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Patterson v. State

Court of Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville

March 24, 2017

MRS. BOBBY PATTERSON
v.
STATE OF TENNESSEE

          Session March 7, 2017

         Appeal from the Tennessee Claims Commission No. T20150928 Robert Hibbett, Commissioner

         The Appellant appeals the dismissal of a complaint filed in the Tennessee Claims Commission. Because the record does not support the Claims Commission's grounds for dismissing the case, we reverse and remand for further proceedings consistent with this Opinion.

         Tenn. R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Claims Commission Reversed.

          Glenda Faye Patterson a/k/a Mrs. Bobby Patterson, Smithville, Tennessee, Pro se.

          Herbert H. Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter, Andrée Sophia Blumstein, Solicitor General, and Dawn Jordan, Senior Deputy Attorney General, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

          Arnold B. Goldin, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which Frank G. Clement, Jr., P.J., M.S., and Richard H. Dinkins, J., joined.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION[1]

          ARNOLD B. GOLDIN, JUDGE

         Background

         On November 4, 2014, the Appellant filed a claim for damages against the State of Tennessee in the Division of Claims Administration. The claim sought damages for an alleged incident that occurred on February 4, 2014. In February 2015, after the Division of Claims Administration was unable to act on the Appellant's claim, the claim was transferred to the State of Tennessee Claims Commission pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated section 9-8-402(c).

         Following the transfer of the claim, the Appellant filed a formal complaint for damages. In general, the Appellant's complaint alleged that two of her homes had been severely damaged due to the widening of Briley Parkway in Nashville, Tennessee. Of note, the claim that she had filed in the Division of Claims Administration was attached to the complaint. As previously observed, this filed claim listed the "Date of Occurrence" concerning the Appellant's damages as February 4, 2014.

         The State of Tennessee subsequently filed an answer denying that it was at fault for the alleged damages asserted in the Appellant's complaint, and in March 2016, it filed a motion to dismiss. In support of its request for dismissal, the State argued that the Appellant's claim was barred by the doctrine of res judicata and the statute of limitations. According to the State, the Appellant's claim was the "exact same claim" as one that had previously been dismissed by the Claims Commission in 2011. The Claims Commission ultimately accepted the State's arguments, and on June 16, 2016, it entered an order dismissing the Appellant's claim. This timely appeal followed.

         Discussion

         On appeal, the State urges us to affirm the order of the Claims Commission. In addition to arguing that the grounds for dismissal relied upon by the Claims Commission were properly established, the State contends that the Appellant has waived any argument she might have on appeal given her failure to comply with the applicable rules of appellate procedure in her appellate brief. With respect to this latter concern, we agree that the brief tendered to us by the Appellant does not sufficiently comply with the requirements of Rule 27 of the Tennessee Rules of Appellate Procedure or Rule 6 of the Rules of the Court of Appeals. The Appellant's brief is deficient in ...


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