All Content

Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Sep 26, 2013

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Joseph D. Barton, Millington, Tennessee, for the Defendant/Appellant, Brian W. Groves

Attorneys 2:

Gary E. Veazey, Memphis, Tennessee, for the Plaintiff/Appellee, Robb Thompson

Judge(s): KIRBY

This is a collateral attack on an order entered by a general sessions court. The plaintiff tenant leased residential property from the defendant landowner. The tenant fell behind in his rent, so the landowner filed a forcible entry and detainer action in general sessions court against the tenant and obtained a judgment for the past-due rent. The tenant did not appeal that judgment. Months later, the tenant filed the instant lawsuit in chancery court to set aside the general sessions court judgment. The tenant alleged in the chancery court complaint that the general sessions court did not have subject matter jurisdiction to adjudicate the FED action because the landowner did not give the tenant a statutorily-required notice of termination of the lease. The chancery court below agreed with the tenant and set aside the general sessions judgment as void for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. The landowner now appeals. We reverse the decision of the chancery court and remand with directions to dismiss the tenant’s lawsuit in its entirety.