TN Court of Appeals

MICHAEL G. BREAKEY, ET AL. v. SEQUATCHIE COUNTY, TENNESSEE, ET AL.

Appellees/taxpayers filed suit against Sequatchie County, seeking to set aside the tax sale of their property. As grounds, Appellees alleged that they were not afforded due process and were never notified of the delinquent tax action. The trial court ruled in favor of the taxpayers and set aside the tax sale due to lack of notice sufficient to provide due process. Sequatchie County appealed. Discerning no error, we affirm.

Attorney 1: 

Howard L. Upchurch, Pikeville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Sequatchie County, Tennessee.

Attorney 2: 

Alexander K. McVeagh and Logan C. Threadgill, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellees Michael G. Breakey and Angela L. Breakey.

M. Keith Davis, Dunlap, Tennessee, for the appellees, Rayburn D. Layne and Rhonda L. Layne.

Judge: 
ARMSTRONG

RHONDA SUE GRIFFIS GRUBB v. JAMES WESLEY GRUBB

This appeal arises from a divorce. Rhonda Sue Griffis Grubb (“Wife”) filed for divorce against husband James Wesley Grubb (“Husband”) in the Chancery Court for Roane County (“the Trial Court”). Trial in this matter was bifurcated. The validity of the parties’ antenuptial agreement (“the Agreement”) was tried first. The Trial Court found that the provision in the Agreement purporting to cap Wife’s alimony was unenforceable but otherwise upheld the Agreement. Later, trial was conducted on the remaining issues in the case. Citing her adultery and a clause in the Agreement, the Trial Court declined to grant Wife alimony. However, the Trial Court awarded Wife a substantial portion of the marital estate. The Trial Court also ruled upon child support, parenting time, and education for the parties’ two daughters. Husband appealed to this Court raising numerous issues. Wife raised additional issues of her own. We find and hold that Husband failed to carry his burden as to the validity of the Agreement. As to the second stage of this bifurcated matter, we find that the Trial Court’s final judgment is devoid of factual findings to such a degree that we cannot effectively review the remaining issues in this case. We reverse as to the validity of the Agreement. We vacate and remand for further proceedings as necessary and for entry of a new final judgment containing detailed factual findings and conclusions of law as to the remaining issues.

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Attorney 1: 

C. Scott Taylor and Margo J. Maxwell, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, James Wesley Grubb.

Attorney 2: 

Browder G. Williams and Julianna L. Mason, Kingston, Tennessee, for the appellee, Rhonda Sue Griffis Grubb.

Judge: 
SWINEY

STATE EX REL. APPALOOSA BAY, LLC ET AL. v. JOHNSON COUNTY, TENNESSEE, ET AL.

Two owners of separate lots in a planned residential subdivision of twenty lots brought this action against the Johnson County Regional Planning Commission and several state entities after the subdivision’s developer went into bankruptcy and development of the subdivision was halted. When the developer had earlier posted a performance bond securing the completion of the subdivision’s infrastructure, the planning commission had approved the subdivision plat, although infrastructure, including roads and utilities, had not been completed. After developer’s bankruptcy, the State of Tennessee bought the land comprising all of the subdivision lots, except the two owned by the plaintiffs. All of the remaining land in the intended subdivision, except for several other lots purchased by individuals before the bankruptcy, is now part of the Doe Mountain Recreation Area — an entity subsequently created by the State. Plaintiffs brought this action for breach of contract between developer and the planning commission. Plaintiffs also asked the trial court to issue a writ of mandamus compelling the county to complete the proposed subdivision infrastructure. The trial court granted the defendants summary judgment. The plaintiffs appeal. We affirm.

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Attorney 1: 

Arthur M. Fowler and Arthur M. Fowler, III, Johnson City, Tennessee, for the appellants, Appaloosa Bay, LLC, David Castillo, and Deborah Castillo.

Attorney 2: 

Jeffrey M. Ward, Greeneville, Tennessee, for the appellees, Johnson County, Tennessee, and Johnson County, Tennessee Regional Planning Commission.

Mona Butler Alderson, Mountain City, Tennessee, for the appellee, Doe Mountain Recreation Authority.

Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter, Andrée S. Blumstein, Solicitor General, and Jay C. Ballard, Deputy Attorney General, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration.

Judge: 
SUSANO

JESSICA MARCEL BROADNAX v. QUENTIN ELLIOTT LAWRENCE

This case is again before this Court after being remanded to the Circuit Court for Hamilton County (“the Trial Court”) for a determination of whether it was in the best interest of the parties’ minor child (“the Child”) to relocate to New Jersey with Jessica Marcel Broadnax (“Mother”). Mother appeals the Trial Court’s May 5, 2016 order upon remand, which found, inter alia, that it was in the best interest of the Child to remain with Quentin Elliott Lawrence (“Father”) and not to move with Mother to New Jersey.

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Attorney 1: 

Charles G. Wright, Jr., Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jessica Marcel Broadnax.

Attorney 2: 

Jillyn O’Shaughnessy, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellee, Quentin Elliott Lawrence.

Judge: 
SWINEY

RAYMOND CASS BALLARD v. GERTRUDE CAYABAS

This is an appeal arising out of a petition to change the primary residential parent and a petition for civil and criminal contempt. The notice of appeal for the criminal contempt finding was not timely filed, and the appeal is therefore dismissed as to the criminal contempt. With respect to the remaining issues, we remand this matter to the trial court for the limited purpose of conducting an evidentiary hearing regarding the timeliness of this appeal.

Attorney 1: 

John Edward Eldridge, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Raymond Cass Ballard.

Attorney 2: 

Vanedda Prince Webb, Dyersburg, Tennessee, for the appellee, Gertrude Cayabas.

Judge: 
GIBSON

SARAH NICHOLE NEVEAU v. ADAM PAUL NEVEAU

This is an appeal from a divorce. The trial court granted the parties an absolute divorce and named the mother the primary residential parent of the parties’ minor child. The father filed this appeal challenging the designation of the mother as the primary residential parent and questioning the number of days of parenting time he received in the parenting plan.

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Attorney 1: 

Sarah Richter Perky, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Adam Paul Neveau.

Attorney 2: 

Carolyn Levy Gilliam, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Sarah Nichole (Neveau) Comeaux.

Judge: 
MCCLARTY

ALLY FINANCIAL v. TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT OF SAFETY & HOMELAND SECURITY

The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security forfeited a finance company’s interest in a vehicle after determining that the finance company failed to timely file a claim to contest the forfeiture after receiving notice. The finance company thereafter filed a petition for judicial review. The trial court reversed the forfeiture on the basis that the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security failed to prove that it sent proper notice to the finance company. We vacate the judgment of the trial court and remand for further proceedings before the administrative agency.

Attorney 1: 

Herbert H. Slatery, III, Attorney General and Reporter; Andrée S. Blumstein, Solicitor General, Linda D. Kirklen, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellant, Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security.

Attorney 2: 

Todd H. Hancock, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Ally Financial.

Judge: 
STAFFORD

IN RE GUNNER F.

The trial court determined that the primary residential parent should be changed from mother to father without any change in the equal division of parenting time. Because the trial court failed to address the best interest of the child in its order, we vacate and remand for the entry of findings of fact and conclusions of law.

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Attorney 1: 

Julie Carrell Heffington, Columbia, Tennessee, for the appellant, Kristy C.

Attorney 2: 

Lewis A. Williams, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Jeffrey F.

Judge: 
BENNETT

IN RE E.C.

In this termination of parental rights action, Father’s parental rights were terminated based on the following grounds: (1) failure to manifest an ability and willingness to assume legal and physical custody of the child; (2) that placing the child in Father’s legal and physical custody would pose a risk of substantial harm to the child’s physical and psychological welfare; (3) failure to establish or exercise paternity; and (4) abandonment by wanton disregard for the welfare of the child. We affirm the grounds of failure to manifest an ability and willingness to assume legal and physical custody of the child and failure to establish or exercise paternity. However, we reverse with respect to the remaining grounds. We also affirm the trial court’s determination that termination of Father’s parental rights is in the best interest of the child. Affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded.

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Attorney 1: 

Rachel Ratliff, Johnson City, Tennessee, for the appellant, Michael B.

Attorney 2: 

Herbert H. Slatery, III, Attorney General and Reporter; Jordan K. Crews, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee, Department of Children’s Services.

Judge: 
STAFFORD

SAMUEL L. GRAHAM, JR., ET AL. v. THE FAMILY CANCER CENTER PLLC, ET AL

This is a medical malpractice action. The plaintiffs timely filed suit against the defendants concerning the failure to timely diagnose the husband’s prostate cancer. After voluntarily dismissing the initial suit, the plaintiffs provided pre-suit notice before filing a second suit pursuant to the saving statute. The defendants moved for summary judgment, arguing that the plaintiffs lacked sufficient expert testimony to establish their claim. The court agreed and granted summary judgment. We affirm.

Attorney 1: 

Bill M. Wade, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellants, Samuel L. Graham, Jr. and Velma Graham.

Attorney 2: 

Katherine M. Anderson, W. Bradley Gilmer, and Hugh Francis, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellees, the Family Cancer Center, PLLC and Earle Weeks, M.D.

Judge: 
MCCLARTY