BOBBY MURRAY, ET AL.
DENNIS MIRACLE, ET AL.
Session November 21, 2016.
from the Chancery Court for Roane County No. 16543 Frank V.
Williams, III, Chancellor
the third appeal in this suit; on remand from the prior
appeal the court considered whether a discovery sanction
previously imposed upon Plaintiffs was reasonable and the
amount of damages to be awarded Defendants for defending the
previous appeal, which was deemed frivolous. The trial court
upheld the discovery sanction and awarded Defendants $8,
488.50 in damages for the prior appeal. Plaintiffs appeal,
contending that the trial court abused its discretion in
affirming the prior sanction and in making the award for the
frivolous appeal. Discerning no error, we affirm the trial
court; we declare this appeal frivolous and remand the case
for a determination of damages.
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Chancery
Court Affirmed; Case Remanded
Loretta Murray and Bobby Murray, Harriman, Tennessee,
Appellants, pro se
N. Foster, Rockwood, Tennessee, for the appellees, Dennis
Miracle and Robert Daniel Smith.
Richard H. Dinkins, J., delivered the opinion of the court,
in which Charles D. Susano, Jr., and Thomas R. Frierson, II,
MEMORANDUM OPINION 
RICHARD H. DINKINS, JUDGE
the third appeal in this property dispute brought by Loretta
and Bobby Murray ("Plaintiffs") against Dennis
Miracle and Robert Daniel Smith ("Defendants"). In
the first appeal, we reversed the dismissal of the
Plaintiff's complaint for failure to comply with a
discovery order and remanded the case. On remand, the
chancellor ordered Defendants to repay the discovery
sanctions to the Plaintiff and held a trial on the merits;
the chancellor found that Plaintiffs had a right to improve
the roadway at issue, appointed a special commissioner to
oversee certain work on the property, and detailed how the
work should be completed. Plaintiffs appealed and, in the
second appeal, we affirmed the trial court's judgment
appointing a commissioner to supervise the roadway
improvements; pertinent to the issues involved in this
appeal, we held:
The Trial Court's order requiring Defendants to repay to
Plaintiffs the $438.82 was based upon a misunderstanding of
our Opinion in Murray I. Given this, we vacate the
Trial Court's September 25, 2012 order and reinstate the
Trial Court's September 22, 2010 order awarding
Defendants $438.82 for reasonable expenses including
attorney's fees as a discovery sanction. Upon remand, the
Trial Court is directed to address Plaintiffs' motion for
reconsideration of the discovery sanction requiring
Plaintiffs to pay $438.82 to Defendants.
Murray v. Miracle, 457 S.W.3d 399, 404 (Tenn. Ct.
App. 2014). Further, we determined that the appeal was
frivolous and remanded for an award of damages to Defendants
for the frivolous appeal.
remand, Defendants filed a motion seeking the fees and costs
they incurred in the appeal in Murray II. Plaintiffs
responded to the motion. A hearing was held, and the trial
court ordered Defendants counsel to release the $438.82
sanction, which he held in trust, to Defendants. The order
also awarded Defendants damages in the amount of $8, 000 for
defending the frivolous appeal. After entry of the order, on
its own motion, the trial court entered an order of recusal
after Plaintiffs filed suit in federal court against the
court, their former counsel, and other defendants. Another
chancellor was appointed to hear the case.
court held a hearing de novo on the matters raised
in the order of remand and entered an order on April 18,
2016, denying Plaintiff's motion for reconsideration of
sanctions, ordering counsel for Defendants to release the
$438.82 being held in counsel's trust account, and
granting judgment in the amount of $8, 488.50 to Defendants
for the damages from the appeal in Murray II.
court made extensive findings of fact and found that, with
the exception of two expenses totaling $115.00, Defendants
established that all of the fees and expenses were
"reasonable, necessary, and constitute damages suffered
by the Defendants due to Plaintiffs' frivolous
appeal." The Plaintiffs sought a stay of execution
pursuant to Tenn. R. App. P. 7, which was ...