John Huron, Et Al v. Vladimir Kruglyak, Et Al.
E2022-01812-COA-R3-CV
Authoring Judge: Judge Thomas R. Frierson, II
Trial Court Judge: Chancellor John S. McLellan, III

In this easement dispute involving a shared driveway between adjoining real property
owners, the petitioners filed an action for declaratory judgment, alleging that the
respondents had interfered with their use of the driveway and requesting that the court
declare the “rights and obligations of the parties.” Acting without benefit of counsel, one
of the two respondents filed a response opposing the petition and subsequently filed a
motion for summary judgment asserting multiple counterclaims. The trial court
dismissed the respondent’s counterclaims in an order not included in the appellate record.
The trial court conducted a bench trial, during which all parties were represented by
counsel. At trial, the petitioners sought an implied easement and an easement by
necessity. The trial court determined, inter alia, that the parties had shared driveway
easements and that the petitioners had carried their burden to prove an implied easement
and an easement by necessity. The court included in its judgment parking limitations on
the parties’ use of the shared driveway. The respondent who initially filed pleadings pro
se has appealed, again acting without benefit of counsel. Discerning no reversible error,
we affirm

Sullivan Court of Appeals

In Re Christopher R.
W2023-00082-COA-R3-JV
Authoring Judge: Judge Jeffrey Usman
Trial Court Judge: Judge Paul B. Conley, III

A woman asserting that she is a child’s great-grandmother filed a petition to establish paternity and for grandparent visitation. On the face of the petition, the purported great-grandmother brought the action both on behalf of herself and, acting with a power of attorney, on behalf of her grandson, the alleged biological father of the child. The parties agree that a power of attorney was never properly executed by the alleged father. After a hearing, the trial court dismissed the petition in full. With regard to the paternity suit, the trial court found that the great-grandmother lacked the authority to file a paternity suit on the alleged biological father’s behalf and did not have standing to bring it on her own behalf, and therefore the paternity action was due to be dismissed. With regard to the grandparent visitation action, the trial court held that without a pending contested paternity suit, the grandmother lacked standing to bring an action for grandparent visitation, and in the alternative, that the juvenile court lacked subject matter jurisdiction to hear the action. We affirm.

Crockett Court of Appeals

In Re Kamahri W., et al.
M2023-00692-COA-R3-PT
Authoring Judge: Judge John W. McClarty
Trial Court Judge: Judge Timothy K. Barnes

This action involves the termination of a father’s parental rights to his three children. Following a bench trial, the court found that clear and convincing evidence existed to establish the following statutory grounds of termination: (1) abandonment by failure to provide a suitable home; (2) substantial noncompliance with the permanency plans; (3) the persistence of conditions which led to removal; and (4) failure to manifest an ability and willingness to assume custody of the children. The court also found that termination was in the best interest of the children. We affirm the trial court’s ultimate termination decision.

Montgomery Court of Appeals

Estate of Lloyd Edward Tomlinson v. Melissa Malone, Now King
M2023-00470-COA-R3-CV
Authoring Judge: Judge Carma Dennis McGee
Trial Court Judge: Judge David D. Wolfe

This appeal arises from a complaint wherein the plaintiff alleged that he had a confidential relationship with his alleged biological daughter and that she induced him, by a promise that she would take care of him, to grant her a remainder interest in his real property. After a bench trial, the trial court found that a confidential relationship existed between the plaintiff and defendant and that suspicious circumstances existed to support a finding of undue influence. As such, the trial court entered an order divesting the defendant of any interest that she had in the property and restoring the plaintiff’s interest in the property to be held by his estate. The defendant appeals. Discerning no error, we affirm.

Houston Court of Appeals

In Re Estate of Elga Jean Epley
M2023-00998-COA-R3-CV
Authoring Judge: Presiding Judge Frank G. Clement, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Chancellor Michael E. Spitzer

After four creditors filed separate claims against the estate of Elga Jean Epley (“the
estate”), the estate timely filed sworn exceptions to each separate claim. The creditors are
(1) JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A., (2) Bank of America, N.A., (3) Phillips & Cohen
Associates, Ltd on behalf of Citibank, and (4) Maury Regional Health System (collectively
“the creditors”). Following a hearing on the claims and the exceptions thereto, during
which no testimony was introduced and no representative appeared on behalf of any of the
creditors, the trial court denied the exceptions to each of the claims. This appeal by the
estate followed. None of the creditors have filed a brief. Thus, none of the creditors have
presented arguments in opposition to the issues raised by the estate, as required by
Tennessee Rule of Appellate Procedure 27(b) and Rule 6 of the Rules of the Court of
Appeals of Tennessee. Having reviewed the record and considered the arguments presented
by the estate, we reverse the judgment of the trial court for the reasons set forth below and
remand with instructions to deny all of the claims asserted by the appellees and to enter
judgment in favor of the estate.

Lewis Court of Appeals

Keith Lee Lieberman v. Belinda Renee Wilson
E2024-00137-COA-R3-CV
Authoring Judge: Judge Thomas R. Frierson, II
Trial Court Judge: Judge Beth Boniface

Because the order from which the appellant has filed an appeal does not constitute a final appealable judgment, this Court lacks jurisdiction to consider this appeal.

Greene Court of Appeals

Shane Bruce v. Carolyn Jackson Et Al.
E2023-00443-COA-R3-CV
Authoring Judge: Judge Kristi M. Davis
Trial Court Judge: Judge Michael Pemberton

In this intrafamily dispute, a son sued his mother and various other family members following the death of his father. The claims included, inter alia, breach of contract, libel and slander, and wrongful death. The defendant family members eventually filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that statutes of limitation barred several of the son’s claims, and that there was no evidence the son could point to in support of his additional
claims. Following a hearing, the trial court granted summary judgment to the defendants and dismissed the suit. The son appeals. Having determined that the son’s brief is not compliant with the relevant rules of briefing in this Court, we conclude that his issues purportedly raised on appeal are waived and the appeal is dismissed.

Campbell Court of Appeals

State of Tennessee v. Kesean Dewayne Hall
M2022-01176-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Kyle A. Hixson
Trial Court Judge: Judge Steve R. Dozier

The Defendant, Kesean Dewayne Hall, appeals his jury convictions for second degree murder, attempted second degree murder, employing a firearm during the commission of or attempt to commit a dangerous felony, and criminal trespass. For these convictions, he received an effective thirty-five-year sentence. On appeal, the Defendant challenges (1) the denial of his motion to sever the separate shooting episodes; (2) the sufficiency of the convicting evidence; (3) the admission of video footage showing the Defendant trespassing on the housing development’s property; and (4) the admission of “video evidence related to Crime Scene 3.” He also raises a claim of cumulative error and a challenge to his sentence. Following our review, we conclude that due to inadequacies in the Defendant’s appellate brief, all of his issues are waived save sufficiency of the evidence. First, relative to the sufficiency of the evidence, we conclude that the evidence was insufficient to support the Defendant’s criminal trespass conviction, and that conviction must be reversed and dismissed. Next, the evidence’s being sufficient to support the Defendant’s remaining convictions for second degree murder, attempted second degree murder, and employing a firearm during the commission of or attempt to commit a dangerous felony, those convictions are affirmed. The case is remanded to the trial court for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

Davidson Court of Criminal Appeals

State of Tennessee v. Lavondas C. Nelson
M2023-00176-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Matthew J. Wilson
Trial Court Judge: Judge Barry R. Tidwell

A Rutherford County jury found Defendant, Lavondas C. Nelson, guilty of two counts of sale of more than 0.5 grams of cocaine within 1,000 feet of a school (Counts 1 and 2), and sale of more than 0.5 grams of cocaine (Count 3). The trial court sentenced him to forty years in the Tennessee Department of Correction (TDOC). On appeal, Defendant argues the evidence was insufficient to establish that he sold cocaine within a school zone, the trial court erred in failing to instruct the jury on entrapment, and his sentence is excessive. After review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court. However, we remand the case to the trial court for entry of revised judgments in Counts 1 and 2 that reflect the proper release eligibility for those offenses.

Rutherford Court of Criminal Appeals

Nicholas D. Brooks v. State of Tennessee
W2023-00824-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge John W. Campbell, Sr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Chris Craft

The Petitioner, Nicholas D. Brooks, appeals the Shelby County Criminal Court’s denial of his post-conviction petition, seeking relief from his convictions for two counts of first degree felony murder, one count of especially aggravated robbery, one count of aggravated burglary, and one count of employing a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felony. On appeal, the Petitioner contends that he received ineffective assistance of trial and appellate counsel. Based on our review, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

Shelby Court of Criminal Appeals

State of Tennessee v. Antonio Turley
W2022-01810-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert W. Wedemeyer
Trial Court Judge: Judge Lee V. Coffee

A Shelby County jury convicted the Defendant, Antonio Turley, of attempted first degree murder, attempted first degree murder with serious bodily injury, and reckless endangerment with a dangerous weapon. The trial court imposed a total effective sentence of two consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole. On appeal, the Defendant challenges the admission of certain evidence and the sufficiency of the evidence. He also alleges prosecutorial misconduct. After a thorough review of the record and applicable law, we affirm the trial court’s judgments.

Shelby Court of Criminal Appeals

State of Tennessee v. Nakomis Jones
W2022-01638-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert W. Wedemeyer
Trial Court Judge: Judge Melissa Boyd

For events in 2001, a Shelby County jury convicted the Petitioner, Nakomis Jones, of murder, kidnapping, and gun related charges, and the trial court sentenced him to an effective sentence of life in prison plus thirty-eight years. The Petitioner unsuccessfully appealed his convictions, as well as filed for post-conviction relief, Federal habeas corpus relief, and motions to reopen the denial of relief in each instance. As relevant here, in 2022, the Petitioner filed a petition pursuant to the Post-Conviction Fingerprint Analysis Act of 2021. He sought fingerprint analysis of the palm print and a handgun collected during the investigation. The post-conviction court summarily dismissed the petition. On appeal, the Petitioner contends that the post-conviction court erred when it denied his petition. After review, we affirm the post-conviction court’s judgment.

Shelby Court of Criminal Appeals

Haren Construction Company, Inc. v. Olen Ford
E2023-00503-COA-R3-CV
Authoring Judge: Judge D. Michael Swiney
Trial Court Judge: Chancellor Richard B. Armstrong

The Chancery Court for Knox County (the “Trial Court”) granted the motion for partial summary judgment filed by Haren Construction Company, Inc. (“Plaintiff”), concluding that Olen Ford d/b/a Olen Ford Masonry and Construction (“Defendant”) had breached his contract with Plaintiff. The Trial Court awarded a judgment to Plaintiff against Defendant in the amount of $64,971.40. Defendant has appealed. Discerning no reversible error, we affirm the Trial Court’s judgment.

Knox Court of Appeals

State of Tennessee v. Adrian Moore
W2023-00664-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge John W. Campbell, Sr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Chris Craft

The Defendant, Adrian Moore, was convicted in the Shelby County Criminal Court of second degree murder, voluntary manslaughter, especially aggravated robbery, and two counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and received an effective sentence of forty-six years in confinement. On appeal, the Defendant claims that the evidence is insufficient to support his convictions of second degree murder and especially aggravated robbery. Based upon our review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

Shelby Court of Criminal Appeals

Carl Franklin Pendergrast v. State of Tennessee
M2023-00057-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert L. Holloway, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Forest A. Durard, Jr.

Petitioner, Carl Franklin Pendergrast, appeals the Bedford County Circuit Court’s denial of post-conviction relief from his guilty-pleaded convictions for four counts of sale of methamphetamine less than .5 grams, two counts of sale of hydrocodone, one count of sale of cocaine less than .5 grams, and one count of conspiracy to deliver methamphetamine less than .5 grams, for which he received a total effective sentence of twenty-six years’ incarceration. Petitioner contends that he is entitled to post-conviction relief because his guilty pleas were the product of coercion and, therefore, not voluntarily entered. Following a thorough review, we affirm the post-conviction court’s denial of relief.

Bedford Court of Criminal Appeals

Patrick Marshall v. Brandon Watwood, Warden
W2023-01314-CCA-R3-HC
Authoring Judge: Judge Kyle A. Hixson
Trial Court Judge: Judge Mark L. Hayes

The Petitioner, Patrick Marshall, appeals the Lake County Circuit Court’s summary dismissal of his petition for writ of habeas corpus relief. Based on our review, we affirm the summary dismissal of the petition.

Lake Court of Criminal Appeals

J.E.T., Inc., d/b/a UPS Store v. Ron Hasty
M2023-00253-COA-R3-CV
Authoring Judge: Judge Jeffrey Usman
Trial Court Judge: Judge Lynne T. Ingram

A tenant sued its landlord for allegedly breaching the parties’ lease agreement. The tenant,
however, failed to comply with the parties’ discovery schedule. After conferring, the
parties established a new discovery deadline, agreed that failure to meet the deadline would
result in dismissal with prejudice, and filed an agreed order to that effect, which was
approved by the trial court. The landlord asserted that the tenant failed to meet the new
deadline and sought dismissal with prejudice. A hearing was scheduled. Before the
hearing, the tenant filed a notice nonsuiting the case, and the trial court granted the tenant
a voluntary dismissal without prejudice. The landlord filed a motion to alter or amend,
arguing the dismissal should have been with prejudice. The trial court denied that motion.
The landlord appeals. We reverse and remand for further proceedings.

Davidson Court of Appeals

Kyuhwan Hwang v. Sania Holt ET AL.
W2023-00627-COA-R3-CV
Authoring Judge: Judge Arnold B. Goldin
Trial Court Judge: Judge Rhynette Hurd

The trial court dismissed Appellant’s lawsuit for failure to comply with discovery. Tenn.
R. Civ. P. 37.02(C) and 41.02(1). Because Appellant’s brief fails to comply with the
requirements of Tennessee Rule of Appellate Procedure 27 and Tennessee Court of
Appeals Rule 6, we do not reach Appellant’s issues and dismiss the appeal.

Shelby Court of Appeals

Jeffrey Judkins v. State of Tennessee
M2023-00296-CCA-R3-PC
Authoring Judge: Judge Jill Bartee Ayers
Trial Court Judge: Judge Christopher V. Sockwell

Petitioner, Jeffrey Allen Judkins, appeals the denial of his post-conviction petition, arguing that the post-conviction court erred in finding that he received the effective assistance of counsel at trial. Following our review of the entire record and the briefs of the parties, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

Lawrence Court of Criminal Appeals

Driftwood Estates Property Owners Association Inc. Et Al. v. John Sweeney Et Al.
E2023-00463-COA-R3-CV
Authoring Judge: Judge Arnold B. Goldin
Trial Court Judge: Judge David R. Duggan

This case concerns whether a parcel of real property is subject to certain restrictions contained in a previously recorded declaration of restrictive covenants. In the proceedings below, the trial court dismissed a homeowner’s association’s lawsuit which sought to enforce the declaration’s architectural review restrictions against the owners of the property. Upon review, we determine that the declaration did not expressly include the property at issue, nor was the property validly made subject to the restrictions within the declaration. Additionally, we reject the homeowner’s association’s arguments that the property was restricted to the terms of the declaration by way of an implied negative reciprocal easement or by waiver. Accordingly, we affirm the trial court’s dismissal.

Blount Court of Appeals

State of Tennessee v. Christopher Joseph Riley
M2022-01529-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Jill Bartee Ayers
Trial Court Judge: Judge Angelita Blackshear Dalton

Defendant, Christopher Joseph Riley, was convicted by a jury of felony murder by aggravated child abuse (count one), felony murder by aggravated child neglect (count two), two counts of aggravated child abuse (counts three and five), reckless endangerment (count four), aggravated child neglect (count six), and two counts of child abuse (counts seven and eight). Defendant was sentenced to a total effective sentence of life imprisonment plus forty-eight years. On appeal, Defendant claims the trial court erred in failing to require the State to make an election of offenses at the close of the proof, and that the trial court improperly imposed consecutive sentences. Following our review of the record, the briefs of the parties, and the applicable law, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

Davidson Court of Criminal Appeals

Edward Ronny Arnold v. Deborah Malchow, et al.
M2024-00314-COA-T10B-CV
Authoring Judge: Judge Kenny Armstrong
Trial Court Judge: Judge Amanda J. McClendon

Appellant filed this accelerated interlocutory appeal under Rule 10B of the Rules of the Supreme Court of Tennessee. Because the trial court has not entered an order on Appellant’s motion for recusal, there is no order for this Court to review. Appeal dismissed.

Davidson Court of Appeals

State of Tennessee v. Michael Robert Quinn
E2022-01661-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert L. Holloway, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Steven Wayne Sword

Michael Robert Quinn (“Defendant”) appeals from his Knox County Criminal Court
convictions for possession with intent to sell or deliver more than .5 grams of
methamphetamine within 1,000 feet of a public elementary school, possession of drug
paraphernalia, driving on a suspended license, and violation of the financial responsibility
law, for which he received a total effective sentence of twenty-five years’ incarceration.
Defendant contends that: (1) the trial court should have dismissed the presentment based
upon the denial of his right to a preliminary hearing; (2) the trial court erred by denying
Defendant’s motion to suppress evidence obtained from the search of his vehicle; (3) the
trial court erred by denying Defendant’s motion to suppress evidence obtained from two
searches of his cell phone; (4) the failure to make a return on the arrest warrant invalidated
the warrant, resulting in a warrantless search and seizure of Defendant in violation of his
Fourth Amendment rights; (5) the trial court abused its discretion by denying Defendant’s
pro se request for a continuance of his trial; (6) the trial court erroneously admitted text
messages found on the cell phone in violation of Tennessee Rule of Evidence 404(b); (7)
the evidence is insufficient to support his convictions; and (8) the trial court abused its
discretion by imposing a sentence of twenty-five years with a one hundred percent release
eligibility. Following a thorough review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

Knox Court of Criminal Appeals

In Re Nickolas K. et al.
M2023-00951-COA-R3-PT
Authoring Judge: Presiding Judge J. Steven Stafford
Trial Court Judge: Judge Branden Bellar

The trial court terminated the parental rights of Mother and Father based on the finding of multiple grounds and that termination was in the children’s best interests. The trial court’s finding of a failure to manifest an ability and willingness to assume custody of the children is vacated for lack of sufficient findings of fact. We affirm the remainder of the trial court’s order, including both the finding of four grounds of termination against each parent and the finding that termination is in the children’s best interests.

Smith Court of Appeals

State of Tennessee v. James Kevin Pardue
M2023-00227-CCA-R3-CD
Authoring Judge: Judge Timothy L. Easter
Trial Court Judge: Judge Suzanne Lockert-Mash

James Kevin Pardue, Defendant, was charged via presentment with one count of theft of property valued at $10,000 or more but less than $60,000, and one count of home improvement fraud. After a bench trial, Defendant was found guilty of the lesser included offense of misdemeanor theft in count 1 and home improvement fraud in count 2. Defendant was sentenced to an effective sentence of six years on probation and ordered to pay $50,000 in restitution at the rate of $600 per month as a condition of his probation. Defendant appealed, arguing that the evidence was insufficient to sustain the conviction for home improvement fraud. Defendant does not challenge his conviction for misdemeanor theft. After a review of the record and the parties’ arguments, we agree with Defendant that the evidence is insufficient to support the conviction for home improvement fraud. As a result, Defendant’s conviction for home improvement fraud is reversed and the matter is remanded to the trial court for any further proceedings which may be necessary.

Dickson Court of Criminal Appeals