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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on May 29, 2013

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Michael Ray Jennings, Lebanon, Tennessee, for the appellants, Robert Luther Pettit, Leonard Haven Pettit, David Blaine Pettit, Estate of Joe Boyd Martin.

Attorneys 2:

Michael W. Ferrell, Mt. Juliet, Tennessee, for the appellees, Steven B. Martin, Joseph M. Martin.

Judge(s): COTTRELL

This case involves a claim first asserted against a decedent’s estate by the decedent’s longtime companion, and then pursued after her death by her heirs The claim was transferred from the probate court to the chancery court and then, by agreed order, to the circuit court for a jury trial. The jury upheld the validity of the claim, and the court entered a judgment on the verdict. The decedent’s heirs then filed post-trial motions contending that the circuit court lacked jurisdiction over the claim. After extensive briefing, the circuit court agreed with those arguments and vacated its own judgment. We reverse the trial court and reinstate its original judgment.