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Posted by: Stacey Shrader Joslin on Dec 27, 2012

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys 1:

James B. Webb and Brandon L. Newman, Trenton, Tennessee, for the Plaintiff/Appellant James Robert Wilken.

Attorneys 2:

Barbara Hobock, Humboldt, Tennessee, for the Defendant/Appellee Mary Charlotte Wilken (no appellate brief filed).

Judge(s): KIRBY

This appeal involves jurisdiction over a divorce case. The parties lived in Maryland throughout their 19-year marriage. In 2007 or 2008, the husband left the marital home in Maryland. Several months later, he moved to Tennessee. About one year after he moved to Tennessee, the husband filed this complaint for divorce in the trial court below. The wife filed an answer and a counterclaim for divorce. The trial court conducted the first day of trial in the matter, and the case was continued. Before the trial resumed, the trial court sua sponte entered an order dismissing the case for lack of jurisdiction, in personam jurisdiction over the wife and apparently also lack of subject-matter jurisdiction over the case. The husband now appeals. We reverse the trial court’s decision and remand for further proceedings.