Session March 22, 2017
from the Circuit Court for Davidson County No. 15C2783 Thomas
W. Brothers, Judge
a mechanic's lien case. Appellee/auto repair shop agreed
to repair Appellant's vehicle for $5, 267.30. Appellant
paid this amount, but Appellee raised the estimate to $9,
489.30. Appellant did not pay the additional costs. Under a
purported mechanic's lien, Tennessee Code Annotated
Section 66-19-103, Appellee sold Appellant's vehicle for
$4, 500.00. Appellant filed a complaint, seeking damages for
conversion and for violation of the Tennessee Consumer
Protection Act. The trial court dismissed Appellant's
Tennessee Consumer Protection Act claim. Concerning the
conversion claim, the trial court held that Appellee did not
have a valid mechanic's lien and had converted the
property. The trial court awarded $10, 000.00 in damages to
Appellant. Appellant appeals, arguing that the damage award
is insufficient. Discerning no error, we affirm.
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Circuit
Court Affirmed and Remanded
Wondimu Borena, Nashville, Tennessee, appellant, Pro Se.
Astaire Hirsh, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellees, Jason
Jacocks and Greenleaf Collision, Inc.
Armstrong, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which
J. Steven Stafford, P.J., W.S., and Brandon O. Gibson, J.,
MEMORANDUM OPINION 
January 3, 2014, Appellant Wondimu Borena purchased a 2012
Honda Odyssey minivan from an online car dealer for $7,
041.93. The vehicle had been totaled, and Mr. Borena took the
vehicle to Limon Auto Repair. After extensive repairs to the
vehicle, Mr. Borena received a rebuilt title for the
automobile on April 17, 2014. However, Mr. Borena noticed
that the tailgate was not closing properly. On June 7, 2014,
he took the minivan to Greenleaf Collision, Inc.
("Appellee" or "Greenleaf") for further
repairs. Greenleaf prepared an estimate of $5, 267.30 for the
repair. Mr. Borena agreed to the estimate, and, on June 12,
2014, made a $2, 000.00 down payment and left the vehicle to
be repaired. On September 2, 2014, Greenleaf contacted Mr.
Borena and requested that he come to the shop. Appellant
testified that when he arrived, he was informed that the
total price of the repair had increased to $9, 489.20,
allegedly due to additional defects that were discovered
after Greenleaf had given the initial estimate. On September
2 and 3, 2014, Mr. Borena made payments to Greenleaf of $2,
000.00 and $1, 500.00, respectively, for a total of $5,
500.00. However, he refused to pay the full $9, 489.20.
January 8, 2015, Greenleaf allegedly sent notice to Mr.
Borena that he owed $19, 241.10 for repairs, storage fees,
and processing fees, and informed him that, if the balance
was not paid in full within ten days, Greenleaf would sell
the vehicle to satisfy the debt. Appellant testified that he
never received a letter from Greenleaf. On or about March 17,
2015, Greenleaf sold the vehicle for $4, 500.00.
3, 2015, Appellant, acting pro se, filed a warrant
in the general sessions court against an employee of
Greenleaf, Jason Jacocks, seeking a return of Appellant's
vehicle, which he valued at $29, 000.00; this warrant was
dismissed, without explanation. Appellant refiled the case
against Appellee Greenleaf. On July 13, 2015, the general
sessions court dismissed the Greenleaf warrant, again without
explanation. On July 17, 2015, Appellant filed a notice of
appeal of the general sessions' judgment.
August 3, 2015, Mr. Borena, who was represented by counsel at
the time, filed a complaint in the Circuit Court for Davidson
County ("trial court") against Jason Jacocks and
Appellee Greenleaf. Mr. Borena sought damages, costs, and
attorney's fees, alleging: (1) violation of Tennessee
Code Annotated Section 66-19-104(a)(1)(B), which requires an
automobile repair facility to inform a consumer of his or her
rights; (2) violation of Tennessee Code Annotated Section
66-14-102, which requires notice to the owner of a vehicle
prior to sale on a lien; (3) violation of Tennessee Code
Annotated Section 66-14-106, which requires the proceeds of a
sale on a lien, if a balance remains, to be delivered to the
former owner; (4) violation of the Tennessee Consumer
Protection Act ("TCPA"), Tennessee Code Annotated
Section 47-18-104; and (5) conversion of Appellant's
property. On January 20, 2016, Appellee filed its answer to
the complaint, alleging that it was entitled to sell
Appellant's vehicle because Appellant had not paid the
$9, 489.20 repair cost. Appellee denied Appellant's
statutory claims and claim for conversion and sought damages
for the repairs and storage charges.
January 20, 2016, the trial court heard the case. Appellant
voluntarily dismissed Jason Jacocks as a party. At the close
of proof, Greenleaf moved to dismiss Appellant's claims.
The trial court dismissed Mr. Borena's TCPA claim, on the
ground that Tennessee Code Annotated Section 47-18-104(b)(27)
does not provide a private right of action and vests
enforcement solely in the attorney general. The trial court
denied Greenleaf's motion as to all other claims. On
February 2, 2016, the trial court entered its order, finding:
1. For the reasons announced from the bench, the court finds
that [Appellee] violated [Tennessee Code Annotated Section]
66-19-101, etc., it[s] statutory lien against
[Appellant]'s vehicle was nullified[, ] and [Appellee]
committed conversion when it sold [Appellant's] vehicle;
* * *
4. [Appellee]'s counterclaim against [Appellant] is
5. A judgment is entered against  Greenleaf Collision, Inc.
for Ten Thousand Dollars and No Cents ($10, 000.00) plus the
costs of this action, all for which execution may issue if
restate Appellant's issues, as follows:
1. Whether the trial court erred in finding that Appellee
violated Tennessee Code Annotated Section 66-19-101 et
seq. and ...