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.

Lacy v. Hallmark Volkswagen Inc. of Rivergate

Court of Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville

July 10, 2017

DEBORAH LACY
v.
HALLMARK VOLKSWAGEN INC. OF RIVERGATE, ET AL.

          Session: May 24, 2017

         Appeal from the Circuit Court for Davidson County No. 15C-1163 Thomas W. Brothers, Judge

         A customer at a car dealership filed suit against the sales manager and others for injuries she allegedly sustained due to an assault and battery by the sales manager. The trial court granted summary judgment to Defendants because Plaintiff failed to submit any affidavits setting forth specific facts that showed a genuine issue existed for trial, as required by Tennessee Rule of Civil Procedure 56. Plaintiff argues that the trial court erred in granting summary judgment to Defendants. Perceiving no reversible error, we affirm the trial court's order granting summary judgment to Defendants.

         Tenn. R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Circuit Court Affirmed

          Deborah Lacy, Madison, Tennessee, Pro Se.

          W. Bryan Brooks and Lisa Marie Woods, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellees, Hallmark Jeep Inc., Hallmark Volkswagen Inc. at Rivergate, and Scott Masters.

          Andy D. Bennett, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Frank G. Clement, Jr., P.J., M.S., and Richard H. Dinkins, J., joined.

          OPINION

          ANDY D. BENNETT, JUDGE.

         I. Factual and Procedural Background

         On March 29, 2014, Deborah Lacy ("Ms. Lacy") entered Hallmark Volkswagen Inc. at Rivergate ("Hallmark Volkswagen"), a Hallmark Jeep, Inc. dealership, in order to purchase a new vehicle. Cian Rourke ("Mr. Rourke"), a salesman at Hallmark Volkswagen, assisted Ms. Lacy with the purchase of a 2014 Volkswagen Passat. Following a twenty-minute test drive, Ms. Lacy and Mr. Rourke entered his office and completed paperwork pertaining to the sale of the vehicle. Scott Masters ("Mr. Masters"), a sales manager at Hallmark Volkswagen, joined Ms. Lacy and Mr. Rourke to assist in finalizing the sale.

         Nearly one year later, on March 26, 2015, Ms. Lacy filed a complaint in the First Circuit Court for Davidson County against Hallmark Volkswagen, Hallmark Jeep, Inc., James Cameron III, [1] and Mr. Masters (collectively "the Defendants"), claiming that Mr. Masters assaulted and battered her at the completion of the sale. Ms. Lacy further alleged that Mr. Masters violated her human and civil rights, "while placing her under fear, duress, and Physical [anguish] . . . ." Because Ms. Lacy had another case pending in the Sixth Circuit Court, this case was transferred to that court. Following discovery, the Defendants filed a motion for summary judgment on all of Ms. Lacy's claims, supported by a statement of undisputed facts and the affidavits of Mr. Masters and Mr. Rourke. The trial court granted summary judgment to the Defendants on all of Ms. Lacy's claims. Ms. Lacy appeals.

         Ms. Lacy's appellate brief fails to present a clear issue for our review. Despite this deficiency, however, we discern that Ms. Lacy raises the following issues: (1) whether the trial court erred in granting summary judgment to the Defendants, (2) whether the trial court abused its discretion when it transferred the case to the Sixth Circuit, and (3) whether the trial court erred in denying Ms. Lacy's statement of evidence. As a preliminary matter, we address the issue raised by the Defendants: whether the appellate brief submitted by Ms. Lacy complies with the applicable rules of appellate procedure.

         II. Analysis

         A. Appellate Brief Requirements

         We begin by noting that Ms. Lacy is a pro se litigant. This Court has stated the following principles about pro se litigants:

Parties who decide to represent themselves are entitled to fair and equal treatment by the courts. The courts should take into account that many pro se litigants have no legal training and little familiarity with the judicial system. 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.

Young v. Barrow, 130 S.W.3d 59, 62-63 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2003) (citations omitted); see also Hessmer v. Hessmer, 138 S.W.3d 901, 903 (Tenn. Ct App. 2003). Additionally, we allow pro se litigants some latitude in preparing their briefs by applying less exacting standards than those applied to briefs drafted by lawyers. Young, 130 S.W.3d at 63.

         In addition to arguing that the trial court properly granted summary judgment, the Defendants assert that we should affirm the trial court's grant of summary judgment because Ms. Lacy's appellate brief fails to comply with the requirements of Rule 27 of the Tennessee Rules of Appellate Procedure or Rule 6 of the Rules of the Court of Appeals. Tennessee Rule of Appellate Procedure 27 governs the content of appellate briefs. Subsection (a) of that rule identifies the requirements for the appellant's brief and provides, in pertinent part, as follows:

The brief of the appellant shall contain under appropriate headings and in the ...

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.