TN Court of Appeals

CHARLES E. CUNNINGHAM v. TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE AND INSURANCE, INSURANCE DIVISION

This appeal involves the decision of the Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance (the “Commissioner”) to impose a civil fine and revoke the license of insurance agent Charles E. Cunningham (“Cunningham”), after concluding that Cunningham committed six (6) violations of applicable statutes in connection with his insurance practice. Cunningham filed a petition for review in the Chancery Court for Davidson County challenging the sufficiency of the evidence relied on by the Commissioner.

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Attorney 1: 

William E. Griffith, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Charles Edward Cunningham.

Attorney 2: 

Herbert H. Slatery, III, Attorney General and Reporter, Andrée Sophia Blumstein, Solicitor General, and Timothy R. Simonds, Assistant Attorney General, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance.

Judge: 
GOLDIN

JON ROOZBEH VAZEEN, AKA HASSAN VAZIN v. MICHELLE SMITH VAZIN

With concurring and dissenting opinions by SUSANO

The trial court granted Wife a divorce; divided marital assets and liabilities; and awarded Husband five years of rehabilitative alimony. Husband appealed. Due to the deficiencies in Husband’s appellate brief, we do not reach Husband’s substantive issues and dismiss the appeal.

Attorney 1: 

Jon Roozbeh Vazeen, Nashville, Tennessee, pro se.

Attorney 2: 

Virginia J. Connell, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Michelle S. Vazin.

Judge: 
ARMSTRONG

IN RE GRACE N.

This appeal stems from a juvenile court proceeding in Davidson County. Mother challenges the entered parenting schedule and raises a number of issues pertaining to the trial court’s child support calculations. For the reasons expressed herein, we affirm in part, reverse in part, vacate in part and remand for further proceedings consistent with this Opinion.

Attorney 1: 

D. Scott Parsley, Nashville, Tennessee and John J. Hollins, Jr., Franklin, Tennessee, for the appellant, Rachel N.

Attorney 2: 

Jeffrey Spark, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Julian G.

Judge: 
GOLDIN

DAMON HOLLAND V. BRIAN SULLIVAN, ET AL.

The issues in this appeal arise from two very unorthodox agreements and the defendants’ actions to avoid the consequences of the agreements. The agreements are unorthodox because, inter alia, each purports to be a “Bill of Sale” of an automobile when in fact each is a loan agreement for which the certificate of title is held by the lender as security. To complicate matters, the defendant who signed both agreements only owned one of the vehicles; his wife owned the other, and it is disputed whether the husband was authorized to act on her behalf.

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Attorney 1: 

Shannon L. Crutcher, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellants, Brian Sullivan and Tamara J. Sullivan.

Attorney 2: 

Casey Adam Long, Franklin, Tennessee, for the appellee, Damon Holland.

Judge: 
CLEMENT

JORDAN FRANKLIN-MANSUO, ET AL. v. AMISUB (SFH), INC. D/B/A SAINT FRANCIS HOSPITAL, ET AL.

This is a health care liability case. Appellant filed suit against Appellee, a medical doctor, alleging that Appellee’s supervision of a physician assistant fell below the standard of care, which resulted in the injury and death of Appellant’s mother. Appellee moved for summary judgment on the basis that Appellant had not provided competent expert testimony regarding the applicable standard of care or a causal link between Appellee’s actions and the subsequent injury and death of the patient at issue.

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Attorney 1: 

Jonathan Mark Benfield and Martha C. Burgett, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jordan Franklin-Mansuo.

Attorney 2: 

Marty R. Phillips, Jackson, Tennessee, and John O. Alexander, IV, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellee, Muhammad Abushaer, M.D.

Judge: 
GIBSON

CARLISA ELMI V. CHEATHAM COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION, ET AL.

Corrected as follows: On page 4 of the filed opinion, in issue #2, the word "insufficiency" was replaced with "inefficiency"

This is an appeal of the termination of a tenured teacher’s employment pursuant to the Tenure Act, Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 49-5-501 and -515. The Cheatham County Director of Schools initiated these proceedings by filing a notice of charges recommending the termination of the tenured teacher on the grounds of insubordination and inefficiency. Following an administrative hearing, the hearing officer recommended dismissal.

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Attorney 1: 

Richard L. Colbert and Kelley E. Strange, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Carlisa Elmi.

Attorney 2: 

Allen Woods, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Cheatham County Board of Education, David Bibee, Brian Chase, James Gupton, John Louallen, Kimberly Messer, and Dan Moore.

Judge: 
CLEMENT

IN RE TENNESSEE WALKING HORSE FORFEITURE LITIGATION

This is the second appeal involving the attempted forfeiture of horses that had allegedly been the victims of animal abuse. The State appeals the trial court’s finding that Appellee owners had standing to contest the forfeiture and the grant of summary judgment to Appellee owners on the ground that the State failed to comply with applicable procedural requirements. We conclude that because Appellees are “owners” as defined by Tennessee Code Annotated section 39-11-702(3), they have standing to contest the forfeiture.

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Attorney 1: 

Herbert H. Slatery, III, Attorney General and Reporter; Andrée S. Blumstein, Solicitor General; Linda D. Kirklen, Assistant Attorney General; Scott C. Sutherland, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellant, State of Tennessee.

Attorney 2: 

J. Houston Gordon, Covington, Tennessee, for the appellees, Kelly Sherman, and Beverly Sherman.

Judge: 
STAFFORD

KATHRYN J. REITZ v. CITY OF MT. JULIET

Plaintiff alleged that the City of Mt. Juliet breached a settlement agreement with her by violating a non-disparagement agreement. Because Plaintiff failed to prove the existence of damages, summary judgment was appropriate. We affirm.

Attorney 1: 

Robert D. MacPherson, Lebanon, Tennessee, for the appellant, Kathryn J. Reitz.

Attorney 2: 

Keith W. Blair and Charles Stephen Michels, II, Nashvlle, Tennessee, for the appellee, City of Mt. Juliet.

Judge: 
GIBSON

IN RE SAVANNA C.

This is a termination of parental rights case involving the parental rights of the father, Jason C. (“Father”), to his minor child, Savanna C. (“the Child”), who was two years of age at the time of trial. The Child was born in 2014 to Father and Katie N. (“Mother”). On November 10, 2014, the Hamilton County Juvenile Court (“juvenile court”) granted temporary legal custody of the Child to the maternal grandmother, Kathryn N. (“Maternal Grandmother”). The maternal grandfather, Tommy N. (“Maternal Grandfather”), was later added as a joint petitioner.

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Attorney 1: 

David Paul Coates, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jason C.

Attorney 2: 

Kathy Rowell, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellees, Tommy N. and Kathryn N.

Charles W. Wheland, III, Chattanooga, Tennessee, Guardian Ad Litem.

Judge: 
FRIERSON

IN RE MIRACLE M. ET AL.

This is a termination of parental rights case. The trial court terminated Appellant Father’s parental rights to two minor children. The trial court found that clear and convincing evidence supported termination based on the statutory grounds of abandonment by willful failure to support, abandonment by willful failure to visit, and persistence of the conditions that led to the children’s removal to state custody. The trial court also found, by clear and convincing evidence, that termination of the Father’s parental rights was in the children’s best interests. Father appeals.

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Attorney 1: 

James Franklin, Jr., Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jeremiah M.

Attorney 2: 

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

Judge: 
GOLDIN