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Baugh v. Moore

Court of Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville

February 25, 2015

EASTER BAUGH
v.
LARRY MOORE

Assigned on Briefs November 12, 2014

Appeal from the Chancery Court for Coffee County No. 0461 Vanessa Jackson, Judge

Larry James Moore, Nashville, Tennessee, Pro se.

Gerald Leighton Ewell, Jr., Tullahoma, Tennessee, for the appellee, Easter Baugh.

Frank G. Clement, Jr., P.J., M.S., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Andy D. Bennett and Richard H. Dinkins, JJ., joined.

OPINION

FRANK G. CLEMENT, JR., JUDGE

Easter Baugh ("Plaintiff") is the daughter of the late James Biles who previously owned the real property in dispute. Larry Moore ("Defendant") is the son of Sallie Nelson who was the sister of James Biles.

In 2004, Plaintiff commenced this action to declare void a quitclaim deed that purported to convey the real property in dispute from James Biles to his sister, Sallie Nelson, and to quiet title to the property in Plaintiff as the sole heir of Mr. Biles. See Baugh v. Thomas, No. M2010-01054-COA-R3-CV, 2011 WL 1380215, at *1 (Tenn. Ct. App. Apr. 12, 2011). Plaintiff contended that the deed was invalid because it was obtained by undue influence exerted by Defendant on her father. Defendant opposed the petition contending the deed to his mother was valid; he also claimed ownership of the property based on the fact his mother deeded the property to him.

Following a bench trial in February 2007, the trial court ruled that Defendant unduly influenced Mr. Biles to deed the property to his mother, declared the deed to his mother void, and ruled that Plaintiff was the sole owner of the real property. Defendant appealed, and we affirmed the trial court. Defendant then filed an Application for Permission to Appeal to the Supreme Court of Tennessee which was denied on August 31, 2011.

This brings us to the present dispute. In March 2013, Plaintiff filed a motion requesting Defendant to remove his personal property from the premises. Following a hearing on the motion, the trial court entered an order on April 11, 2013, instructing Defendant to submit a list of the personal property he claimed to own and which he desired to remove. On the following day, Defendant filed a motion requesting that he be given the keys to the home so he could stay on the premises while he finalized his list.

Three days later, on April 15, 2013, Defendant filed an itemized list of personal property for which he claimed ownership. Plaintiff timely objected to Defendant's list, identifying furniture, pictures, a refrigerator, a 1986 Crown Victoria and a 1986 Ford Truck which she contended were not Defendant's personal property. An evidentiary hearing was scheduled on the matters in dispute for July 8, 2013. On the morning of the hearing, Defendant notified the court clerk that he would not be present; nevertheless, the hearing proceeded in his absence.

The resulting order, which was entered on August 12, 2013, reads:

The Court reviewed the history of this matter noting that the position(s) taken by [Defendant] since adverse results in the Court of Appeals had been to delay [Plaintiff]'s effective possession of the property and that the Court's previous Ruling and Order had been, in the Court's opinion, very generous to [Defendant] concerning the allowance of time to remove his articles from the residence.
The Court notes that, in his Motion, [Defendant] asserts he needs to and requests that the Court allow him to "stay at the house, " a position obviously frivolous in that his only need to ...

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