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Posted by: Landry Butler on May 14, 2018

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys 1:

William T. Ramsey, Thomas H. Dundon, and J. Isaac Sanders, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Charles Edward Walker.

Attorneys 2:

Eugene N. Bulso and Paul J. Krog, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellees, Family Trust Services, LLC, Steven D. Reigle, Regal Homes, Co., Billy G. Gregory, John R. Sherrod, III.

Herbert H. Slatery, III, Attorney General and Reporter; Andre´e S. Blumstein, Solicitor General; and Alexander S. Rieger, Deputy Attorney General, for the Office of the Attorney General and Reporter.

Judge(s): DINKINS

This appeal of a conviction for criminal contempt arises out of a civil suit brought by business owners against the owners and employees of a competing business for fraud in the use of the tax-sale and redemption process for real property. The trial court issued a temporary injunction, prohibiting defendants from, inter alia, recording deeds in real estate transactions without an authentic notary seal on the documents and requiring defendants to notify the court and opposing counsel of any documents they intended to record in the Register’s Office. Appellant, the owner of the business which was the subject of the injunction, subsequently formed a trust in which Appellant retained the right to direct the distribution of income and principal and to amend, revoke, or terminate the trust. The trustee of the trust was conveyed real property in trust and recorded the deed without the notice required by the injunction. The property was subsequently sold, and, at Appellant’s instruction, a portion of the proceeds of sale used to pay Appellant’s legal fees for a related proceeding; the trial court held that, in so doing, the Appellant willfully and for a bad purpose violated the injunction, and held him in contempt. On appeal, Appellant argues that the evidence is insufficient to support the conviction. We have reviewed the record and conclude that there is evidence to support the contempt conviction beyond a reasonable doubt and accordingly affirm the judgment.