Session: June 27, 2017
from the Chancery Court for Shelby County No. CH-14-1316 J.
Weber McCraw, Judge
appeals the dismissal of her action based on the expiration
of the applicable statute of limitations and non-compliance
with Rule 3 of the Tennessee Rules of Civil Procedure.
Appellant also appeals the trial court's denial of a
motion to recuse. Discerning no error, we affirm.
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Chancery
Moses, Memphis, Tennessee, Pro Se.
Marshall Jones, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellees, Shelby
County Sheriff, Bill Oldham & Officers and Shelby County
Newton Anderson and Cameron M. Watson, Memphis, Tennessee,
for the appellees, AlliedBarton Security Services, LLC.
Steven Stafford, P.J., W.S., delivered the opinion of the
court, in which W. Neal McBrayer, and Brandon O. Gibson, JJ.,
STEVEN STAFFORD, JUDGE.
September 2, 2014, Plaintiff/Appellant Pamela Moses filed her
original petition ("initial petition" or
"original petition") for a temporary restraining
order and injunctive relief against Shelby County Sheriff
Bill Oldham & Officers, Shelby County Homeland Security
(together with Sheriff Oldham & Officers, "Shelby
County Defendants"), and AlliedBarton Security Services
LLC ("AlliedBarton, " or, together with the Shelby
County Defendants, "Appellees") in the Shelby
County Chancery Court ("trial court"). Thereafter,
Ms. Moses removed the case to the U.S. District Court for the
Western District of Tennessee ("district court") on
September 15, 2014. However, on March 2, 2015, the district
court remanded the matter back to the trial court because
"[r]emoval is available only to defendants[.]" On
August 28, 2015, Ms. Moses filed a supplemental petition.
September 23, 2015, the Shelby County Defendants made a
special appearance to assert that they had not been served
with process and filed a motion to dismiss both the original
and supplemental petitions. The Shelby County Defendants
supported their motion to dismiss with an affidavit from
Alissa Holt, the manager of the Office of the Chancery Court
Clerk. According to Ms. Holt's affidavit:
5.[Ms.] Moses filed her [initial petition] on September 2,
6. With respect to [Ms. Moses's] original Petition, no
request for the issuance of service of process for
"Shelby County Sheriff Bill Oldham & Officers"
has been made to the Clerk and Master during the period from
September 2, 2014 (the date of the filing of the original
Petition) through September 9, 2015, the date I reviewed the
file. Therefore, only with respect to [Ms. Moses's]
original Petition, no Summons for "Shelby County Sheriff
Bill Oldham & Officers" has been issued by the Clerk
and Master during the time this case has been pending.
7. With respect to [Ms. Moses's] original Petition, no
request for the issuance of service of process for
"Shelby County Homeland Security" has been made to
the Clerk and Master during the period from September 2, 2014
(the date of the filing of the original Petition) through
September 9, 2015, the date I reviewed the file. Therefore,
only with respect to [Ms. Moses's] original Petition, no
Summons for "Shelby County Homeland Security" has
been issued by the Clerk and Master during the time this case
has been pending.
Ms. Holt stated that no summons had been issued to any of the
Shelby County Defendants within one year of the filing of Ms.
Moses's initial petition.
on October 19, 2015, AlliedBarton made a special appearance
to assert that it had not been served with process.
AlliedBarton subsequently filed a motion to dismiss the
original and supplemental petitions on November 17, 2015. The
motion was accompanied by another affidavit from Ms. Holt,
which stated that "[w]ith respect to the
petitioner's original petition filed September 2, 2014,
the only summons issued to AlliedBarton  was filed and
issued on September 24, 2015[.]"
October 15, 2015, the trial court entered an order denying
Ms. Moses's request for injunctive relief "for her
alleged denial of reasonable access to the courts and other
buildings as well as her alleged harassment by various law
enforcement agencies and its agents in public buildings as
well as in other public places." The trial court noted
that the allegations raised by Ms. Moses involved events that
occurred over a year prior and therefore Ms. Moses did not
show any irreparable harm at the present time.
on November 25, 2015, Ms. Moses filed a motion to disqualify
the trial judge based on his knowledge as the presiding judge
over a prior criminal court case against her; the trial court
promptly denied her motion by written order on December 3,
2015, finding that Ms. Moses failed to raise any
extrajudicial bias sufficient to warrant recusal.
hearing on May 13, 2016, the trial court entered an order on
the same day dismissing both Ms. Moses's original and
supplemental petitions. Therein, the trial court found that Ms.
Moses's petition was not accompanied by any summons as
required by the Tennessee Rules of Civil Procedure at the
time of filing or within one year of the filing of the
original petition. As a result, the trial court found that
Ms. Moses's claims in her original petition were
time-barred. The trial court also rejected the following
arguments made by Ms. Moses: (1) that the limitations period
should have been tolled because Ms. Moses removed the
petition to district court; (2) that Ms. Moses should be
allowed to proceed on the supplemental petition despite the
fact that Ms. Moses did not obtain leave of court to file
such pleading; and (3) that estoppel should apply for
excusable neglect. Ms. Moses filed a timely notice of appeal
to this Court.
Moses raises six issues in her appellate brief. In our view,
however, there ...