TN Court of Appeals

IN RE JAYSON M.

Father appeals the termination of his parental rights on the grounds of abandonment by willful failure to visit, contending that he was not properly notified of the hearing to terminate his rights and was denied his right to counsel. Upon review of the record, we vacate the judgment and remand for further proceedings.

Attorney 1: 

Joseph M. Viglione, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Allen T., Jr.

Attorney 2: 

Herbert H. Slatery, III, Attorney General and Reporter; Ellison M. Berryhill, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, Tennessee Department of Children’s Services.

Sherry Mahar, Knoxville, Tennessee, Guardian Ad Litem.

Judge: 
DINKINS

JIMMY D. OGLE V. JULIE D. DUFF

Husband and Wife were married for approximately five and one-half years when Husband filed a complaint for divorce. Wife filed a counter-complaint for a divorce. The trial court granted the parties a divorce based on stipulated grounds, classified the parties’ assets as separate or marital, and divided the marital estate.

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Attorney 1: 

Brian E. Nichols, Loudon, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jimmy D. Ogle.

Attorney 2: 

Mandy M. Hancock, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Julie D. Duff.

Judge: 
BENNETT

IN RE MARTESE P.

This appeal arises from the termination of Mother’s parental rights. The child was removed from Mother’s custody in November 2013, when the child was twelve months old, after Mother and the child tested positive for drugs. On the petition of the Department of Children’s Services, the juvenile court adjudicated the child dependent and neglected based on the finding that Mother committed severe child abuse as defined in Tenn. Code Ann. § 37-1-102. In September 2014, DCS placed the child in the custody of Petitioners.

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Attorney 1: 

Lee R. Sparks, Jackson, Tennessee, for the appellant, Kelsey K.

Attorney 2: 

Joseph T. Howell, Jackson, Tennessee, for the appellee, James C. and Sarah C.

Judge: 
CLEMENT

IN RE COLBY L.

Mother appeals the termination of her parental rights on the grounds of abandonment by willful failure to visit and support, contending that her failure to visit and support was not willful. Discerning no error, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Attorney 1: 

Lauren L. Sherrell, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellant, Beth A. M.

Attorney 2: 

Hannah C. Stokes, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellee, Christopher D. L. and Wendy G.L.

Terri Braswell Gilbert, Ooltewah, Tennessee, Guardian Ad Litem.

CLAIRE NICOLA BELL v. TIMOTHY JOHN BELL

CORRECTION: Page 1 added Charles D. Susano, Jr., filed a separate concurring opinion.

This appeal concerns visitation in a post-divorce setting. Claire Nicola Bell (“Mother”) and Timothy John Bell (“Father”) are parents of the two minor children at issue, ages eleven and seven at trial (“the Children”). Mother and Father divorced in 2012. Both parents were named “co-primary residential parents” and each parent received equal visitation time with the Children. Later, as the arrangement grew contentious, Mother filed a petition for modification seeking to be named exclusive primary residential parent. Father, in turn, filed a counter-petition seeking the same designation.

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Attorney 1: 

Janie Parks Varnell and Bryan H. Hoss, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellant, Claire Nicola Bell.

Attorney 2: 

Russell Anne Swafford, Dunlap, Tennessee, for the appellee, Timothy John Bell.

Judge: 
SWINEY

JASON BAINE v. BRENDA WOODS

A father appeals the denial of his petition to modify a permanent parenting plan. The juvenile court found no material change in circumstance had occurred sufficient to modify the primary residential parent designation. The court also denied the father’s subsequent motion to alter or amend the judgment. Because the father failed to file a transcript or a statement of the evidence, we presume that the evidence presented at trial supported the court’s determination that no material change in circumstance occurred.

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Attorney 1: 

Samuel W. Hinson, Lexington, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jason Baine.

Attorney 2: 

K. Michelle Morris-DeLoach, Lexington, Tennessee, for the appellee, Brenda Woods.

Judge: 
MCBRAYER

WILLIAM DALE ALSUP v. DAVID C. ALSUP

This is a declaratory judgment case. Decedent, mother to the parties, died testate, leaving a holographic will that divided her real property between her two sons, David Alsup/Appellant and William Alsup/Appellee. The probate court admitted the will to probate. Following completion of the probate proceeding, William obtained a survey dividing the property as provided for in Decedent’s will. David refused to accept the survey procured by William, and William then filed this action to quiet title and for ejectment.

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Attorney 1: 

David C. Alsup, Buchanan, Tennessee, Appellant, Pro Se.

Attorney 2: 

William Dale Alsup, Paris, Tennessee, Appellee, Pro Se.

Judge: 
ARMSTRONG

LYNNE E. HARRISON v. EDWIN B. HARRISON, JR.

This divorce case involves a marriage of eight years’ duration. Because the parties had reached an agreement with regard to the division of certain marital assets, the trial court was requested during a bench trial to divide the parties’ retirement and pension accounts, or the marital portion thereof, and other limited marital assets and liabilities. The trial court considered the relevant statutory factors and apportioned the remaining assets and liabilities 60% to the wife and 40% to the husband.

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Attorney 1: 

Edwin B. Harrison, Jr., Lenoir City, Tennessee, Pro Se.

Attorney 2: 

William Lee Gribble, II, Maryville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Lynne E. Harrison.

Judge: 
FRIERSON

IN RE LEWIS BONDING COMPANY

The appellant, Lewis Bonding Company, appeals the denial of its “Petition to Allow Lewis Bonding Company to Use Real Property as Security Collateral,” arguing the trial court abused its discretion by denying the appellant’s request to pledge real property to underwrite bonds in lieu of a cash deposit with the clerk of court. The State contends the trial court’s denial of the petition was a proper use of its broad discretion to regulate bondsmen. Following our review of the record and pertinent authorities, we agree with the State and affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Attorney 1: 

Joseph T. Howell, Jackson, Tennessee, for the appellant, Lewis Bonding Company.

Attorney 2: 

Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Zachary T. Hinkle, Assistant Attorney General; Jerry Woodall, District Attorney General; and Shaun A. Brown, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: 
DYER

STATE OF TENNESSEE EX REL. DEEDRA CLIMER BASS v. JOSE RAMON GONZALEZ-PEREZ

Jose Ramon Gonzalez-Perez (“Father”) appeals the March 7, 2016 order of the Juvenile Court for Shelby County (“the Juvenile Court”) finding him in contempt for non-payment of child support. Father raises several issues including whether Father can be held guilty of contempt when benefits Father receives pursuant to 33 U.S.C.A. § 901 et seq., the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, are exempt from “all claims of creditors and from levy, execution, and attachment or other remedy for recovery or collection of a debt . . .

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Attorney 1: 

Lee J. Chase, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jose Ramon Gonzalez-Perez.

Attorney 2: 

Herbert H. Slatery, III, Attorney General and Reporter; and M. Cameron Himes, Assistant Attorney General for the appellee, State of Tennessee ex. rel Deedra Climer Bass.

Judge: 
SWINEY