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Allen v. Anderson County

Court of Appeals of Tennessee, Knoxville

February 12, 2015

SHARON L. ALLEN
v.
ANDERSON COUNTY, TENNESSEE

Session November 20, 2014

Appeal from the Chancery Court for Anderson County No. 13CH5550 Hon. Jon Kerry Blackwood, Senior Judge[1]

J. Philip Harber, Clinton, Tennessee, for the appellant,

Sharon L. Allen. Nicholas Jay Yeager, Clinton, Tennessee, for the appellee, Anderson County, Tennessee.

John W. McClarty, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which D. Michael Swiney and Thomas R. Frierson, II., JJ., joined.

OPINION

JOHN W. McCLARTY, JUDGE

I. BACKGROUND

The facts of this case are not in dispute. Sharon L. Allen ("Plaintiff") purchased several tracts of property at a tax sale held by Anderson County, Tennessee in October 2009. Following the expiration of the redemption period, Plaintiff retained the title to three tracts of property. Thereafter, Stephen M. Gasper purchased one of the tracts through the foreclosure process. Mr. Gasper recorded his deed on April 30, 2012, approximately one month before Plaintiff recorded her deed to the same property. Mr. Gasper later filed suit to quiet title against Plaintiff. The trial court ruled in favor of Mr. Gasper because he recorded his deed first.

Plaintiff then filed suit against Anderson County on August 2, 2013. She claimed that Anderson County failed to convey good and marketable title to her for all three tracts of property. She identified several issues with the notice provided to each property owner. She acknowledged that she lost the title to one of the three tracts for reasons unrelated to the notice. She opined that she could not have prevailed even if she had recorded her deed first because she never received good and marketable title. She sought damages for breach of contract. In the alternative, she requested rescission of the sales.

Anderson County responded by filing a motion to dismiss, arguing, in pertinent part, that dismissal was warranted because the claim was filed beyond the applicable statute of limitations pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated section 67-5-2504(d) and because it conveyed a valid deed to the properties that were not redeemed by the original owner.

Following a hearing on the motion, the trial court dismissed the action, finding that the complaint failed to allege facts sufficient to establish a contract between the parties and any breach of the alleged contract, that the complaint was filed beyond the applicable statute of limitations, and that Plaintiff did not have standing to attack the alleged insufficient notice to the original property owners. This timely appeal followed.

II. ISSUES

We consolidate and restate the issues raised on appeal by Plaintiff as follows:

A. Whether the trial court erred in finding that Plaintiff failed to state a claim upon which relief could be ...

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