TN Court of Appeals

MAURICE FITTEN v. THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF CHATTANOOGA

The petitioner, an employee of the City of Chattanooga (“the City”), was demoted in his employment position after a city accident investigator found that the petitioner had failed to report an accident involving a city vehicle he was driving while on duty. The petitioner sought to appeal the City‟s decision through the Administrative Procedures Division. Upon the City‟s motion to dismiss the appeal, the administrative law judge (“ALJ”) found that the petitioner‟s appeal had been untimely filed and dismissed it for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.

read more »
Attorney 1: 

Michelle Owens, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Maurice Fitten.

Attorney 2: 

Wade A. Hinton, City Attorney; Elizabeth Roderick, Assistant City Attorney; and Keith J. Reisman, Assistant City Attorney, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellee, the City of Chattanooga.

Judge: 
FRIERSON

IN RE ESTATE OF JOHN PAUL LEWIS, SR.

The plaintiff in this action and the decedent were formerly husband and wife. Before they married, the decedent husband and the plaintiff executed an antenuptial agreement, which provided, inter alia, that the decedent would maintain a $500,000 life insurance policy with the plaintiff as beneficiary until his death. When the parties divorced in 2009, the divorce court determined that their antenuptial agreement was enforceable, including the life insurance provision.

read more »
Attorney 1: 

Ginger Wilson Buchanan, Cleveland, Tennessee, for the appellant, Nola Field, Personal Representative of Estate of John Paul Lewis, Sr.

Attorney 2: 

James F. Logan, Jr., Cleveland, Tennessee, for the appellee, Miechelle Forgey Lewis.

Judge: 
FRIERSON

JOSEPH C. THOMAS, ET AL. V. THE STANDARD FIRE INSURANCE COMPANY, ET AL.

With D. MICHAEL SWINEY, C.J., concurring.

This appeal arises from an insurance claim for storm-related damage to the property of the plaintiffs. The case was resolved on a motion for summary judgment. According to the plaintiffs, the trial court erred by giving effect to the decision of the appraisal panel because the policy‟s appraisal provision is unenforceable. The plaintiffs contend the policy‟s appraisal provision constitutes an agreement to arbitrate subject to Tennessee‟s version of the Uniform Arbitration Act (Tenn. Code Ann.§ 29-5-301, et seq.).

read more »
Attorney 1: 

Grace E. Daniell, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellants, Joseph C. Thomas and Grace E. Daniell.

Attorney 2: 

Clint J. Woodfin, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellees, The Standard Fire Insurance Company and The Travelers Property Casualty Companies.

Judge: 
MCCLARTY

IN RE ESTATE OF JOHN J. BURNETTE

This case grew out of the administration of the estate of John J. Burnette. G. Michael Luhowiak, successor administrator of the estate, filed a motion seeking approval of fees and expenses and asking the trial court to assess those charges against John G. McDougal, the previous administrator. The trial court adopted a master‟s report granting the successor administrator the requested relief. The court denied the previous administrator‟s motion to alter or amend. The previous administrator appeals.

read more »
Attorney 1: 

Lee Ortwein, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellant, John G. McDougal.

Attorney 2: 

Anna Marie Davenport and G. Michael Luhowiak, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellee, G. Michael Luhowiak, Successor Administrator of the Estate of John J. Burnette.

Judge: 
SUSANO

IN RE RILEY C.

This appeal arises from the termination of Father‟s parental rights. The minor child was removed from his parents, placed in state custody, and adjudicated dependent and neglected after the Tennessee Department of Children‟s Services (“DCS”) received a referral alleging that Father and the child‟s mother were using and possibly manufacturing methamphetamines in the home. Thereafter, DCS developed permanency plans with the goal of reuniting the family. The mother died shortly thereafter of a drug overdose.

read more »
Attorney 1: 

Brandon M. Booten, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for the appellant, Michael C.1

Attorney 2: 

Herbert H. Slatery, III, Attorney General and Reporter; Eugenia Izmaylova, Assistant Attorney General, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Tennessee Department of Children‟s Services.

Judge: 
CLEMENT

AUTO-OWNERS INSURANCE COMPANY v. VANESSA HOLLAND, ET AL.

An insurance company which issued a commercial general liability policy to the owner of a lawn care business sought a declaratory judgment that the policy did not provide coverage for a claim brought by the parent of a child who was injured by the gate on a trailer which was used to transport lawn care equipment. The company appeals the denial of its motion for summary judgment.

read more »
Attorney 1: 

John J. Griffin, Jr. and Michael A. Johnson, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Auto-Owners Insurance Company.

Attorney 2: 

Andy Peters Davis, Winchester, Tennessee, for the appellees, Vanessa Holland and Jezekial Valentin.

Judge: 
DINKINS

DENNIS MIRACLE v. ROGER MURRAY, et al.

This is an appeal from a Final Order and Judgment in a case arising out of a dispute over real property located in Roane County, Tennessee. There was no court reporter present for the trial. The Chancellor recused himself from the case post-judgment but before the record was prepared and transmitted for this appeal. The Circuit Court Judge accepted the case by interchange for purposes of resolving the parties= dispute regarding a statement of the evidence for inclusion in the record.

read more »
Attorney 1: 

Roger Murray, Harriman, Tennessee, appellant, pro se.

Attorney 2: 

Mark N. Foster, Rockwood, Tennessee, for the appellee, Dennis Miracle.

Judge: 
SWINEY

BILLY BUTLER, ET AL. v. MALVIN CARVIN PITTS, JR., ET AL. v. MARILYN JAMES MORRIS, ET AL.

This is an easement case. Appellants, the servient land owners, appeal the trial court‟s grant of summary judgment in favor of the Appellees, the former owners of both the dominant and servient tracts of land. Based on the fact that the disputed easement was recorded prior to the sale to the Appellants, the trial court determined that there was no dispute as to any material fact and that Appellees were entitled to summary judgment as a matter of law. We affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand for further proceedings in accordance with this opinion.

Attorney 1: 

James S. Haywood, Jr., Brownsville, Tennessee, for the appellants, Malvin Carvin Pitts, Jr., Malvin Carvin Pitts, III, and Marcia Lee Pitts.

Attorney 2: 

Joshua B. Shearon, Brownsville, Tennessee, for the appellees, Marilyn James Morris, Ewell E. James, and William B. James.

Judge: 
ARMSTRONG

DAVID C. JAYNE v. BASS ANNIE COSMETIC BOAT REPAIR

Because the order appealed is not a final judgment, we must dismiss this appeal for lack of jurisdiction.

Attorney 1: 

Scott A. Kramer, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, David C. Jayne.

Attorney 2: 

Sarah Johnson Carter, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellee, Bass Annie Cosmetic Boat Repair.

Judge: 
GOLDIN

BRENDA OSUNDE, ET AL. v. DELTA MEDICAL CENTER

Correction filed today. Original opinion filed Feb. 10, 2016.

This interlocutory appeal concerns the trial court‟s partial dismissal of a case concerning alleged negligence committed against Plaintiff/Appellee Brenda Osunde (“Mrs. Osunde”). Mrs. Osunde filed a complaint in the trial court alleging a medical malpractice claim against DMC-Memphis, Inc. (“DMC”), as well as a claim for common law negligence, after she sustained a fall while at DMC‟s hospital, Delta Medical Center. When Mrs. Osunde failed to disclose any experts pursuant to the trial court‟s scheduling order, DMC moved for summary judgment.

read more »
Attorney 1: 

Jonathan T. Martin, Joshua A. Hillis, and Taylor B. Davidson, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, DMC-Memphis, Inc. d/b/a Delta Medical Center.

Attorney 2: 

Les Jones and Charles Silvestri Higgins, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellees, Brenda Osunde and Samuel Osunde.

Judge: 
GOLDIN