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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Mar 21, 2012

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys 1: Kirk Vandivort and Brian Ragan, Dickson, Tennessee, for the appellant, Constance Gail Jones.

Attorneys 2: J. Reese Holley, Dickson, Tennessee, for the appellee, Estate of Gary Gentry. Jack L. Garton, Dickson, Tennessee, for the appellee, Estate of Gracie Gentry.

Judge(s): CLEMENT

Appellant filed a motion to set aside an order that purported to settle a dispute concerning the real estate in a decedent’s estate. The court denied the motion; Appellant contends this was error. The parties announced their agreement to settle the dispute in open court. An order, titled “Agreed Order,” was subsequently entered but it was not signed by Appellant’s counsel; moreover, Appellant filed an objection to the entry of the order prior to it being approved by the court. The transcript of the agreement announced in court reveals that the so-called “Agreed Order” does not contain a material condition to the fulfillment of the agreement, that Appellant “is going to be borrowing money in order to come up with the funds necessary to offset that and pay these amounts to these other two individuals, so that’s part of the agreement.” We find the denial of Appellant’s motion to set aside the so-called Agreed Order causes an injustice to Appellant; accordingly, we reverse the denial of Appellant’s Rule 59.04 motion to set aside the November 3, 2010 Agreed Order. The trial court also found that performance under the agreement was not a legal impossibility, meaning that Appellant could obtain the requisite loan. We have determined the evidence preponderates against this finding because Appellant demonstrated that, due to the current appraised value of the property, she is unable to obtain the requisite financing. Accordingly, we reverse and remand for further proceedings consistent with this opinion to the extent necessary to complete the administration of the decedent’s estate.