Anderson County Tennessee, et ql. v. Tennessee State Board of Equalization, et al.

Anderson County Tennessee, et ql. v. Tennessee State Board of Equalization, et al.
E2018-00142-COA-R3-CV

This appeal concerns the validity of an agreed order entered in a proceeding before the Tennessee Board of Equalization in a contested case between Anderson County, Tennessee, and Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Inc. The order purported to settle a dispute over the value of dies, jigs, and molds used for manufacturing automobile parts. The attorney for the Tennessee Comptroller’s Division of Property Assessments, which intervened in the proceeding, signed the agreed order on behalf of Toyota and the Anderson County Property Assessor “with express permission” of both parties, two months later, the Assessor moved to set the order aside, asserting that he had not agreed to the settlement terms or given the attorney for the Division of Property Assessments permission to sign on his behalf. The administrative judge treated the motion as one for extraordinary relief under the guidance of Tennessee Rule of Civil Procedure 60.02 and held an evidentiary hearing. The administrative judge found the testimony of the Division of Property Assessment’s attorney was more credible than that of the Anderson County Assessor and denied the motion. The County filed a petition for review with the Chancery Court and the trial court reversed the decision of the administrative law judge, finding that the documentary evidence gave more credibility to the Assessor’s testimony. Considering the deference that reviewing courts must give to credibility determinations, we find no basis for reversing the administrative judge’s decision to deny Anderson County’s motion. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the trial court, and remand the case with instructions to remand the case to the Tennessee Board of Equalization for further proceedings.

Authoring Judge: 
Judge Richard H. Dinkins
Originating Judge: 
Judge. M. Nichole Cantrell
Date Filed: 
Friday, February 14, 2020