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Levitt v. City of Oak Ridge

Court of Appeals of Tennessee, Knoxville

September 10, 2014

JOSEPH J. LEVITT, JR.
v.
CITY OF OAK RIDGE, ET AL

Session: July 10, 2014.

Tenn. R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Chancery Court Affirmed; Case Remanded. Appeal from the Chancery Court for Anderson County. No. 13CH5413. William E. Lantrip, Chancellor.

Joseph J. Levitt, Jr., Knoxville, Tennessee, Pro se appellant.

John T. Batson and Dan R. Pilkington, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellees, City of Oak Ridge, Oak Ridge Board of Building and Housing Appeals, and Denny Boss.

D. MICHAEL SWINEY, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which JOHN W. MCCLARTY J., and D. KELLY THOMAS, JR., SP.J., joined.

OPINION

D. MICHAEL SWINEY, JUDGE.

Page 548

Joseph J. Levitt, Jr. (" Plaintiff" ) appeals the dismissal of his suit against the City of Oak Ridge, Oak Ridge Board of Building and Housing Appeals, and Denny Boss (" Defendants" ) entered by the Chancery Court for Anderson County (" the Trial Court" ). We find and hold, as did the Trial Court, that Plaintiff's suit is barred by res judicata, and we affirm. We further find and hold Plaintiff's appeal to be frivolous and remand to the Trial Court for an award of damages for frivolous appeal.

OPINION

Background

This is the second time the parties and the issues involved in this suit have been before this Court. In Levitt v. City of Oak Ridge, this Court explained:

In this case, Joseph J. Levitt, Jr. (" Owner" ) was the owner of Applewood Apartment Complex (" Applewood" ), which consisted of 13 apartment buildings located in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. On May 26, 2009, the City obtained administrative inspection warrants to inspect four buildings (" the subject buildings" ) in Applewood. The next day, the City and a private engineering firm hired by the City, Corum Engineering (" Corum" ), inspected the subject buildings. Corum conducted a structural evaluation of the subject buildings. The City and Corum developed independent findings and issued reports based upon those findings. Timothy Ward, the Community Development Division Manager, mailed Owner a violation notice, . . . .
* * *
The notice and the inspection results were also hand-delivered to Owner's staff. When Owner did not respond, the City issued a second notice containing the same information.
In April 2010, Owner requested reinspection of one apartment, which was found to be in compliance. Owner did not indicate that he had completed any additional repairs. In October 2010, the City advised Owner that a hearing to determine whether the structures were ...

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