LIVESTREAMING: Final Supreme Court Case Set to Begin at 12:30 p.m. CDT

May 19, 2020

The live-stream of the final case on the Tennessee Supreme Court's docket today will begin at 1:30 p.m. EDT/12:30 CDT on the TN Courts YouTube page. The Tennessee Supreme Court remains committed to keeping Tennessee courts open while protecting the health and safety of all parties. Due to the continued concerns regarding COVID-19, the cases set for the May 19, 2020 docket will be heard by livestream video conferencing. This is one of the many efforts the Court has taken during the COVID-19 pandemic to prioritize the health and well-being of all litigants, attorneys, judges, and employees of the court system.

The first two cases on the docket was live-streamed this morning and is available as an archived video on the TN Courts YouTube page:  https://www.youtube.com/user/TNCourts

The details of the final case are as follows:

Scott Trent et al. v. Mountain Commerce Bank et al.– This case involves an attempt to reform a deed for real property.  The essential question raised by this case is whether Tennessee law precludes the reformation of a deed to add an omitted party even when it is undisputed that the intent of the parties was that the omitted party be included.  The property included in the deed (“the Property”) was conveyed by Real Estate Holdings of East Tennessee, L.P. (“REH”) to Scott and Ted Trent in 2016.  REH acquired the Property from Adren and Pamela Green on March 10, 2010, by quitclaim deed.  The March 10 deed included Adren Green’s name and signature as grantor and Shannon Green’s name and signature as grantee and representative of REH.  Pamela Green’s name and signature did not appear on the deed.  Between 2010 and 2016, First Community Bank and Mountain Commerce Bank (“the respondents”) were awarded judgments against Adren and Pamela Green.  On August 30, 2016, REH conveyed the property to the Trents, and, shortly thereafter, Adren and Pamela Green executed a correction to the August 30 deed that acknowledged Pamela Green was absent from the original March 10, 2010 deed that gave REH interest in the Property, and the parties attempted to correct the March 10 deed to add Pamela Green as grantor.  On September 8, 2017, Scott and Ted Trent, trustee William Phillips, and Civis Bank (“the petitioners”) initiated a declaratory judgment action seeking to declare that they were vested with “all right, title, and interest” in the Property, subject only to the deed of trust executed in order to secure financing through Civis Bank.  Additionally, the petitioners sought to declare that the respondents had no interest or lien on the Property via their judgments against the Greens.  The petitioners requested that the trial court reform the original March 10, 2010 quitclaim deed to include Pamela Green as grantor.  After a trial, the court determined that the evidence showed Pamela Green intended to convey her interest in the Property in the March 10, 2010 deed.  However, the trial court held that it did not have the power to add Pamela Green as a grantor because there was no mutual mistake between the actual parties to that deed, Arden and Shannon Green.  The trial court declined to hold that the petitioners were the only parties with interest in the Property.  The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court’s decision.  On appeal to the Tennessee Supreme Court, the petitioners argue that the March 10 deed was just a manifestation of the original agreement between three parties, Arden, Pamela, and Shannon Green, and there was a mutual mistake between those three parties that led to the deed not accurately reflecting the transfer of Pamela Green’s interest.  Additionally, because all parties testified and agreed that it was a mistake not to include Pamela Green on the March 10 deed, the trial court had the authority to reform the deed.  The respondents argue that their judgments attached to Pamela Green’s interest in the property, giving them a superior interest in the property over the petitioners, and the March 10 deed cannot be reformed when there are intervening judgment liens on the Property.  The respondents also argue that reformation cannot be used to add a grantor to the deed.The live-stream of the final case on the Tennessee Supreme Court's docket today will begin at 1:30 p.m. EDT/12:30 CDT on the TN Courts YouTube page. The Tennessee Supreme Court remains committed to keeping Tennessee courts open while protecting the health and safety of all parties. Due to the continued concerns regarding COVID-19, the cases set for the May 19, 2020 docket will be heard by livestream video conferencing. This is one of the many efforts the Court has taken during the COVID-19 pandemic to prioritize the health and well-being of all litigants, attorneys, judges, and employees of the court system.