STATE OF TENNESSEE EX REL. TANIKIA YOLANDA HURT
WILLIAM GEORGE BULLS, III
Session November 22, 2016
from the Juvenile Court for Hamilton County No. 24553 Robert
D. Philyaw, Judge
case originated when the State, acting on behalf of Tanikia
Yolanda Hurt (Mother), filed a petition against William
George Bulls, III (Father) seeking to have him held in
contempt because of his failure to pay child support. A
juvenile court magistrate dismissed the State's petition,
finding that Father had paid all of his arrearage. On the day
the court dismissed the petition, Mother filed a new
pleading, a motion, again seeking a finding of contempt
against Father. She once again alleged unpaid support in
addition to other matters. This motion was also dismissed.
Mother appeals. We affirm.
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Juvenile
Court Affirmed; Case Remanded
Tanikia Yolanda Hurt, Minneola, Florida, appellant, pro se.
William George Bulls, III, Chattanooga, Tennessee, appellee,
Charles D. Susano, Jr., J., delivered the opinion of the
court, in which D. Michael Swiney, C.J., and John W.
McClarty, J., joined.
CHARLES D. SUSANO, JR., JUDGE
parties had one child, who was born in 2001. An earlier order
required Father to pay monthly child support of $325. He fell
behind in his payments. The State filed a petition for
contempt against him on January 28, 2015, alleging that he
willfully failed to pay $1, 063.26 in back support. In March
2015, the State amended its petition to also request a
modification of the child support order. It based its
petition on a significant variance in Father's income.
juvenile court magistrate heard the petition on June 15,
2015. She entered an order the same day increasing
Father's monthly support obligation and assessing an
arrearage against him. Pursuant to the Child Support
Guidelines, the magistrate set Father's monthly support
obligation at $695, plus a monthly $35 payment on the
arrearage. The magistrate modified the arrearage to add
support payments that had accrued since the petition was
filed. The amount of the addition was $925. This brought the
total arrearage to $2, 363.65. Following all of this, the
magistrate found: "Since the filing of the contempt
petition, [Father] has paid [the arrearage] balance down to
zero. [Father] stipulates to a finding of contempt. Sentence
reversed." The magistrate continued the case for a
compliance review, which occurred on August 12, 2015. At that
time, the magistrate again found Father in compliance with
his child support obligation. She then dismissed the
here, the procedural history grows somewhat convoluted. The
same day the contempt petition was dismissed, Mother, acting
pro se, filed a motion for contempt and other relief.
Surprisingly, she alleged Father owed an arrearage of $8,
000. By motion, Father asked that the court find him
compliant and award him his attorney's fees. The juvenile
court magistrate entered an order on September 25, 2015
dismissing Mother's motion and granting Father an award
of attorney's fees, said fees being incurred by Father in
defending the contempt motion. Mother filed a notice of
appeal on October 2, 2015 stating that she was appealing from
the court's September 25, 2015 order "and all
Judgments adverse to the Plaintiff, including the Due Process
and other Constitutional Rights the Ruling Court has
routinely violated." The State filed a notice of intent
not to file a brief.
Mother's contempt motion was pending, on August 17, 2015,
Mother filed a rehearing request on the magistrate's
decision on the original contempt petition. The juvenile
court judge dismissed the State's original petition in
March 2016, noting the pending appeal. Additionally, on
September 21, 2015, Mother filed notice with this Court of
her appeal "from the judgments entered in this action by
the Juvenile Court of Hamilton County ...