In re AUDRINA E. et al.
Session: August 1, 2017
from the Juvenile Court for Sullivan County (Bristol) Nos.
J18110, J18111, J18112 J. Klyne Lauderback, Jr., Judge
an appeal from an order terminating the parental rights of
the appellant to his minor children. The only notice of
appeal filed by the appellant within the time provided in
Rule 4(a) of the Tennessee Rules of Appellate Procedure for
the filing of a notice of appeal did not comply with
Tennessee Code Annotated § 36-1-124(d), which states:
"Any notice of appeal filed in a termination of parental
rights action shall be signed by the appellant." Because
this notice of appeal was insufficient to invoke the
jurisdiction of this Court, this appeal is dismissed.
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Appeal Dismissed.
Lindsay K. Earhart, Kingsport, Tennessee, for the appellant,
Herbert Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter, and Brian
A. Pierce, Assistant Attorney General, General Civil
Division, for the appellee, Tennessee Department of
C. Pennington, Bristol, Virginia, Guardian Ad Litem.
R. Frierson, II, J., D. Michael Swiney, C.J., and Charles D.
Susano, Jr., J.
as the defect in the notice of appeal in this case was
discovered, and pursuant to the mandates of Rule 13(b) of the
Tennessee Rules of Appellate Procedure, this Court directed
the appellant to show cause why this appeal should not be
dismissed for lack of jurisdiction based upon the recent
decision in In re Gabrielle W., No.
E2016-02064-COA-R3-PT, 2017 WL 2954684, at *3-4 (Tenn. Ct.
App. July 11, 2017), which clarified that an appellant's
failure to sign the notice of appeal in a termination of
parental rights appeal in accordance with the statute
deprives this Court of jurisdiction, requiring dismissal of
the appeal. See also In re Mya V., No.
M2016-02401-COA-R3-PT, 2017 WL 3209181, at *3 (Tenn. Ct. App.
July 28, 2017). Counsel for the appellant argues in her
response to the show cause order that there was no
requirement that an appellant sign the notice of appeal in a
termination of parental rights appeal on either the date the
trial court signed the order on appeal or the date the only
timely filed notice of appeal was filed. We disagree.
order terminating the appellant's parental rights to his
minor children was entered on May 25, 2017. The only timely
filed notice of appeal in this case was filed on June 2,
2017, without the appellant's signature. Tennessee Code
Annotated § 36-1-124(d) went into effect on July 1,
2016. See In re Gabrielle W., 2017 WL 2954684 at *3.
Clearly, the statutory requirement was in effect both when
the order terminating the appellant's parental rights was
entered and when the only timely filed notice of appeal was
that counsel for the appellant attempted to cure the
jurisdictional defect in the notice of appeal by filing with
her response to the show cause order an amended notice of
appeal signed by the appellant. However, the amended notice
of appeal was not filed until July 27, 2017. In In re
Catherine J., No. W2017-00491-COA-R3-PT, 2017 WL
3141825, at *2-4 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 24, 2017), this Court
held that any attempt to correct an appellant's failure
to sign the notice of appeal in a termination of parental
rights appeal must occur during the thirty-day time limit for
filing a notice of appeal in order for the jurisdictional
defect to be cured. Id. at *3 ("[A]n untimely
filed amended notice of appeal in compliance with [the
statute] is not sufficient to confer jurisdiction on this
neither the initial notice of appeal nor the amended notice
of appeal in this case was sufficient to invoke this
Court's jurisdiction within the time provided in Rule
4(a) of the Tennessee Rules of Appellate Procedure, we lack
jurisdiction to consider this appeal. This case is dismissed.