M. Goddard
Trial Court Judge: Judge William L. Brown

The Defendant, John Namdi Anene appeals a judgment of the Circuit Court of Hamilton County granting Victoria Ngozi Anene's petition for divorce and awarding her custody of their three minor children. Mr. Anene raises five issues on appeal, two of which are jurisdictional. (See appendix.) As to the jurisdictional issues, we find that the Circuit Court of Hamilton was correct in assuming jurisdiction to hear both the divorce and custody issues. We find the remainint issues to be without merit.

 

Hamilton County Court of Appeals 10/02/96
Ronnie Wilson Perry v. Marla Renee Perry (Robinson)
01A01-9602-CH-00088
Authoring Judge: Judge Holly Kirby Lillard
Trial Court Judge: Chancellor C. K. Smith

This is a child custody case. Appellant Marla Perry sought to move out of state with the minor children of her previous marriage. In response, Appellee Ronnie Perry filed a petition seeking a change in custody. The trial court held that custody would be changed in the event that the mother moved out state. We reverse, based on the Tennessee Supreme Court’s decision in Aaby v. Strange, 924 S.W.2d 623 (Tenn. 1996).

Wilson County Court of Appeals 10/02/96
Teri Michelle Parker, v. Richard Ken Parker
01A01-9504-CH-00138
Authoring Judge: Judge Holly Kirby Lillard
Trial Court Judge: Chancellor Allen W. Wallace

In this case, Plaintiff-Appellant, Teri Michelle Parker (Wife), appeals the trial court’s decision to award custody of the parties' child, Dylan Ken Parker, to Defendant-Appellee, Richard Ken Parker (Husband), alleging that the custody determination was based on the effects of racial prejudice. We affirm the trial court’s award of custody to Husband.

Houston County Court of Appeals 10/02/96
Michael Scott Evans, v. Karen Marie Bisson Steeman - Dissenting
01A01-9511-JV-00508
Authoring Judge: Judge William C. Koch, Jr.
Trial Court Judge:

Michael Scott Evans is seeking nothing more than to acknowledge his parental responsibilities to Jacob Ryan Steelman. The majority, however, has decided that he is not entitled to prove in court that he is the boy’s biological father simply because the child’s mother was married to another man when he was born. This decision rests squarely on an erroneous judicial interpretation of Tennessee’s legitimation statutes. Rather than perpetuating injustice, our responsibility as common law judges is to remedy, not ignore, plain judicial mistakes.

Court of Appeals 10/02/96
Michael Scott Evans, v. Karen Marie Bisson Steelman - Concurring
01A01-9511-JV-00508
Authoring Judge: Judge Samuel L. Lewis
Trial Court Judge:

I fully concur in Judge Cantrell's opinion. I have read with much interest Judge Koch's dissenting opinion. The matters set forth in the dissenting opinion might make good public policy, but the setting of public policy is not a matter for this court or any court in Tennessee.

Davidson County Court of Appeals 10/02/96
Michael Scott Evens, v. Karen Maried Bisson Steelman
01A01-9511-JV-00508
Authoring Judge: Judge Ben H. Cantrell
Trial Court Judge: Judge Andrew J. Shookhoff

In this appeal we are asked to re-visit the question of whether a man who fathers a child by a married woman may legitimate the child. The Davidson County Juvenile Court held that the legitimation statute allowing a putative father to legitimate a child “not born in lawful wedlock” applied only to children born to unmarried women. If that interpretation holds, the appellant attacks the constitutionality of the statute on due process and equal protection grounds. We affirm the lower court’s interpretation of the statute and reject the appellant’s contention that the statute is constitutionally defective.

Davidson County Court of Appeals 10/02/96