EDITH JOHNSON ET AL. v. MARK C. HOPKINS ET AL. - Articles

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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Dec 19, 2013

Court: TN Supreme Court

Attorneys 1:

Martin Thomas Walsh, Jr., Nader Baydoun, and Stephen C. Knight, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellants, Edith Johnson and Lisa Miller.

Attorneys 2:

James G. King, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellees, Mark C. Hopkins and Milton Williams.

Judge(s): CLARK

We granted permission to appeal to determine whether a provision of the unlawful detainer statute, which requires that a tenant appealing to the circuit court from a general sessions court’s judgment in favor of a landlord must post a bond equal to one year’s rent of the premises, applies regardless of whether the tenant has surrendered possession of the property prior to the appeal. We hold that the plain language of Tennessee Code Annotated section 29-18-130(b)(2) (2012) does not require that a tenant appealing to the circuit court from an adverse general sessions court judgment in an unlawful detainer action post a bond corresponding to one year’s rent of the premises if the tenant has surrendered possession of the premises prior to the appeal. Accordingly, the cost bond that the tenants have already posted pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated section 27-5-103(a) (2000) is sufficient to perfect their appeal and confer subject matter jurisdiction on the Circuit Court. We affirm the Circuit Court’s judgment denying the landlords’ motion to dismiss and remand the case to the Circuit Court for further proceedings consistent with this decision.

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