TN Court of Appeals

NATIONAL COAL, LLC v. BRENT GALLOWAY

This action concerns a petition to set aside a tax sale as void for lack of notice to the original property owner. The purchaser of the property filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that the original owner was not entitled to notice, that the petitioner received actual notice as the current owner, and that the petition was untimely. The petitioner countered with a motion for summary judgment. Following a hearing, the trial court dismissed the petition, finding that the petitioner received actual notice of the sale and that the time for filing such actions had passed. The petitioner appeals.

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Attorney 1: 

Timothy W. Jones, Sevierville, Tennessee, for the appellant, National Coal, LLC.

Attorney 2: 

Lewis S. Howard and Erin J. Wallen, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Brent Galloway.

Judge: 
MCCLARTY

IN RE MICHAEL B. M., ET. AL.1

This action concerns a petition for custody filed by the maternal grandmother of three minor children. The juvenile court denied the petition, and the circuit court affirmed the denial on appeal following a de novo hearing. The maternal grandmother now appeals to this court. We dismiss the appeal in light of the adoption of the children during the pendency of this appeal.

Attorney 1: 

Jamie F., Knoxville, Tennessee, pro se.

Attorney 2: 

Herbert H. Slatery, III, Attorney General and Reporter, and Rebekah A. Baker, Senior Counsel, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, State of Tennessee, Department of Children‟s Services.

Judge: 
MCCLARTY

MIMI HIATT v. KEVIN L. HIATT

This appeal concerns post-divorce matters. Mimi Hiatt (“Wife”) and Kevin L. Hiatt (“Husband”) divorced. Wife some years later filed a motion to modify the final decree of divorce in the Circuit Court for Blount County (“the Trial Court”) seeking to increase Husband’s child support and alimony obligations. Husband, in turn, filed a motion to recover claimed overpayments he made on the marital residence because Wife had transferred it to a trust. The Trial Court found, among other things, that Wife was voluntarily underemployed and declined to increase her spousal support for that reason.

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Attorney 1: 

Martin W. Cash, Jr., Kingston, Tennessee, for the appellant, Mimi Hiatt.

Attorney 2: 

Jerrold L. Becker, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Kevin L. Hiatt.

Judge: 
SWINEY

GREG LAYMAN v. AARON ACOR ET AL.

This action was originally filed in general sessions court against three defendants and resulted in a judgment for the plaintiff. Two of the co-defendants appealed to circuit court. The remaining co-defendant successfully sought to have the general sessions judgment set aside for insufficient service of process. Thereafter, the general sessions court transferred the claim against the one remaining co-defendant to circuit court to be consolidated with the pending appeal filed by the other co-defendants. The plaintiff subsequently voluntarily dismissed the action.

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Attorney 1: 

Garrett E. Asher and Jennifer C. Surber, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Aaron Acor d/b/a Vertical Metals.

Attorney 2: 

George R. Garrison, Sevierville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Greg Layman.

Judge: 
FRIERSON

CHURCH OF GOD IN CHRIST, INC., ET AL. v. L. M. HALEY MINISTRIES, INC., ET AL.

A hierarchical church filed a complaint against one of its local churches, seeking an order establishing the hierarchical church‟s control over the local church‟s real and personal property. The trial court dismissed the complaint on the basis of the doctrine of ecclesiastical abstention. Discerning no error, we affirm.

Attorney 1: 

Darrell J. O‟Neal and JoeDae L. Jenkins, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellants, Church of God in Christ, Inc., David A. Hall, Gospel Center Temple Church of God in Christ, and Gospel Temple Church of God in Christ.

Attorney 2: 

Veronica F. Coleman-Davis, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellees, L. M. Haley Ministries, Inc., and Lonnie M. Haley, III.

Robert L.J. Spence, Jr. and Bryan M. Meredith, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellees, Gospel Center Temple Moscow, Inc., Jeremiah R. Haley, Ulysses C. Polk, Barry C. Turner, Milton Holt, Sr., Erskine J. Murphy.

Judge: 
STAFFORD

IN RE MAKENDRA E.

This is a termination of parental rights case. The child at issue in this case was placed in foster care at age two. When the child was ten years old, the child‘s foster parents filed a petition in Dyer County Chancery Court seeking to terminate the parental rights of the child‘s parents and to adopt the child. The trial court entered an order terminating the parental rights of the child‘s mother and father and granting the foster parents‘ petition to adopt the child.

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Attorney 1: 

Marianna Williams, Dyersburg, Tennessee, for the appellant, Elizabeth B.

Attorney 2: 

Vanedda Prince Webb, Dyersburg, Tennessee, for the appellees, David E. and Ruthene E.

Judge: 
GOLDIN

DR. ROBIN M. STEVENSON v. AMERICAN CASUALTY COMPANY OF READING, PENNSYLVANIA

This appeal involves a lawsuit filed by an insured against his insurer due to the insurer‟s failure to pay a claim for a theft loss. The trial court granted summary judgment to the insurer, finding no coverage under the policy. We affirm.

Attorney 1: 

Thomas D. Yeaglin, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Dr. Robin M. Stevenson.

Attorney 2: 

Carl Knoerr Wyatt, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellee, American Casualty Company of Reading, Pennsylvania.

Judge: 
GIBSON

KRYSTAL CHOATE EX REL. CLAYTON C. V. VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY

A patient suffered a blunt-force trauma head injury when he fell while attempting to mount a wheelchair accessible scale at a dialysis clinic. Complications from this injury led to his death. Plaintiff, the patient’s former spouse, brought two wrongful death actions on behalf of the patient’s minor child. Each action eventually named as defendants the dialysis clinic and the owner of the property where the dialysis clinic was located. After the trial court consolidated the actions, the property owner filed a motion for summary judgment.

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Attorney 1: 

Larry D. Ashworth and Chelsea B. Ashworth, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Krystal Choate.

Attorney 2: 

Steven E. Anderson, Sara F. Reynolds, and Sean C. Wlodarczyk, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Vanderbilt University.

Judge: 
MCBRAYER

IN RE AALIYAH E.

This is a termination of parental rights case, focusing on Aaliyah E., the minor child (“the Child”) of Wanda M. (“Mother”) and Christopher E. (“Father”). The Child was taken into protective custody by the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services (“DCS”) on November 19, 2013, upon investigation of the Child’s lack of legal guardianship while the parents were incarcerated. On October 30, 2014, DCS filed a petition to terminate the parental rights of Mother and Father.

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Attorney 1: 

Jon McMurray Johnson, Madisonville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Christopher E.

Attorney 2: 

Jaime E. Dailey, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Wanda M.

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

Judge: 
FRIERSON

IN RE: SALIACE P., ET AL.

This case involves the termination of a mother‟s parental rights to her three daughters. The children were previously adjudicated dependent and neglected due to physical abuse of the children by the mother‟s boyfriend. After the children were in foster care for about a year, the Department of Children‟s Services filed a petition to terminate the mother‟s parental rights on several grounds. The trial court found by clear and convincing evidence that three grounds for termination were proven and that termination was in the best interest of the children. The mother appeals.

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Attorney 1: 

Martin E. Dunn, Dyersburg, Tennessee, for the appellant, Deana P.

Attorney 2: 

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

Judge: 
GIBSON