All Content

Posted by: Tanja Trezise on May 15, 2012

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter, and Sue A. Sheldon, Senior Counsel, Health Care Division, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Tennessee Department of Human Services.

Attorneys 2:

K. Karl Spalvins, J. Terry Holland, and Shannon M. Holland, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellees, Mary Claudine Holland and Robert Shields Holland.

Judge(s): MCCLARTY

This appeal involves the “spousal impoverishment” provision of the Medicare Catastrophic Coverage Act of 1988. Mary Claudine Holland and Robert Shields Holland were married in 1967. Robert Shields Holland was placed in a nursing home for health-related problems in 2009. Mary Claudine Holland filed a complaint for separate maintenance in which she sought division of the marital assets and income. The trial court granted her request and filed an order reflecting its decision. The Tennessee Department of Human Services filed a motion to intervene and to set aside the order. The trial court denied the motions. The Tennessee Department of Human Services appeals. We reverse the judgment of the trial court and remand with instruction to the court to reconsider the complaint for separate maintenance with the Tennessee Department of Human Services present as an intervening party.