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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Jun 19, 2014

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Virginia P. Bozeman and Robert B. Rolwing, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Shelby County, Tennessee.

Attorneys 2:

Kevin A. Snider, Germantown, Tennessee, for the appellee, Wilson R. Vasconez.

Judge(s): STAFFORD

Appellant Shelby County appeals a portion of the trial court’s judgment in favor of Appellee, the purchaser of property formerly owned by Shelby County. After a bench trial, the trial court awarded the Appellee property damages, prejudgment interest, and attorney’s fees based on its finding that Shelby County committed inverse condemnation of the Appellee’s property by failing to inform the Appellee of the condemnation proceedings commenced by the City of Memphis. Because the City of Memphis, and not Shelby County, was the condemnor of the property, we conclude that the trial court erred in awarding damages against Shelby County on the theory of inverse condemnation, and further erred in awarding attorney’s fees pursuant to the inverse condemnation statute. Accordingly, we reverse the finding of inverse condemnation and the award of attorney’s fees against Shelby County. Shelby County does not appeal the trial court’s award of property damages or prejudgment interest. That award is, therefore, affirmed. Affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded.