In re DAVID P. et al.
Session: August 1, 2017
from the Juvenile Court for Claiborne County No. 2013-JV-1255
Robert M. Estep, 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 section 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
W. Stanifer, Tazewell, Tennessee, for the appellant.
Herbert Slatery III, Attorney General and Reporter, and
Ellison M. Berryhill, Assistant Attorney General, General
Civil Division, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee,
Tennessee Department of Children's Services.
Kennedy, Tazewell, Tennessee, Guardian Ad Litem.
Michael Swiney, C.J., Charles D. Susano, Jr., and John W.
MEMORANDUM OPINION 
to Rule 13(b) of the Tennessee Rules of Appellate Procedure,
and based upon the jurisdictional argument raised by the
appellee in the responsive brief, this Court reviewed the
record for this appeal after briefing was complete to
determine whether we had subject matter jurisdiction to hear
this matter. This Court had just decided In re Gabrielle
W., No. E2016-02064-COA-R3-PT, 2017 WL 2954684, *3-4
(Tenn. Ct. App. July 11, 2017), in which it was made clear
that an appellant's failure to sign the notice of appeal
in a termination of parental rights appeal in accordance with
Tennessee Code Annotated section 36-1-124(d) deprives this
Court of jurisdiction. See also In re Mya V., No.
M2016-02401-COA-R3-PT, 2017 WL 3209181, *3 (Tenn. Ct. App.
July 28, 2017). Based upon the decision in In re
Gabrielle W., the Court directed the appellant to show
cause why this appeal should not be dismissed for lack of
jurisdiction. Counsel for the appellant argues in his
response that he promptly "cured" the defect in the
Notice of Appeal, when alerted to it at the outset of this
appeal, by filing an Amended Notice of Appeal in compliance
with the statute. However, in the event the Court determines
that the Amended Notice of Appeal did not remedy the defect
in the initial Notice of Appeal, counsel asserts that this
Court has the discretion to waive the defect in the initial
Notice of Appeal in order to allow this appeal to proceed.
Counsel's arguments are not well-taken.
order terminating the appellant's parental rights to his
minor children was entered on January 5, 2017. We point out
that the order included the following language in that
portion of it which notified the appellant of his appeal
to T.C.A. §36-1-124(d) Effective July 1, 2016, a Notice
of Appeal must be signed by the Appellant.
in original.) The initial Notice of Appeal was filed by
counsel for the appellant on February 2, 2017, without the
appellant's signature despite notice of the statutory
requirement having been given in the order on appeal. Upon
being promptly notified by this Court of the statutory defect
in the Notice of Appeal, counsel for the appellant filed an
Amended Notice of Appeal on February 9, 2017, which was
signed by the appellant.
In re Catherine J., No. W2017-00491-COA-R3-PT,
2017-3141825, *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 in accordance with the statute must occur
during the thirty-day time limit for filing a notice of
appeal in order for the jurisdictional defect to be cured. In
other words, "an untimely filed amended notice of appeal
in compliance with [the statute] is not sufficient to confer
jurisdiction on this Court." Id. at *3. As
such, we reject ...