TN Court of Appeals

ESTATE OF GEORGE LAMBERT v. JOHN ARNOLD FITZGERALD

Corrected opinion published April 29.

George Lambert (―Lambert‖) sued John Arnold Fitzgerald (―Fitzgerald‖) in connection with money that Lambert gave to Fitzgerald to invest alleging claims for, among other things, fraud, intentional misrepresentation, violation of the Tennessee Securities Act of 1980, and unjust enrichment.

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Attorney 1: 

Hoyt O. Samples, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellant, Kelly Lambert, Executor of the Estate of George Lambert.

Attorney 2: 

Daniel J. Ripper, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellee, John Arnold Fitzgerald.

Judge: 
SWINEY

TAMBRA JO SWONGER v. JAMES HENRY SWONGER

This appeal arises from a default judgment entered in a divorce action, wherein the wife was granted, inter alia, a permanent order of protection against the husband. The husband sought to have the permanent order of protection provision contained in the parties‟ divorce decree set aside, asserting that the statutory scheme pertaining to orders of protection did not provide authority for entry of a permanent, open-ended order of protection. The trial court entered an order denying relief to the husband and affirming its entry of a permanent order of protection. Husband timely appealed.

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Attorney 1: 

Lin Phillips, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, James Henry Swonger.

Attorney 2: 

Robert Downs, Legal Aid Society of East Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Tambra Jo Swonger.

Judge: 
FRIERSON

ANTHONY HODGES v. DISTRICT ATTORNEY GENERAL - 20TH JUDICIAL DISTRICT

Inmate brought petition under Tennessee Public Records Act seeking review of the District Attorney General’s handling of his request that he be furnished copies of records relating to his prosecution. The trial court held that the Attorney General did not deny the request but, rather, that the petitioner failed to advance the costs of copying the records and, accordingly, was not entitled to relief. Finding no error, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Attorney 1: 

Anthony Hodges, Tiptonville, Tennessee, Pro Se, appellant.

Attorney 2: 

Herbert H. Slatery, III, Attorney General and Reporter; Andrée S. Blumstein, Solicitor General; and Linda D. Kirklen, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, District Attorney General, 20th Judicial District.

Judge: 
DINKINS

JANE ELLIOT WATT V. WILLIAM JAMES WATT

In this divorce action, Husband contends the trial court erred by granting Wife a divorce on the grounds of Husband‟s inappropriate marital conduct despite the fact he was found guilty of, inter alia, three counts of rape of a child while the divorce was pending. Husband also takes issue with the classification of property, the division of marital property, and the award of alimony to Wife. We affirm the trial court in all respects.

Attorney 1: 

Thomas J. Drake, Jr., Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, William James Watt.

Attorney 2: 

Sharon L. Reddick, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Jane Elliot Watt.

Judge: 
CLEMENT

IN RE AVA B.

We granted an extraordinary appeal to consider a trial court‟s refusal to dismiss a petition to terminate parental rights. Following their divorce, the child‟s father filed a petition to terminate the parental rights of the mother. The mother moved to dismiss for lack of standing. In response, the father amended his petition to add his mother, the child‟s grandmother, as an additional petitioner. The mother renewed her motion to dismiss. We reverse the trial court‟s denial of the motion to dismiss because both the father and his mother lack standing.

Attorney 1: 

Alison Malone, Fayetteville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Ziara B.

Attorney 2: 

Radford H. Dimmick, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Benny B.

Judge: 
MCBRAYER

REGIONS BANK v. THOMAS D. THOMAS, ET AL.

Following a borrower’s default on a loan agreement, Regions Bank (“Regions”) accelerated the loan and filed this lawsuit against the loan’s guarantors to collect the amounts due. After Regions sold the collateral securing the loan, it sought a judgment for the remaining deficiency. This is the second appeal of this case to this Court. Although the trial court awarded Regions a deficiency judgment prior to the first appeal, we vacated that award upon concluding that Regions had failed to provide sufficient notice to the guarantors prior to its disposition of the collateral.

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Attorney 1: 

Richard E. Charlton, Memphis, Tennessee, and Kirk L. Clements, Goodlettsville, Tennessee for the appellants, Thomas D. Thomas, Helen L. Thomas, and The Thomas Family Living Trust.

Attorney 2: 

David R. Evans, Chattanooga, Tennessee, and Stephen Leffler, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellee, Regions Bank.

Judge: 
GOLDIN

TIM ADAMS ET AL. V. CMH HOMES, INC.

The issue on this appeal is the enforceability of an arbitration agreement. Tim and Pamela Adams (Plaintiffs) bought a mobile home from CMH Homes, Inc. (Defendant). As part of the transaction, Plaintiffs signed an arbitration agreement after they were told by Defendant’s sales manager that they “had to sign the papers in order to get the home moving.” This statement was false, although the manager testified that he was unaware of its falsity at that time. Plaintiffs alleged fraudulent inducement with respect to the arbitration agreement.

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Attorney 1: 

William S. Rutchow and Jennifer S. Rusie, Nashville, Tennessee, for appellant, CMH Homes, Inc.

Attorney 2: 

Wilton Marble, Cleveland, Tennessee, for appellees, Tim Adams and Pamela Adams.

Judge: 
SUSANO

SVEN HADJOPOULOS, ET AL. v. ALEXANDRA SPONCIA, ET AL.

This is a grandparent visitation case. Sven Hadjopoulos (“Grandfather”) and Mary Lou Hadjopoulos (“Grandmother”) (“Grandparents,” collectively) filed a petition seeking visitation with their minor granddaughter (“the Child”). Alexandra Sponcia (“Mother”) and Christopher Sponcia (“Father”) (“Parents,” collectively) opposed the petition and the requested visitation.1 After a trial, the Chancery Court for Greene County (“the Trial Court”) found that substantial harm likely would come to the Child should visitation with Grandparents cease.

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Attorney 1: 

E. Ronald Chesnut, Greeneville, Tennessee, for the appellants, Alexandra Sponcia and Christopher Sponcia.

Attorney 2: 

Joseph O. McAfee, Greeneville, Tennessee, for the appellees, Sven Hadjopoulos and Mary Lou Hadjopoulos.

Judge: 
SWINEY

LORI KAY JONES TRIGG v. RICHARD DARRELL TRIGG

This is an interlocutory appeal as of right, pursuant to Rule 10B of the Rules of the Supreme Court of Tennessee, from the denial of a motion for recusal filed by Richard Darrell Trigg (AFormer Husband@) in the parties= post-dissolution proceedings. Having reviewed the petition for recusal appeal filed by Former Husband, and finding no error in Trial Court=s ruling, we affirm.

Attorney 1: 

Richard Darrell Trigg, Rogersville, Tennessee, appellant, pro se.

Attorney 2: 

Gregory W. Francisco, Kingsport, Tennessee, for the appellee, Lori Kay Jones Trigg.

Judge: 
SWINEY

WEST WARREN-VIOLA UTILITY DISTRICT v. JARRELL ENTERPRISES, INC.

Utility district brought action to condemn a parcel of real property which was located outside the district‟s boundaries in order to construct a water storage tank, associated piping, and an access road. The trial court denied the petition, and the district appeals.

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Attorney 1: 

Gregory L. Cashion, Kenneth S. Schrupp, Donald L. Scholes, Benjamin A. Gastel, Nashville Tennessee, Ben Newman, McMinnville, Tennessee, for the appellant, West Warren-Viola Utility District

Attorney 2: 

James C. Cope, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for the appellee, Jarrell Enterprises, Inc.

Judge: 
DINKINS