Session: May 24, 2017
from the Chancery Court for Davidson County No. 08-572-I
Claudia Bonnyman, Chancellor
taxpayer appeals the denial of his Tenn. R. Civ. P. 60.02(3)
motion to set aside a 2009 final decree confirming a tax sale
of his property as void on due process grounds. Having
determined that the doctrine of collateral estoppel precluded
the delinquent taxpayer from relitigating the issue of
notice, we affirm.
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Chancery
Worsham, Nashville, Tennessee, Pro Se.
Catherine Jane Pham, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee,
Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County.
G. Clement Jr., P.J., M.S., delivered the opinion of the
Court, in which Richard H. Dinkins and W. Neal McBrayer, JJ.,
G. CLEMENT, JR., P.J., M.S.
Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County
("Metro") commenced this action against Lucien
Worsham and other taxpayers on March 7, 2008, to collect
delinquent taxes owed for 2006. As relevant on appeal, Metro
sought to collect delinquent taxes on real property owned by
Lucien Worsham located at 1000 West Cahal Avenue in
Nashville, Davidson County, Tennessee (hereinafter "the
undisputed that Mr. Worsham never paid taxes on the property.
To satisfy the delinquent taxes owed to Metro, the property
was sold by order of the Davidson County Chancery Court at a
delinquent tax sale on December 10, 2008. The high bidder for
the property was Davidson Pabts, LLC ("Pabts"), and
a final decree confirming the sale to Pabts was entered on
March 13, 2009, and duly recorded in the Register's
Office for Davidson County, Tennessee, on April 9, 2009.
October 2013, Pabts filed an action against Mr. Worsham to
quiet title to the property. As he is attempting to do here,
Mr. Worsham challenged the validity of the tax sale on due
process grounds. Pabts prevailed at trial and on appeal in
establishing that it possessed sole title to the property.
Davidson Pabts, LLC v. Worsham, No.
M2014-01061-COA-R3-CV, 2015 WL 4115174, at *6 (Tenn. Ct. App.
May 18, 2015), appeal denied (Tenn. Sept. 17,
years after the final decree confirming the tax sale was
entered by the trial court in the first action, Mr. Worsham
filed the motion at issue in this appeal. As he had done in
the action to quiet title, Mr. Worsham contended the 2009
decision was "void for lack of personal jurisdiction due
to constitutionally inadequate notice." In his Rule
60.02(3) motion, Mr. Worsham also repeated the claim that he
never received notice of the delinquent tax suit, the
impending sale of his property, or the final decree
confirming the sale to Pabts.
response to the Rule 60.02(3) motion, Metro insisted that Mr.
Worsham's motion should be denied because, inter
alia, he had previously litigated the issue of notice in
the action to quiet title and received an unfavorable
adjudication, which was affirmed by this court's ruling
in Davidson Pabts, LLC v. Worsham. Metro argued that
Mr. Worsham, through his Rule 60.02(3) motion, was seeking to
evade this court's previous ruling in Davidson Pabts,
LLC v. Worsham affirming the trial court's judgment
quieting title to the property in favor of Pabts.
a hearing on the Rule 60.02(3) motion, the trial court
entered an order denying Mr. Worsham's request to set
aside the tax sale on grounds that Mr. Worsham's claims
were barred by the doctrine of res ...