TN Court of Appeals

JOHN F. MANNING, SR. v. CRYSTAL JOAN MANNING, ET AL.

This appeal involves the interpretation of a marital dissolution agreement. Pursuant to the agreement, the husband and wife agreed to waive any interest in the other party’s retirement account upon the dissolution of the marriage. The husband failed to effectuate the change to his retirement account. Upon his death, the wife refused to sign documentation waiving her right to the benefits. The administrator of the estate filed suit. The parties filed competing motions for summary judgment. The trial court granted summary judgment to the wife. The administrator appeals.

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Attorney 1: 

H. Scott Reams, Morristown, Tennessee, for the appellant, John F. Manning, Sr.

Attorney 2: 
David H. Stanifer and Neal W. Stanifer, Tazewell, Tennessee, for the appellee, Crystal Joan Manning.
Judge: 
MCCLARTY

JENNIFER REBECCA CRESWELL HENEGAR v. JASON ADAM HENEGAR

This appeal is from a final decree of divorce. The wife challenges several of the trial court’s rulings regarding the grounds for the divorce, the division of marital property, the parenting plan, the calculation of child support and educational expenses, and attorney’s fees. For the following reasons, we affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand for further proceedings.

Attorney 1: 

Sean James Martin and Jennifer Lynne Sheppard, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jennifer Rebecca Creswell Henegar.

Attorney 2: 

Charlene Robin Vance, Watertown, Tennessee, for the appellee, Jason Adam Henegar.

Judge: 
GIBSON

THE ESTATE OF BLAKE B. CUNNINGHAM, BY AND THROUGH BARBARA CUNNINGHAM v. EPSTEIN ENTERPRISES LLC, ET AL.

With concurring opinion.

In this premises liability case, the plaintiff appeals from the trial court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of the defendants, the manager and owner of an apartment complex. The trial court concluded that the defendants owed no duty to a security guard, who was fatally shot while working at the apartment complex. Although a premises owner generally owes a duty to provide independent contractors with a safe workplace, under the facts of this case, we conclude that the defendants owed no duty to protect the security guard from the criminal acts that resulted in the loss of his life.

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Attorney 1: 

Linda Lynn Walls Holmes, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Barbara Cunningham.

Attorney 2: 

Lacey L. Adair, Richard Glassman and Whitney Boshers Hayes, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellees, Epstein Enterprises, LLC, and Louis and William Epstein, LP.

Judge: 
MCBRAYER

CHUCK’S PACKAGE STORE ET AL. V. CITY OF MORRISTOWN

This case originated when six retail wine and liquor stores filed suit against the City of Morristown seeking a refund of a portion of inspection fees that had been erroneously calculated by the City. The fees were assessed by the City on the purchases at wholesale of alcoholic beverages. The City failed to use the correct percentage mandated by Tenn. Code Ann. § 57-3-501 (2013).2 It is undisputed that the plaintiffs overpaid the City; since the plaintiffs were understandably unaware of the error, they failed to state that they were paying the fees under protest.

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Attorney 1: 

Daniel R. Pilkington and Brian R. Bibb, Knoxville, Tennessee, for appellant, City of Morristown, Tennessee.

Attorney 2: 

F. Braxton Terry, Morristown, Tennessee, and W. Lewis Jenkins, Jr., Dyersburg, Tennessee, for appellees, Chuck’s Package Store; The Cellar, Inc.; T&T Package Store, LLC; Morristown Beverage Associates, Inc., d/b/a Cork & Keg Package Store; The Package Store; and C&C Package, Inc.

Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter; Andrèe Sophia Blumenstein, Solicitor General; Charles L. Lewis, Deputy Attorney General; and Mary Ellen Knack, Senior Counsel, for the amicus curiae, State of Tennessee.

Judge: 
SUSANO

COMMERCE UNION BANK, BRENTWOOD, TENNESSEE D/B/A RELIANT BANK V. KELLY D. BUSH ET AL.

This is a post-foreclosure action in which the lender seeks to recover a deficiency judgment, interest, and the costs of collection. In their answer, the borrowers asserted that the loan was a nonrecourse debt; thus, they were not liable for the deficiency. Alternatively, they asserted that the property sold at foreclosure for an amount materially less than its fair market value. Following a bench trial, the trial court concluded that the loan was a full recourse debt as to both borrowers.

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Attorney 1: 

Byron V. Bush, Brentwood, Tennessee, Pro se.

Attorney 2: 

M. Todd Sandahl, Franklin, Tennessee, for the appellant Kelly D. Bush.

Judge: 
CLEMENT

TONYA HALLEEN BLACKWELL v. CHRISTOPHER S. BLACKWELL

In this post-divorce action, the mother sought modification of the father’s child support obligation due to a material change of circumstances. The trial court increased the father’s child support obligation but declined to order such modification effective as of the date the mother filed her petition to modify. The mother has appealed.

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Attorney 1: 

Christopher J. Pittman, Clarksville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Tonya Halleen Blackwell.

Attorney 2: 

Steven C. Girsky, Clarksville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Christopher S. Blackwell.

Judge: 
FRIERSON

IN RE ADDISON E., ET AL.

This appeal involves the termination of a mother’s parental rights to two minor children. Following a bench trial, the trial court found that clear and convincing evidence existed to support the termination of her rights on the statutory ground of severe child abuse. The court further found that termination was in the best interest of the children. The mother appeals. We affirm.

Attorney 1: 

Anne Greer, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Crystal P.

Attorney 2: 

Jennifer S. Bjornstad, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Charlotte R. T.

Judge: 
MCCLARTY

TERRY K. KING, ET AL. v. STEPHEN S. KELLY

Plaintiffs appeal from the trial court’s order denying their motion to enforce two offers of judgment offered serially by the defendant. Because the trial court improperly certified its judgment as final pursuant to Rule 54.02 of the Tennessee Rules of Civil Procedure, we dismiss this appeal for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.

Attorney 1: 

H. Anthony Duncan, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellants, Terry K. King, and Roger A. King.

Attorney 2: 

C. Benton Patton and Christopher M. Jones, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Stephen S. Kelly.

Judge: 
STAFFORD

VANESSA YOUNG COLLEY v. JOHN S. COLLEY, III

In this post-divorce action, Vanessa Young Colley (“Mother”) filed a petition for modification of the Permanent Parenting Plan (“Parenting Plan”) entered in connection with the parties’ Marital Dissolution Agreement (“MDA”) seeking to change the decision-making authority with regard to educational decisions for the parties’ minor children. After a hearing, the Circuit Court for Davisdon County (“the Trial Court”), inter alia, modified the Parenting Plan to change joint decision-making with regard to education to Mother having sole decision-making authority with regard to education. John S.

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Attorney 1: 

John S. Colley, III, Columbia, Tennessee, pro se appellant.

Attorney 2: 

Michael K. Parsley, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Vanessa Young Colley.

Judge: 
SWINEY

IN RE ESTATE OF TANDY NATHAN DALTON

In this probate action, the executrix proposed to distribute the decedent’s real and personal property in a manner that she claimed was in accordance with the decedent’s Last Will and Testament (“Will”). One beneficiary, one of the decedent’s three adult children, objected, claiming that the decedent had granted her an option to purchase one parcel of real property owned by the decedent. The trial court determined that the real property in question was an asset of the probate estate and that the executrix could administer it in accordance with the decedent’s Will.

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Attorney 1: 

Gerald L. Gulley, Jr., Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Linda Gass.

Attorney 2: 

Bruce Hill, Sevierville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Barbara Carmichael, Administrator of the Estate of Tandy Nathan Dalton.

Judge: 
FRIERSON