Tennessee Administrative Office of the Courts

Appellate Court Opinions

Format: 08/02/2015
Format: 08/02/2015
Nathan Jack Toler, a minor child, B/N/F Shirley Lack and Shirley Lack next of kin and as Administratrix of the Estate of Nathan Jack Toler, Jr., v. City of Cookeville, D/B/A Cookeville General Hospital, et al.

Appellee, Dr. Mark Giese, is one of several defendants involved in a medical malpractice suit arising out of the alleged wrongful death of Nathan Jackson Toler, Jr. The trial court entered an interlocutory order granting summary judgment to Dr. Giese based upon the plaintiffs' failure to properly secure service of process on him. Pursuant to Tenn. R. App. P. 9, Plaintiffs have appealed. We have determined that the trial court was correct and therefore affirm the grant of summary judgment.

Putnam County Court of Appeals 02/05/97
James Fletcher and Ronald Lanier Fletcher v. Kenneth Sterlin Vasser

The holder of an easement across his neighbor’s property sought to replace two gates with cattle guards. The Chancery Court of Coffee County denied the request. We affirm.

Coffee County Court of Appeals 02/05/97
Vickie Elaine Spiegel, v. Jeremy Percy Julian Spiegel

The issues on appeal in this divorce case include the restrictions put on the father’s visits with his minor daughter and the award of attorneys fees to the mother. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.


Rutherford County Court of Appeals 02/05/97
Barbara Gatlin, v. State of Tennessee, Department of Human Services, In the Matter of Felicia Gatlin, a child under the age of 18

The Juvenile Court of Davidson County terminated Barbara Gatlin’s parental rights respecting her ten year old daughter, Felicia. Because we find that the record does not contain clear and convincing evidence of abandonment, we reverse.

Davidson County Court of Appeals 02/05/97
Mavis A. Combs, v. The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, and the Civil Service Commission

This is an appeal by petitioner/appellant, Mavis A. Combs, from the decision of the Davidson County Chancery Court upholding the decision of respondent/appellee, the Metropolitan Civil Service Commission (“the Commission”), to deny Ms. Combs in-line-of-duty injury leave. The facts out of which this matter arose are as follows.

Davidson County Court of Appeals 02/05/97
Mohammad Al-Haddad v. Walter Ritter and Wife, Helma Ritter

Pursuant to Rule 11, Tenn. R. Civ. P., the trial court sanctioned the appellants and their attorneys. The appellants argue on appeal that they cannot be sanctioned under Rule 11 because they did not sign the offending pleading and that the facts do not establish a violation of the rule. We hold that a party may be sanctioned under Rule 11 without actually signing the pleadings, but we find that the facts of this case do not justify a Rule 11 sanction and that the proof fails to show any expenses incurred as a result of the alleged violation. Therefore we reverse the judgment against the appellants for sanctions.

Williamson County Court of Appeals 02/05/97
Amanda Carol Croslin and Phyllis Croslin Baker, v. Danny Keith Croslin, wife Betty Jean Croslin and Stanley Gardner Haskins

This is an adoption case. Petitioners, Amanda Croslin and Phyllis Croslin Baker, the adoptive child’s mother and maternal grandmother respectively, filed a petition to set aside the adoption of the child, Danna Elisabeth Croslin, by the maternal grandfather, Danny Keith Croslin, and his wife, Betty Jean Croslin. Also named as a defendant in the petition is Stanley Gardner Haskins, the adoptive child’s natural father. From the order of the trial court nullifying and setting aside the adoption, Danny Keith Croslin has appealed. Mr. Haskins did not file any pleading in the trial court and is not a party to this appeal.

Smith County Court of Appeals 02/05/97
Erma Hardesty and Jim Hardesty v. Service Merchandise Company, Inc.

This appeal is taken from the trial court’s order of June 7, 1995, granting summary judgment in favor of Defendant Service Merchandise Company, Inc. (hereinafter, “Service Merchandise”). Specifically, the trial court found that there was no proof of a dangerous condition created by Service Merchandise and no proof that Service Merchandise had either actual or constructive notice that a dangerous condition existed. Upon consideration of the record before us, the trial court’s order is affirmed.

Shelby County Court of Appeals 02/05/97
Erma Hardesty and Jim Hardesty, v. Service Merchandise Company, Inc.

The majority holds that the plaintiff cannot establish constructive notice. I am constrained to agree. However, I invite our Supreme Court to revisit this area of law.

Court of Appeals 02/05/97
Aetna Insurance Company and Church of God of Prophecy, v. Little Giant Mfg. Co., Inc. and Edwin L. Wiegand Division of Emerson Electric Company

This complaint was filed by the Church of God of Prophecy against the Little Giant Mfg. Co. and Kick-Shaw, Inc., alleging that its property was destroyed by fire caused by a defective water heater manufactured by Little Giant and sold to the plaintiff by Kick-Shaw, Inc. Various defenses were interposed by the defendants, none of which is relevant to the issue before us. Thereafter, the complaint was repeatedly amended; new parties came and went; and, in its present posture, the plaintiffs are Aetna Insurance Company and Church of God of Prophecy and the defendants are Little Giant Mfg. Co., Inc. and Emerson Electric Company.

Court of Appeals 02/05/97
State of Tennessee, Department of Human Services v. Charlene Avery Fountain

This appeal came on to be heard upon the record from the Juvenile Court of Knox County and briefs filed on behalf of the respective parties. Upon consideration thereof, this court is of the opinion that there is no reversible error in the trial court’s judgment.

Knox County Court of Appeals 02/05/97
Richard E. Perry, and wife, Tamelia Perry, v. Terry Flatford and wife, Teresa Flatford, Brenda Dye, Gordon White, Remax Preferred Properties, Inc., David Snelson, Beverly V. McMahan, Crossroads Realty, et al.

This is an action for damages allegedly sustained by the plaintiffs as a result  of misrepresentations made to them in their purchase of a residence.

Union County Court of Appeals 02/05/97
Roscoe W. Fields, Sr., v. Bobby Ray McGee and Lillian Bean

Mr. Fields says that Joe Torrence, the Circuit Court Clerk of Davidson County, charged him an excessive fee for a certified copy of a traffic citation, for which he attempted to seek redress in General Sessions Court of Knox County. He says that the Judge of the Knox County General Sessions Court and the Clerk thereof refused to allow him to file his warrant, whereupon he attempted to file it in Davidson County, and was rebuffed; he thereupon attempted to file a redressing action in the Davidson Chancery Court, and was again rebuffed. He returned to Knox County, and filed this pro se action for damages against Judge McGee and Clerk Bean, asserting that they violated his civil rights under 42 U. S. C. §1983, by refusing to allow him to file the action against Clerk Torrence. The trial judge directed a verdict for the defendants at the close of the plaintiff’s case, holding that he had failed to make out a prima facie case.

Knox County Court of Appeals 02/05/97
Dorothy H. Long, v. David G. Long and Release Coatings of Tennessee, Inc.

In this divorce case Dorothy H. Long (“Wife”) filed suit for divorce in the Chancery Court of Shelby County from David G. Long (“Husband”) alleging inappropriate marital conduct. Husband filed an answer and a cross-complaint. The parties stipulated that Husband was guilty of inappropriate marital conduct. The chancellor entered an order awarding Wife a divorce on these grounds.
The chancellor at the same time appointed a Special Master and assigned him the responsibility of ascertaining if either party had dissipated or secreted marital assets during the marriage, determining the value of certain marital property and the current ownership of same and recommending to the court an appropriate division of marital assets, along with alimony, if any, as well as the assessment of costs and fees. After several hearings, the Special Master filed his final report to the chancellor covering the scope of his assignment. The chancellor affirmed the findings of the Special Master and included the Master’s findings in his final decree.

Shelby County Court of Appeals 02/04/97
Bradley Mark Butler, v. Prince E. Spradlin and wife, Sylvia S. Spradlin

The purpose of this litigation was to establish the boundary line between property owned by the Plaintiff, Bradley Mark Butler, and the defendants, Prince E. Spradlin and Sylvia S. Spradlin. Each party presented several witnesses and exhibits including the testimony of their respective surveyors. Upon completion of the evidence, the chancellor made findings of fact including a finding that the plaintiff had established his title by a clear preponderance of the evidence. The court accepted the survey of Eddie Coleman, the surveyor who testified in behalf of the plaintiff, and established the property line according to the Coleman survey.

Chester County Court of Appeals 02/04/97
Georgeanne M. Hofer, v. James Patrick Hofer

Georgeanne M. Hofer (“Wife”) filed suit for divorce in the Chancery Court of Shelby County against James P. Hofer (“Husband”) seeking a divorce, division of marital property and alimony. Following a bench trial the chancellor awarded Wife a divorce on the ground of inappropriate marital conduct. In addition, he awarded Wife rehabilitative alimony for three years, ordered Husband to pay a portion of Wife’s fees and expenses as alimony in solido and divided the m arital property between the parties.

Shelby County Court of Appeals 02/03/97
Reginald Fentress v. Memphis Housing Authority

Appellant, Reginald Fentress (Fentress), appeals from the summaryjudgment entered
by the trial court in favor of the appellee, Memphis Housing Authority (MHA). The issue before us is whether the trial court was correct in doing so upon finding, as a matter of law, that Fentress was not entitled to a grievance hearing prior to his termination of employment with MHA. For the reasons expressed hereafter, we affirm.

Shelby County Court of Appeals 02/03/97
John T. Meador and wife, Pelea E. Meador, v. Charles E. Johnson and James O. Campbell v. Millard P. Oakley

This case originated i the trial court as a boundary line dispute. Before we examine the merits of the issues raised on appeal, however, it is necessary for us to address a preliminary issue, i.e., was a notice of appeal timely filed. If a notice of appeal was not timely filed, we have no jurisdiction to entertain this appeal. See Rule 4, Tennessee Rule s of Appellate Procedur e .

Court of Appeals 02/03/97
Harry Gray Smith, v. City of Knoxville, Code Enforcement

This is an action for damages for personal injury and the negligent, mailicious, and wrongful destruction of real and personal property of the plaintiff, Harry Gray Smith. Plaintiff filed suit in the Chancery Court for Knox County alleging that the defendant destroyed three pieces of his property, located at 1417 Magnolia Avenue, 1421 Magnoli Avenue, and 400 Winona Street North, without preper notice. Plaintiff claimed that, not withstanding a "No Trepassing" sign he had erected on the premises, employees of the City destroyed the structure without service of any final condemnation or demlition notice. He further asserts that the defendant refused to allow him to remove medical equipment from one of the structures in which he was living. He further alleged that as a result of the demolition and verbal threats of bodily harm which he claims were made by agents of the defendant, laintiff suffered a heart attack necessitating hospitilization.

Court of Appeals 02/03/97
John P. Squibb, Martha Jo Squibb and James H. Widener v. Ted C. Smith and Rose E. Smith - Concurring

This action was instituted by the plaintiffs to recover a prorata share of monies they were required to pay on a guaranty agreement where in the defendants were co-guarantors. The trial court found that  there were three co-guarantors, Mr. Squibb, James H. Widener and Ted C. Smith (defendant).  He apportioned liabilit y equally among the three.  The court found that the purported signature of Ms. Smith on the guaranty agreement was not her signature.  The case was dismissed as to the defendant, Rose E. Smith.  No appeal was taken from the action of the court dismissing the case as to Ms. Smith.  Judgment was entered in favor of the plaintiffs, John P. Squibb and wife Martha Jo Squibb, in the amount of $45, 402.04 plus prejudgment interest at the rate of 10% per annum from April 10, 1991 to April 9, 1996, in the amount of $22, 701.02 for a total judgment of $68, 103.06.  A like judgment was entered in favor of the plaintiff, Widener.  From these judgments, the defendant appeals.  We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Washington County Court of Appeals 02/03/97
Participated In The Case of Jones v. Greene, App. No. 01A01-9505-Ch-00187 (Tenn.
Court of Appeals 01/31/97
Davidson County Court of Appeals 01/31/97
Fentress County Court of Appeals 01/31/97
Davidson County Court of Appeals 01/31/97
Davidson County Court of Appeals 01/31/97