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Jones v. Mortgage Menders, LLC

Court of Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville

February 21, 2018

DAVID JONES
v.
MORTGAGE MENDERS, LLC, ET AL.

          Session January 9, 2018

         Appeal from the Circuit Court for Davidson County No. 17C374 Thomas W. Brothers, Judge

         This appeal concerns an effort to re-assert causes of action under the Savings Statute. In July 2006, David Jones ("Plaintiff") filed an action in the Circuit Court for Davidson County ("the Trial Court"). On February 12, 2016, Plaintiff took a voluntary non-suit. On February 2, 2017, Plaintiff filed a purported complaint ("the February 2 Document") attempting to re-assert his original claims, which featured his typewritten name rather than his handwritten signature. Victor Hazelwood and Advantage Title & Escrow, Inc. ("Defendants") filed a motion for summary judgment, which the Trial Court granted. Plaintiff appealed. We hold that Plaintiff's typewritten name qualified as his signature and that his filing, while quite deficient as a piece of legal writing, was not so deficient as to render it not a complaint in the first place. We reverse the judgment of the Trial Court.

         Tenn. R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Circuit Court Reversed; Case Remanded

          Daniel J. Turklay, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, David Jones.

          Todd E. Panther, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellees, Victor Hazelwood and Advantage Title & Escrow, Inc.

          D. Michael Swiney, C.J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which Richard H. Dinkins and W. Neal McBrayer, JJ., joined.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION [1]

          D. MICHAEL SWINEY, CHIEF JUDGE

         Background

         This case was initiated in 2006. Plaintiff was involved in a dispute regarding the sale of real property, the details of which are not germane to the issues on appeal and about which the parties spend very little time discussing. On February 12, 2016, the Trial Court entered an order of voluntary non-suit with respect to that action. In February of the following year, Plaintiff filed the February 2 Document pro se. This document was headed "Complaint" and had listed on it the Davidson County Circuit Court docket number for the suit dismissed on February 12, 2016. The February 2 Document stated the following:

         Motion To Proceed Pro Sa

Plantiff David A. Jones comes by and through his attorney for motion to proceed pro sa. Also Plantiff David A. Jones files a motion and plea for permission to proceed with "In Forma Pauperis Status. This court has jurisdiction over The parties and subject matter arising herein And the venue is proper.

         Facts Of The Case

David A. Jones formerly represented by Atty. James A. Roberts now ask the court for permission to represent himself until he can find a licensed Tennessee Attorney. Since The filling of The voluntary nonsuit by attorney JAMES ROBERTS Mr. Roberts law license has been suspended and he and Mr. Jones have had other differences as well. Mr. Jones decided to change attorneys and the other three attorneys that ...

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