Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Adkins v. Adkins

Court of Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville

May 11, 2017

TRACY DARRELL ADKINS
v.
RHONDA FORLAW ADKINS

          Assigned on Briefs March 10, 2017

         Appeal from the Chancery Court for Williamson County No. 44288 Michael Binkley, Judge.

         After the trial court denied Wife's motion to set aside the mediated Marital Dissolution Agreement and Permanent Parenting Plan and entered its order declaring the parties divorced, Wife filed a motion seeking recusal of the trial judge. The judge denied the motion, and Wife timely filed her petition for recusal appeal seeking an interlocutory appeal as of right pursuant to Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 10B from the trial court's denial of her motion. We affirm the trial court's decision to deny the motion for recusal.

         Tenn. R. App. P. 10B Interlocutory Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Chancery Court Affirmed.

          Russ Heldman and Joanie Abernathy, Franklin, Tennessee, for the appellant, Rhonda Forlaw Adkins.

          Larry Hayes, Jr. and Rachel M. Thomas, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Tracy Darrell Adkins.

          Frank G. Clement, Jr., P.J., M.S., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Thomas R. Frierson, II and Brandon O. Gibson, JJ., joined.

          OPINION

          FRANK G. CLEMENT, JR., P.J., M.S.

         Rhonda Forlaw Adkins ("Wife") filed a complaint for divorce on March 24, 2014, against Tracy Darrell Adkins ("Husband"). The parties settled the case in mediation in May 2015 and signed a Marital Dissolution Agreement ("MDA") and Permanent Parenting Plan ("Parenting Plan"). Shortly thereafter, Wife filed a motion to set aside the MDA and Parenting Plan. On January 7, 2017, after extensive discovery, numerous interim motions, hearings on the motions, and a two-day trial on the motion to set aside the agreements, the trial court entered a final order denying Wife's motion and declaring the parties legally divorced.

         In February 2017, Wife filed a motion seeking recusal of the trial judge pursuant to Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 10B. The judge denied the motion, and Wife filed a Petition for Recusal Appeal pursuant to Rule 10B. Along with her petition she filed a motion seeking to have all documents filed under seal, including the petition, appendices, and this court's orders and opinion. The motion was denied. Because the trial court had placed all documents from the trial court proceedings under seal, Wife was of the impression this court would do the same. Therefore, we afforded Wife the option of withdrawing her petition and filing a supplemental petition, which she did. At the request of this court, Husband filed a response and both parties filed appendices.

         In this appeal, Wife seeks not only to reverse the trial court's February 16, 2017 order denying her Rule 10B Motion for Recusal or Disqualification of Judge Binkley from all further proceedings, she also asks this court to vacate the Memorandum and Order entered on January 7, 2017, and the amended order entered on January 26, 2017.

         In his response, Husband states:

This case is a simple one. It involves a woman trying to get out of the Marital Dissolution Agreement and Parenting Plan that she signed in May 2015 simply because she changed her mind and didn't want to lose her " celebrity spouse" status. The trial court below allowed Ms. Adkins every opportunity over a period of nineteen months to pursue and advance an endless array of arguments, no matter how ridiculous or absurd, in her effort to get out of either agreement, but ultimately found after a full hearing that both agreements should be enforced and that these parties should be divorced, which they were on January 7, 2017 by entry of a Final Decree of Divorce. Ms. Adkins is simply upset at the result and is claiming that the judge must have been biased because he found her totally uncredible, ruled against her in his order, and is now making her pay Mr. Adkins' attorneys' fees for having to endure nineteen months of delay and needless litigation.

         Analysis

         I. Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 10B Appeals

         Pursuant to Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 10B, section 2.01, a party is entitled to an accelerated interlocutory appeal as of right from an order denying a motion for disqualification or recusal. The appeal is effected by filing a "petition for recusal appeal." Tenn. Sup. Ct. R. 10B, § 2.02.

         The only order we may review in a Rule 10B appeal is the trial court's order denying a motion to recuse. We may not review the merits of the trial court's other rulings. See Tenn. R. Sup. Ct. R. 10B.

         If we determine that an answer is needed, we may require an answer and further briefing by the parties. Tenn. Sup. Ct. R. 10B, § 2.06. The rule also grants this court the discretion to decide the appeal without oral argument. Id. Having reviewed Wife's petition, Husband's answer, and the appendices, we have determined that oral argument is unnecessary and elect to ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.