TN Court of Appeals

IN RE TANYA G.

A mother’s parental rights to her child were terminated on the ground of mental incompetence and upon the finding that termination was in the child’s best interest. Mother appeals, contending that the ground is not supported by the evidence and that termination of her parental rights is not in the best interest of the child. Finding no error, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Attorney 1: 

Gregory E. Bennett, Seymour, Tennessee, for the appellant, LaToya G.

Attorney 2: 

Herbert H. Slatery, III, Attorney General and Reporter; Andrée S. Blumstein, Solicitor General; Jordan K. Crews, Assistant Attorney General; and Kathryn A. Baker, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, Tennessee Department of Children’s Services.

Christine L. Dummer, Knoxville, Tennessee, Guardian ad litem.

Judge: 
DINKINS

IN RE EMMETT D.

This appeal involves competing petitions to modify a residential parenting schedule in a permanent parenting plan. The child’s mother sought changes to the day-to-day schedule, a modification of the existing child support order, and to be named sole decision-maker. The child’s father sought additional parenting time. Following a trial, the juvenile court modified the residential schedule, granting the father more parenting time.

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Attorney 1: 

Neil Campbell and William P. Holloway, Franklin, Tennessee, for the appellant, Lydia D.

Attorney 2: 

No brief filed on behalf of the appellee, Christopher W.

Judge: 
MCBRAYER

CHARLES BEARD v. ARVIN W. GLASS ET AL.

The plaintiff filed this action against the defendants, alleging that the plaintiff had been wrongfully expelled from the Prince Hall Masonic organization. The plaintiff further alleged that he had been defamed and his reputation damaged. The action was dismissed by the trial court due to the plaintiff’s failure to state a claim upon which relief could be granted and for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. The plaintiff timely appealed. Because the plaintiff has failed to comply with Tennessee Rule of Appellate Procedure 27 and Tennessee Court of Appeals Rule 6, we dismiss this appeal.

Attorney 1: 

Charles Beard, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, Pro Se.

Attorney 2: 

Isaac T. Conner and Afton Strong, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellees, Arvin W. Glass, Grandmaster, and Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge.

Judge: 
FRIERSON

IN RE ZANE W.

Mother appeals the termination of her parental rights based on the following grounds: (1) abandonment by wanton disregard for the welfare of the child; (2) persistence of conditions; and (3) substantial noncompliance with the permanency plans. We reverse the grounds of persistence of conditions and substantial noncompliance. We, however, affirm the remaining ground of abandonment by wanton disregard for the welfare of the child and the trial court’s determination that termination of Mother’s parental rights is in the best interest of the child.

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Attorney 1: 

Ben H. Houston, II, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Rebecca B.

Attorney 2: 

Herbert H. Slatery, III, Attorney General and Reporter; Brian A. Pierce, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee, Tennessee Department of Children’s Services.

Judge: 
STAFFORD

BETTY C. THOMAS V. BANK OF AMERICA, N.A. ET AL.

Plaintiff appeals the trial court’s decision to grant summary judgment to Defendants related to the foreclosure of Plaintiff’s home. She contends the trial court erred in summarily dismissing her complaint. She also contends the trial court abused its discretion in denying Plaintiff’s motion to alter or amend. Defendants insist the trial court should be affirmed in all respects. They also contend the appeal should be dismissed due to Plaintiff’s failure to comply with Rule 27 of the Tennessee Rules of Appellate Procedure and Rule 6 of the Rules of the Tennessee Court of Appeals.

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Attorney 1: 

Betty C. Thomas, Franklin, Tennessee, Pro Se.

Attorney 2: 

Edmund Scott Sauer, Brian Robert Epling, and Harold Frederick Humbracht, Jr., Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Bank of America of North Carolina.

Kelly Marie Telfeyan, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Seterus, Inc.

Judge: 
CLEMENT

IN RE KENYA H.

This appeal concerns the termination of a father’s parental rights. The Tennessee Department of Children’s Services (“DCS”) filed a petition in the Juvenile Court for Hamilton County (“the Juvenile Court”) seeking to terminate the parental rights of George C. (“Father”) to his minor child Kenya H. (“the Child”). After a trial, the Juvenile Court entered an order terminating Father’s parental rights. Father appealed. We reverse the grounds of substantial noncompliance with the permanency plan and willful failure to visit, but affirm the ground of wanton disregard.

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Attorney 1: 

Emily Brenyas, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellant, George C.

Attorney 2: 

Herbert H. Slatery, III, Attorney General and Reporter, and, Kathryn A. Baker, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services.

Judge: 
SWINEY

IN RE BRAXTON M. ET AL.

This is a termination of parental rights case, focusing on Braxton M. and Briley N., the minor children (“the Children”) of Kevin M. (“Father”) and Heather N. (“Mother”). On March 21, 2011, the Washington County Juvenile Court (“juvenile court”) entered an order removing the Children from the parents’ custody and placing them in the physical custody of Mother’s father and stepmother, William N. and Donna N.

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Attorney 1: 

Jessica C. McAfee, Greeneville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Kevin M.

Attorney 2: 

Brent Hensley, Greeneville, Tennessee, for the appellees, Donna N. and William N.

Judge: 
FRIERSON

MICHAEL FISHER v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

An individual previously convicted of a felony drug offense petitioned for restoration of his citizenship rights. The trial court restored all his citizenship rights except the right to bear arms. In doing so, the court concluded that Tennessee Code Annotated § 39-17- 1307(b), which makes it an offense for certain persons to possess a firearm, prohibited the court from restoring the right to bear arms. We affirm.

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Attorney 1: 

Robert Wampler, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Michael Fisher.

Attorney 2: 

Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter, Andrée S. Blumstein, Solicitor General, and Michael A. Meyer, Special Counsel, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: 
McBRAYER

GLOBAL MALL PARTNERSHIP v. SHELMAR RETAIL PARTNERS, LLC, ET AL.

The landlord of a shopping mall commenced this action against a commercial tenant for breach of a lease. The tenant claimed it had an enforceable oral agreement to terminate the lease with the former landlord. The landlord contended that the original lease contained a “no oral modification” clause; thus, the oral agreement to terminate the lease was unenforceable. After the landlord presented its proof at trial, the court dismissed the case pursuant to Tenn. R. Civ. P. 41.02(2), ruling that the oral termination agreement between the tenant and the former landlord was enforceable despite the “no oral modification” clause in the lease. This appeal followed. When a defendant files a Tenn. R. Civ. P. 41.02(2) motion for involuntary dismissal at the conclusion of the plaintiff’s proof at trial, the only evidence the trial court may consider in determining whether the proof was sufficient to demonstrate a right to the relief is “the plaintiff’s proof” at trial. Tenn. R. Civ. P. 41.02(2). We have determined that the trial court erroneously considered facts and documents not found in the plaintiff’s proof. Excluding the extraneous facts and documents, the evidence presented at trial preponderates against the trial court’s factual findings and its conclusion that the landlord’s predecessor in interest and the tenant entered into a binding lease termination agreement. Accordingly, we reverse and remand for further proceedings.

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Attorney 1: 

James W. White, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Global Mall Partnership d/b/a Global Mall at the Crossings.

Attorney 2: 

Randall J. Fishman and Richard S. Townley, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellee, Shelmar Retail Partners, LLC d/b/a City Gear, LLC.

Judge: 
CLEMENT

IN RE YVONNE R.

A circuit court adjudicated a child dependent and neglected because her mother’s mental incapacity rendered the Mother unfit to properly care for the child. Upon review, we conclude that the circuit court’s decision is supported by clear and convincing evidence, and thus, we affirm.

Attorney 1: 

Cynthia S. Lyons, Cookeville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Renee R.

Attorney 2: 

Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter, and W. Derek Green, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, Tennessee Department of Children’s Services.

Judge: 
McBRAYER