Tennessee case abstract on service of course of.
The events on this Williamson County, Tennessee, case had been divorced in 2005. The mom was named the first residential mother or father, with the daddy being allowed visitation. In 2015, the daddy went again to courtroom to implement the parenting plan. The events had been capable of comply with a modification, however the father alleged that the mom was misconstruing and violating the brand new agreed order. The daddy requested to have the mom held in contempt, the order put aside, and the kid assist be recalculated.
The mom made a restricted look and moved to dismiss. She alleged that she had not been served with the petition. The trial courtroom agreed, and the daddy tried once more. The mom once more objected based mostly on lack of service.
The daddy employed an lawyer and made a 3rd try. He alleged lower in earnings and requested for a change of kid assist. The mom filed a counter-petition alleging that the daddy voluntarily stop his job.
Extra motions had been filed, together with the withdrawal of two attorneys for the daddy. The final one indicated that the daddy was continuing professional se, and listed an e-mail tackle. It failed, nonetheless, to listing any bodily tackle.
The daddy by no means answered one of many mom’s petitions, and he or she requested for a default judgment. She indicated that she had mailed the paperwork and despatched them to a different e-mail tackle. The trial courtroom granted the default judgment.
The daddy moved to put aside the default. He acknowledged that he had notified the mom of his new tackle in Missouri.
The daddy conceded that he had by no means formally up to date his mailing tackle with the courtroom information. The trial courtroom, Choose James G. Martin, III, denied the movement and let the default judgment stand. The daddy then appealed to the Tennessee Courtroom of Appeals, which determined the case in an opinion penned by Choose J. Steven Stafford.
The appeals courtroom first needed to decide what grounds for aid the daddy was asserting. Regardless that his argument modified barely on attraction, he had argued that the judgment was mainly procured by fraud, as a result of the mom despatched the papers to the unsuitable tackle.
The appeals courtroom famous that it’s incumbent upon professional se litigants to maintain their tackle updated with the courtroom. It held that with out this rule, it might be unimaginable for the courtroom to maintain in touch with litigants, and the daddy had failed to satisfy this obligation.
The daddy argued that he wasn’t conscious of any persevering with litigation, however the appeals courtroom rejected this argument.
After reviewing the proof, the appeals courtroom affirmed. It additionally awarded the mom her lawyer’s charges on attraction and remanded the case for a willpower of the quantity.
No. M2019-00978-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. July 27, 2020).
See unique opinion for actual language. Authorized citations omitted.
To be taught extra, see The Tennessee Divorce Process: How Divorces Work Start to Finish.