Session August 16, 2017
Appeal from the Circuit Court for Davidson County No. 15C4276
Mitchell Keith Siskin, Judge
appeal involves a dispute between a judgment debtor and the
attorneys for the judgment creditor. In an effort to collect
on a final judgment, attorneys for the judgment creditor
served the judgment debtor with a notice of deposition. After
some discussion, it became clear that the debtor failed to
bring the requested documents with him to the deposition, and
the attorneys for the creditor refused to go forward with the
deposition that day. The debtor then filed this separate
lawsuit, pro se, against the creditor's attorneys
alleging that they had taken an "unlawful
deposition" of him. The trial court granted summary
judgment in favor of the attorneys for the judgment creditor.
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Circuit
Court Affirmed and Remanded
Simmons, Hermitage, Tennessee, Pro se.
M. Buchanan, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellees, John
Roaten Cheadle, Jr., and Mary Barnard Cheadle.
Brandon O. Gibson, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in
which Arnold B. Goldin, and Kenny Armstrong, J.J., joined.
BRANDON O. GIBSON, JUDGE
Facts & Procedural History
Tray Simmons attended Middle Tennessee State University
("MTSU") from 1988 until 1993. During that time,
Mr. Simmons funded his education by obtaining student loans
from MTSU. When Mr. Simmons defaulted on these loans, MTSU
employed attorneys John Cheadle and Mary Barnard Cheadle
(collectively "Counsel") to assist in recovering
the past-due balance. To that end, MTSU, by and through
Counsel, filed suit against Mr. Simmons, and in 2011 the
trial court entered a judgment against Mr. Simmons for
repayment of the student loan. Mr. Simmons appealed this
judgment to the Court of Appeals. We affirmed the ruling of
the trial court. See Middle Tennessee State University v.
Simmons, No. M2011-00825-COA-R3-CV, 2012 WL 2244821
(Tenn. Ct. App. 2012).
MTSU successfully secured a judgment against Mr. Simmons for
the balance of his student loans, Mr. Simmons paid nothing to
satisfy the judgment. (Exhibit CD) Therefore, in October
2014, Counsel served Mr. Simmons with a post-judgment notice
of deposition in an attempt to discover assets. The notice of
deposition provided that the deposition would be held on
October 30, 2014, at Counsel's office, and that Mr.
Simmons was required to bring several documents related to
his financial status, including his tax returns and bank
events that transpired at Counsel's office on October 30,
2014, form the basis of the current lawsuit. Mr. Simmons
recorded at least part of the exchange between himself and
Mary Cheadle while he was at Counsel's office. Portions
of the recorded discussion between Mary Cheadle and Mr.
Simmons (which was transcribed by the Tennessee Board of
Professional Responsibility) are set forth below:
Cheadle: Do you have your driver's license on you today?
Simmons: Yes, why?
Cheadle: May I take a look at it?
Simmons: Uh, no . . . I refuse. . . .
Cheadle: That's one of the documents I'm going to
have to look at to do this deposition.
. . . .
Simmons: Well I mean can you tell me . . . why in your
letter, why didn't you . . . request that.
Cheadle: Okay, well that's your identification.
Simmons: It's one of the identifications. I have many.
. . . .
Cheadle: Did you bring any tax returns?
Simmons: I don't have any tax returns.
. . . .
Cheadle: Alright, where you living at?
Simmons: 4200 Rachel Donelson Pass.
Cheadle: Alright, and where are you ...