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Court: TCA


Jay R. Slobey, James A. Freeman, III and Megan E. Livingstone, Nashville, Tennessee, appellants, Pro Se.

David W. Bush, Elizabethton, Tennessee, for the appellees, Anne A. VanHuss and Marilyn A. Elliott.

Christopher D. Owens, Johnson City, Tennessee, for the appellees, William John Allen, Charles H. Allen, and Violette Allen Parker.

David L. Robbins, Elizabethton, Tennessee, court-appointed Attorney ad Litem for William J. Allen.


In this conservatorship action, we granted the application of Jay R. Slobey, James A. Freeman, III and Megan E. Livingstone, all attorneys, for a Tenn. R. App. P. 10 extraordinary appeal seeking relief with respect to two interlocutory orders of the trial court. The orders are: (1) one prohibiting attorneys with the law firm of James A. Freeman & Associates, P.C. from representing William J. Allen ("the Ward"); and (2) another appointing attorney David L. Robbins as "Attorney ad Litem" but requiring him to perform duties "pursuant to T.C.A. section 34-1-107," a statute dealing with guardians ad litem. After this appeal was granted, the trial court entered an order purporting to "amend its order . . . which appoints David L. Robbins to serve as Attorney ad Litem pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. section 34-1-107 . . . to reflect that David L. Robbins is to serve . . . pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. section 34-1-125," a statute pertaining to attorneys ad litem. The court"s amending order is also being challenged. We (a) affirm the order prohibiting the representation of the Ward by attorneys from the law firm of James A. Freeman & Associates P.C., and (b) vacate the order appointing Mr. Robbins and the later order purporting to amend the order of appointment.


Court: TCA


Lance A. Evans, Maryville, Tennessee, for the appellants, Rhonda H. and Keith H.

Wayne Decatur Wykoff, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Randy H.


This is a case regarding the custody of a minor female child, Bevin H. (DOB: Dec. 19, 2001) ("the Child"). The Child was born to Randy H. ("Father") and his wife. Tragically, the Child's mother died two days after the Child was born. Shortly thereafter, the Child's paternal aunt, Rhonda H. ("Aunt") and her husband, became the Child's primary caregivers. Aunt sought custody, alleging that the Child was dependent and neglected in Father's care. During the pendency of the custody case, the Child was taken into state custody based on evidence that she had been sexually molested. The Child was released to Father and Aunt under an agreed shared parenting plan before the parties filed competing custody petitions. Following a hearing, the juvenile court granted Aunt custody of the Child upon finding that the Child faced a risk of substantial harm if left in Father's custody. Father was granted supervised visitation with the Child. Father appealed to the trial court. In a two-sentence decision, with no findings of fact, the trial court reversed and placed full custody of the Child with Father. Aunt appeals. We reverse.


Court: TCA


Jeremy Dwayne Caldwell, Whiteville, Tennessee, Pro Se.

Jeffrey M. Beemer and Kerry M. Ewald, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Linda Neal, as the Clerk of Circuit Court Wilson County, Tennessee.


Plaintiff in breach of contract action appeals the grant of summary judgment to the defendant. Finding that a genuine issue of material fact exists which precludes summary judgment, we reverse the judgment and remand for further proceedings.


Court: TCA


Sandy Phillips, Johnson City, Tennessee, for the appellant, Eric B.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; Joshua Davis Baker, Assistant Attorney General; Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Tennessee Department of Children's Services.


Eric B. ("Father") appeals the termination of his parental rights with respect to his two minor children. The Department of Children's Services ("DCS") petitioned to terminate Father's rights based upon allegations of abandonment, substantial noncompliance with a permanency plan, and persistence of conditions. Following a hearing, which Father failed to attend, the trial court granted the petition upon finding, by clear and convincing evidence, that all of the alleged grounds were established and that termination was in the best interest of the children. On appeal, Father asserts that his due process rights were violated. He also challenges the weight of the evidence supporting the court's decision to terminate his parental rights. We reject both challenges. Accordingly, we affirm.


Court: TCA


C. Mark Troutman, LaFollette, Tennessee, for the appellants, Barbara J. Thompson and James L. Thompson.

Mary D. Miller, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Greenbank F/K/A Greene County Bank.


Bank provided a loan to Borrowers for the purchase of real property and construction of a log cabin home. After Borrowers defaulted on the loan, Bank sold the property at a foreclosure sale. Bank then initiated a lawsuit alleging conversion, negligent business representation, and promissory fraud. Bank also sought a deficiency judgment for the difference in the amount owed on the loan and the foreclosure sale price. After a bench trial, the trial court awarded a judgment for $61,782.12 and a deficiency judgment for $300,644.92 in favor of Bank. Borrowers appeal. We affirm.


Court: TCA


William L. Gribble, II, Maryville, Tennessee, for the appellant, James G.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; and Warren A. Jasper, Senior Counsel, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, State of Tennessee, ex rel. Rochelle L.


This is an action to establish paternity and set child support filed by the State of Tennessee on behalf of Rochelle L. ("Mother"), the mother of a child born August 6, 1988. The putative father is James G. ("Father"). The trial court held Father liable for back child support of $123,334 by a default judgment entered September 3, 2008. Father filed a post-judgment motion challenging the judgment for lack of service of process. The trial court denied the motion upon finding that Father had "notice" of the action. As a consequence of this finding, the court held that the judgment was valid pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. section 36-2-305(b)(5)(2010). Father appeals. We affirm.


Court: TCA


Johnny V. Dunaway, LaFollette, Tennessee, for the appellant, Sherry Watson.

David H. Stanifer and Lindsey C. Cadle, Tazewell, Tennessee, for the appellee, Beazer Watson.


This is a divorce action filed by Sherry Watson ("Wife") against Beazer Watson ("Husband"). Following a bench trial, the court granted the parties a divorce based on stipulated grounds. It also classified and distributed substantial property, some as separate and the rest as marital. Wife secured new counsel and filed motions, with supporting exhibits, challenging the classification and division of property. The motions purport to be pursuant to, respectively, Tenn. R. Civ. P. 59 and 60.02. The trial court denied the motions. Wife appeals the denial of her motions. We affirm.


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