JOSEPH J. HOLT
TRUSTEE OF THE WILLOUGHBY CUMBERLAND PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH CEMETARY, ET AL.
Assigned on Briefs April 30, 2015
Appeal from the Chancery Court for Greene County No. 20130107 Douglas T. Jenkins, Chancellor
Jeffrey A. Cobble, Greeneville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Hal H. Lane.
Douglas L. Payne, Greeneville, Tennessee, for the appellees, Joseph J. Holt as Personal Representative of the Estate of Georgia Myers Smelcer, and the Estate of Georgia Myers Smelcer.
Judy S. Robinson, Greeneville, Tennessee, Administratrix ad litem for the Estate of Georgia Myers Smelcer.
Whittney N.L. Good, Greeneville, Tennessee, Guardian ad litem for unknown heirs of the Estate of Georgia Myers Smelcer.
D. MICHAEL SWINEY, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which CHARLES D. SUSANO, JR., C.J., and JOHN W. MCCLARTY, J., joined.
D. MICHAEL SWINEY, JUDGE
Joseph J. Holt, Personal Representative of the Estate of Georgia Myers Smelcer, filed a complaint for declaratory judgment seeking, in part, to have the Trial Court construe the Last Will of Georgia Myers Smelcer ("the Will") with regard to trusts created by the Will and the Will's residuary clause. The instant suit was consolidated for purposes of trial with the suit titled In Re: Estate of Georgia Myers Smelcer, Trial Court number 12P00043. Hal H. Lane appealed the Trial Court's judgment in In Re: Estate of Georgia Myers Smelcer, and we affirmed the Trial Court's judgment in that case in our Opinion In re: Estate of Georgia Myers Smelcer, No. E2014-01499-COA-R3-CV, filed contemporaneously with this Opinion.
George E. Myers filed a Motion for Determination of Beneficiaries in the instant suit alleging, in part, that he was an heir of Georgia Myers Smelcer and therefore "entitled to be the beneficiary of all assets not specifically delineated in the Will." Mr. Lane filed a response to Mr. Myers's motion requesting the Trial Court "enter an order overruling the motion and dismissing the claim of George E. Myers."
In its Declaratory Judgment entered on May 20, 2014, the Trial Court, inter alia and as pertinent to this appeal, entered an order as requested by Mr. Lane and denied Mr. Myers's motion seeking to be declared an heir of Georgia Myers Smelcer. Mr. Lane appealed the Trial Court's Declaratory Judgment to this Court.
Mr. Lane filed a motion seeking leave to supplement his principal brief on appeal to add references to the record on appeal. Mr. Lane's brief on appeal is deficient in that it fails to comply with Tenn. R. App. P. 27 and R. Ct. App. 6. Given the dispositive issue in this appeal, however, in the exercise of our discretion pursuant to Tenn. R. App. P. 2 we will proceed to consider the appeal. Diggs v. LaSalle Nat'l Bank Assoc., 387 S.W.3d 559, 563-64 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2012). We, therefore, deny Mr. Lane's motion to supplement his principal brief as moot.
In his brief on appeal Mr. Lane attempts to raise the same issue that he raised In re: Estate of Georgia Myers Smelcer. We addressed this issue fully and completely in our Opinion in In re: Estate of Georgia Myers Smelcer, No. E2014-01499-COA-R3-CV, filed contemporaneously with this Opinion.
The dispositive issue in the appeal now before us is whether Mr. Lane has standing to appeal the Trial Court's May 20, 2104 Declaratory Judgment. This presents an issue of law, which we review de novo with no presumption of correctness. S. Constructors, ...