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Dewald v. Dewald

Court of Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville

September 22, 2017

ERIKA LOUISE DEWALD
v.
BAYA PAUL DEWALD

          Session August 16, 2017

         Appeal from the General Sessions Court for Wilson County No. 2014-DC-48 John Thomas Gwin, Judge

         This is a divorce case involving numerous pleadings. Because the order appealed is not final in that it fails to adjudicate husband's petition for contempt and motion for sanctions, this Court lacks subject-matter jurisdiction over the appeal. Tenn. R. App. P. 3(a). Accordingly, the appeal is dismissed.

         Tenn. R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Appeal Dismissed

          Thomas F. Bloom, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Baya Paul Dewald.

          A. Ensley Hagan, Jr. and Andrea Hagan, Lebanon, Tennessee; Yancy Belcher, Mt. Juliet, Tennessee, for the appellee, Erika Louise Dewald.

          Arnold B. Goldin, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Brandon O. Gibson and Kenny Armstrong, JJ., joined.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION [1]

          ARNOLD B. GOLDIN, JUDGE

         Background

         Erika Louise Dewald ("Wife, " or "Appellee") and Baya Paul Dewald ("Husband, " or "Appellant") were married on July 6, 2002. One minor child was born to the marriage.

         On March 17, 2014, Wife filed a "Petition for Absolute Divorce" in the General Sessions Court for Wilson County. On April 21, 2014, Husband answered Wife's petition. Following failed attempts at drafting a marital dissolution agreement ("MDA"), Husband filed a counter-complaint for divorce. Tenn. Code Ann. § 36-4-101.

         In an order filed May 20, 2014, the trial court ordered that Husband would vacate the marital residence and Wife would enter the residence to collect a court-approved list of household items.[2] The order also stated that, "[b]oth parties [were] restrained and enjoined from speaking directly to the other by any means. All communications between the parties shall go through their respective counsel. A violation of this order will result in the offending party being held in criminal contempt of court." On June 20, 2014, Husband petitioned the court to hold Wife in civil contempt based on his allegations that she violated several provisions of the trial court's May 20, 2014 order. Additionally, on November 24, 2014, Husband filed a motion asking the trial court to impose sanctions on Wife and Wife's attorney.

         The case was tried on February 22, 2016, February 26, 2016, February 29, 2016, and March 1, 2016. On August 2, 2016, the trial court entered a "Final Decree of Absolute Divorce." On August 10, 2016, Wife filed a "Motion to Alter or Amend Final Decree, " seeking, inter alia, an award of additional personal items and restoration of her maiden name. On August 17, 2016, Husband filed a motion to alter or amend the final decree, wherein he also sought additional marital property and attorneys' fees. Furthermore, Husband specifically requested that the trial court, "[r]ule on [his] outstanding Petition for Contempt against the Wife."

         On August 24, 2016, the trial court granted Husband's attorney's motion to withdraw. On September 20, 2016, the trial court issued an order on the parties' cross motions to alter or amend the final divorce decree. The trial court did not ...


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