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Court: TCA


John M. Neal, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant Cincinnati Insurance Company.

D. Andrew Saulters, Deron H. Brown, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellees, Mid-South Drillers Supply, Inc. and Eaton Aeroquip, Inc.


The issue presented by this appeal is whether a trial court may exercise its discretion granted under rules 34 and 37 of the Tennessee Rules of Civil Procedure to dismiss a party's case for spoliation of evidence where the spoliation may have been inadvertent rather than intentional. We hold that the trial court has the discretion to sanction a party by dismissal of its case where the party's destruction of evidence severely prejudices an adverse party's defense irrespective of whether the destruction was inadvertent or intentional. We accordingly affirm the trial court judgement.



Court: TCA


John T. Rice, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for appellant.

K. Stephen Powers, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for appellee.


Plaintiff sued recipient of an inter vivos gift to recover the gift on the grounds defendant violated a fiduciary duty owed to plaintiff, and the failure of defendant to comply with conditions of the gift. The Trial Court ruled in favor of defendant. We affirm.



Court: TCA


Lisa Z. Bowman, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellant, Wade Eugene Sims.

Charles D. Paty, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellee, Suzanne Michelle Sims.


As pertinent to the issues on appeal, the trial court, in this divorce case, designated the plaintiff, Suzanne Michelle Sims ("Mother"), the primary residential parent of the parties’ two minor children; imputed income to Wade Eugene Sims ("Father") for the purpose of calculating his child support obligation; and ordered Father to pay Mother $17,200, which amount represents half of the parties' equity – as found by the trial court – in the former marital residence, which was foreclosed on by Father's parents after the parties' separation. Father appeals, challenging the propriety of all of these rulings. We affirm.



Court: TCA


Paul E. Lewis, Millington, TN, for Appellant

Frank Deslauriers, Covington, TN, for Appellee


This is a case involving the chancery court's decision not to terminate a mother's parental rights. The father and his wife petitioned the court to terminate the mother's rights and allow the wife to adopt the minor child. The court held a termination hearing to determine if the mother's rights should be terminated. In the order dismissing the petition for termination and adoption, the court found that the mother had not abandoned the child by failure to visit because her attempts to maintain contact and visit the child were thwarted by the father and his wife. As to the father and wife's contention that the mother abandoned the child by her failure to pay child support, the court found that the mother had no reason why she did not pay child support, but then found that her failure to pay did not constitute abandonment. On this appeal, we do not have a transcript of the trial proceedings. The father filed a statement of the evidence, and the mother filed an objection to the father's proposed statement of the evidence. In the mother's filed objection, she stated that the parties stipulated at trial that her failure to pay child support "'was not sufficient in itself to terminate [her] parental rights." The chancery court certified its own statement of evidence, concurring with the mother's filed objection and stating that the mother's failure to pay child support was not willful because of her lack of education and inability to maintain employment. Father appeals, and we affirm.



Court: TCA


James R. Kennamer, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for appellant.

Stuart F. James, Terri L. Bernal and S. Todd Hastey, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for appellee.


Plaintiff who fell in a mobile home sued the lessor owner for damages for injuries. The Trial Court granted summary judgment to defendant. On appeal, we vacate the summary judgment and remand.



Court: TCA


Perry H. Young, Chattanooga, Tennessee, appellant, Pro Se.

Mary Neill Southerland, Hamilton County Attorney’s Office, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellee, Hamilton County, Tennessee.


The plaintiff sued Hamilton County seeking damages for false arrest. The complaint seeks damages for false arrest. Following the dismissal, the plaintiff filed a motion pursuant to Tenn. R. Civ. P. 60.02(2) seeking to vacate the order of dismissal. The motion charged that Hamilton County was guilty of fraud in connection with the filing of its motion. The trial court denied the plaintiff's motion. The plaintiff appeals, contending that the trial court erred when it failed to vacate its order dismissing the plaintiff's complaint. We affirm pursuant to the provisions of Court of Appeals Rule 10.1.



Court: TCCA


Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Renee W. Turner, Assistant Attorney General; Randall E. Nichols, District Attorney General; and Ta Kisha M. Fitzgerald, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellant, State of Tennessee.

Brandt Davis (on appeal) and Paul S. Hensley (at trial), Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Dearice Cates.

Judge: GLENN

The defendant was convicted by a Knox County jury of three counts of especially aggravated kidnapping and one count each of aggravated robbery, attempted aggravated robbery, assault, and aggravated burglary, and received an effective sentence of twenty-four years. The trial court subsequently granted the defendant's motion for judgment of acquittal as to the three especially aggravated kidnapping convictions, holding that the defendant could not be convicted of both kidnapping and robbery because the movement or confinement supporting each kidnapping conviction was essentially incidental to the commission of the robbery, decisions which the State appealed. The defendant likewise appealed, challenging the sufficiency of the evidence supporting his conviction for aggravated robbery. We affirm the defendant's conviction for aggravated robbery and the trial court's dismissal of one count of especially aggravated kidnapping. We reverse the trial court's dismissal of the remaining two counts of especially aggravated kidnapping and remand for reinstatement of those convictions. In all other respects, the judgments of the trial court are affirmed.



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