POTTER'S SHOPPING CENTER, INC.
JOSEPH SZEKELY, ET AL
Session September 17, 2014
Tenn. R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Chancery Court Vacated and Remanded. Direct Appeal from the Chancery Court for Fentress County. No. 1070. Andrew R. Tillman, Chancellor.
Melanie Stepp Lane, Jamestown, Tennessee, for the appellants, Joseph Szekely and Shazzmarie K. Szekely.
R. Jack Atkins, Crossville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Potter's Shopping Center, Inc.
BRANDON O. GIBSON, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which J. STEVEN STAFFORD, P.J., W.S., and JOHN W. MCCLARTY, J., joined.
BRANDON O. GIBSON, J.
Appellants appeal from the trial court's decision to grant partial summary judgment to the Appellee. After reviewing the record, we find that the trial court failed to state the legal grounds on which it was granting summary judgment as required by Tennessee Rule of Civil Procedure 56.04. Consequently, this Court cannot proceed with our review and must vacate the order at issue.
I. Background and Procedural History
In 2007, Joseph and Shazzmarie Szekely entered a written contract with Dereck Delk d/b/a Delk Construction (" Delk" ) for the construction of a house on their property. Rather than setting a fixed price for the house, the contract provided that the Szekelys would reimburse Delk for the cost of constructing the house plus ten percent, otherwise known as a " cost plus" contract. The Szekelys obtained a construction loan that provided for periodic withdrawals by Delk proportionate to the percentage of work completed on the house. Delk began building the house in late 2007. During the construction, Delk acquired various building materials for the house from Potter's Shopping Center, Inc. (" Potter's" ). Delk set up an open account with Potter's, and Potter's sent Delk
monthly billing statements reflecting the balance it owed for the materials.
By July 2008, construction on the house was over budget, and Delk was experiencing severe financial difficulties. As progress on the house lagged, the bank refused Delk's requests to withdraw loan funds, and the Szekelys paid Delk money out of pocket to keep the construction going. In September 2008, Delk stopped working on the house. The Szekelys filed a lawsuit against Delk for breach of contract. In response, Delk filed a counterclaim alleging that the Szekelys owed him $79,516.34 for work on the house. Though it is not immediately clear from the record how the lawsuit was resolved, it is undisputed that the Szekelys never paid additional money to Delk.
Meanwhile, Delk still owed Potter's money for some of the materials Potter's provided during the construction. According to Potter's, after construction on the Szekelys' house stopped, Delk still had an outstanding balance of $33,647.56. Unfortunately for Potter's, Delk was ...