CHEYNEY MCCARTER, d/b/a USA SPORTS GRILL, LLC v. CITY OF MT. JULIET, ET AL.

The Mt. Juliet Beer Board suspended the beer permit of a restaurant, and the restaurant owner appealed the suspension to the chancery court by filing a petition for writ of certiorari. The City did not file an answer within the requisite time period because it did not believe Tenn. Code Ann. § 57-5-108, which governs appeals of beer board decisions, required this. The City actively participated in the case in other ways by filing a motion to set the case for trial, filing a comprehensive pre-trial brief, and responding to discovery requests. The restaurant owner moved for default judgment based on the City’s failure to answer the petition, after which the City filed an answer. On the day set for trial, the trial court awarded the restaurant owner a default judgment based on the City’s failure to file an answer in a timely fashion and its failure to seek leave to file a late answer. We reverse and remand to the trial court for further proceedings.

Attorney 1: 

Brandt M. McMillan, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellants, City of Mt. Juliet, City of Mt. Juliet Beer Board, and the following Individuals Serving in their capacity as members of the Beer Board: Mike Wheeler, Gwen Sherman, Winston “Ted” Floyd, Mike Gallion, and Mark Brewer.

Attorney 2: 

G. Jeff Cherry, Lebanon, Tennessee; David Henry Veile, Franklin, Tennessee; James B. Lewis, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Cheyney McCarter, d/b/a USA Sports Grill, LLC.

Judge: 
COTTRELL
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