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Stibler v. Country Club, Inc.

Court of Appeals of Tennessee, Knoxville

March 9, 2015

BETSY STIBLER
v.
THE COUNTRY CLUB, INC.

Session Date November 24, 2014

Appeal from the Chancery Court for Hamblen County No. 2013-CV-435 Douglas T. Jenkins, Chancellor

Betsy Stibler, Morristown, Tennessee, pro se appellant.

Lauren Armstrong Carroll, Morristown, Tennessee, for the appellee, The Country Club, Inc.

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

Background

Plaintiff owns real property located in Hamblen County, Tennessee. Defendant owns real property containing a golf course adjacent to Plaintiffs property. In the fall of 2013 Defendant planted trees in a number of areas on its own property, which included Green Giant trees and Skip Laurel trees planted on the portion of Defendant's property which lies behind Plaintiffs house. The trees were planted on Defendant's property, not on Plaintiffs property, and no portion of the trees encroach upon Plaintiffs property. The trees have caused no physical damage to Plaintiffs property.

Plaintiff filed the instant suit in October of 2013 alleging that Defendant was in violation of subdivision restrictions and that Defendant had created a nuisance by planting the trees obstructing Plaintiffs view of the golf course. Specifically, Plaintiff alleged, in part, that the trees were planted "for the purpose of annoying Plaintiff and decreasing the property value of Plaintiff, " and that "Plaintiff is being deprived of her right/easement appurtenance of'enjoyment of all persons owning lots in said sub-division' of the park space (ie [sic] golf course) as provided by the [subdivision restrictions]."

In pertinent part, the applicable subdivision restrictions state:

6-No noxious or offensive trade or activity shall be carried on upon any lot nor shall anything be done thereon which may be or may become an annoyance or nuisance to the neighborhood.
7-Any park spaces as shown upon the plat, will not be built upon but preserved as ornamental park spaces for the enjoyment of all persons owning lots in said sub-division.[1]

Defendant filed a motion for summary judgment. After a hearing, the Trial Court granted Defendant summary judgment after finding and holding that Plaintiff could not prove that the trees at issue ...


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