Suggestion of Death Triggers Case's Dismissal

PEGGY DOBBINS, AS CONSERVATOR OF THE ESTATE OF FRANK BAILEY, JR. V. GERALD S. GREEN, ET AL.
Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys:

Gerald S. Green, Memphis, Tennessee, Pro Se.

Julian T. Bolton and JoeDae L. Jenkins, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellee, Peggy Dobbins.

Jay A. Ebelhar and Nolan Johnson, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellee, CitiFinancial Services, Inc.

Douglas A. Black, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellees, Regions Bank and Regions Financial Corporations.

James R. Newson, III, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellees, Springleaf Financial Services, Inc. f/k/a American General Financial Services, Inc.

Michael G. McLaren and Courtney C. McLaren, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellee, Fidelity & Deposit Company of Maryland.

Judge: STAFFORD

This is a Tennessee Rule of Civil Procedure 25.01 case. Following plaintiff’s death and the filing of a suggestion of death in the trial court, no motion to substitute party was made within the ninety day time period set out in Rule 25.01. The trial court determined that the failure to file a motion for substitution of party was not the result of excusable neglect and granted the Rule 25.01 motion to dismiss the lawsuit. The court subsequently also granted the plaintiff’s motion for voluntary dismissal under Tennessee Rule of Civil Procedure 41.01. We conclude that, in the absence of excusable neglect, failure to comply with Rule 25.01 requires mandatory dismissal of the case with prejudice and the lawsuit may not thereafter be revived by the filing of a motion for voluntary dismissal. Reversed and remanded.

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