Session September 19, 2017
from the Circuit Court for Henderson County No. 15076-1 Roy
B. Morgan, Jr., Judge
convicted of aggravated assault filed suit for malicious
prosecution against the other three persons involved in the
altercation that led to his conviction. The trial court
determined that the statute of limitations had run on the
malicious prosecution claim. We affirm on a different ground:
the plaintiff has no claim for malicious prosecution because
the aggravated assault case has not been terminated in his
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Circuit
N. Moffitt, Lexington, Tennessee, Pro Se.
S. Flippin and Terri Smith Crider, Humboldt, Tennessee, for
the appellees, Orbin McPeake and Steven Roy Phelps.
Allen England, Decaturville, Tennessee, for the appellee,
William Mac Patterson.
D. Bennett, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which
J. Steven Stafford, P.J., W.S., and Arnold B. Goldin, J.,
D. BENNETT, JUDGE.
and Procedural Background
16, 2013, Johnny Moffitt was arrested and charged with
aggravated assault after a disagreement with Orbin McPeake,
Steven Roy Phelps, and William Mac Patterson regarding a
boundary line fence. Moffitt was convicted of aggravated
assault on July 31, 2014, and received a four-year sentence.
27, 2015, Moffitt filed this civil action against McPeake,
Phelps, and Patterson alleging that they conspired to have
him illegally arrested, maliciously prosecuted, and
unlawfully incarcerated. In October 2015, McPeake and Phelps
moved to dismiss the lawsuit pursuant to Tenn. R. Civ. P.
12.02(6) on the basis that the one-year statute of
limitations expired before Moffitt filed suit. In an order
entered on July 15, 2016, the trial court held that the
statute of limitations began to run on May 16, 2013, the date
of Moffitt's arrest, and that, therefore, the statute of
limitations had expired when Moffitt filed his civil claim on
July 27, 2015. The court granted McPeake and Phelps's
motion to dismiss.
claims against Patterson remained unresolved and, when
Patterson failed to appear in court on Moffitt's motion
for a default judgment, the trial court entered a default
judgment against Patterson on November 8, 2016. On December
16, 2016, Patterson filed a motion seeking to set aside the
default judgment and, on March 2, 2017, he filed a motion to
dismiss. The trial court entered an order setting aside the
default judgment on March 8, 2017. On April 24, 2017, the
trial court granted Patterson's motion to dismiss
Moffitt's claims against him based upon the same
reasoning it applied with respect to the other two
defendants. Moffitt appeals.
only issue presented on appeal is whether the trial court
erred in dismissing Moffitt's tort suit ...