FREDDY MORA, ET AL.
DAVID VINCENT, ET AL.
Session January 26, 2017
from the Chancery Court for Bradley County No. 2011-CV-143
Jerri S. Bryant, Chancellor
Mora ("Plaintiff"), pro se, appeals the February 4,
2016 judgment of the Chancery Court for Bradley County
("the Trial Court") in this suit alleging
violations of Tenn. Code Ann. § 66-28-101, et
seq., the Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act.
Plaintiff's brief on appeal severely fails to comply with
Tenn. R. App. P. 27. We, therefore, find that Plaintiff has
waived his issues on appeal. David Vincent and Teresa Vincent
("Defendants") raise an issue regarding the Trial
Court's award to Plaintiff of attorney's fees. We
find and hold that while the award of attorney's fees was
proper, there is nothing in the record before us on appeal
showing any evidence which the Trial Court could have relied
upon in determining the amount of attorney's fees. Nor is
there anything in the record showing that the Trial Court
considered the factors contained in Rule 8, RPC 1.5 of the
Rules of the Supreme Court or the applicable case law in
determining the amount of reasonable attorney's fees.
Given all this, we vacate the amount awarded in
attorney's fees and remand this case to the Trial Court
for further proceedings to determine the amount of reasonable
attorney's fees to be awarded to Plaintiff.
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Chancery
Court Affirmed, in part; Vacated, in part; Case Remanded
Mora, Cleveland, Tennessee, pro se appellant.
H. Hallenberg, Cleveland, Tennessee, for the appellees, David
Vincent and Teresa Vincent.
Mitchell L. Meeks, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellee,
John Christopher German.
MICHAEL SWINEY, C.J., delivered the opinion of the court, in
which CHARLES D. SUSANO, JR. and JOHN W. MCCLARTY, JJ.,
MEMORANDUM OPINION 
MICHAEL SWINEY, CHIEF JUDGE.
Freddy Mora and Nadya Mora sued David Vincent alleging, among
other things, violations of Tenn. Code Ann. § 66-28-101,
et seq., the Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant
Act, in connection with an agreement for the Moras to
lease/purchase real property located in Cleveland, Tennessee.
The Moras later amended their complaint to name Teresa
Vincent and John Christopher German as additional party
case was tried without a jury, and all parties were
represented by attorneys at trial. After trial, the Trial
Court entered its judgment on February 4, 2016, finding and
holding, inter alia, that the defendants had
violated the Uniform Residential Landlord and Tenant Act,
that the plaintiffs were entitled to the return of their
security deposit and personal property that remained on the
premises, that the plaintiffs were entitled to an award of
attorney's fees in the amount of $7, 500, that the
plaintiffs had failed to prove their other claims, and that
the defendants had failed to prove their counterclaim.
Plaintiff Freddy Mora appealed the Trial Court's judgment
to this Court.
is pro se on appeal. As this Court explained in Young v.
Parties who decide to represent themselves are entitled to
fair and equal treatment by the courts. Whitaker v.
Whirlpool Corp., 32 S.W.3d 222, 227 (Tenn. Ct. App.
2000); Paehler v. Union Planters Nat'l Bank,
Inc., 971 S.W.2d 393, 396 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1997). The
courts should take into account that many pro se litigants
have no legal training and little familiarity with the
judicial system. Irvin v. City of Clarksville, 767
S.W.2d 649, 652 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1988). However, the courts
must also be mindful of the boundary between fairness to a
pro se litigant and unfairness to the pro se litigant's
adversary. Thus, the courts must not excuse pro se litigants
from complying with the same substantive and procedural rules
that represented parties are expected to observe.
Edmundson v. Pratt, 945 S.W.2d 754, 755 (Tenn. Ct.
App. 1996); Kaylor v. Bradley, 912 S.W.2d 728, 733
n. 4 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1995).
Young v. Barrow, 130 S.W.3d 59, 62-63 (Tenn. Ct.
brief on appeal severely fails to comply with Tenn. R. App.
P. 27. Rule 27 of the Tennessee Rules of Appellate Procedure
specifies that an appellant's brief must contain,
(1)A table of contents, with references to the pages in the
(2)A table of authorities, including cases (alphabetically
arranged), statutes and other authorities cited, with
references to the pages in the brief where they are cited;
* * *
(4)A statement of the issues presented for ...