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Regions Mortgage v. Brown

Court of Appeals of Tennessee, Jackson

June 11, 2018

REGIONS MORTGAGE et al.
v.
JOSEPH WILLIE BROWN et al.

          Assigned on Briefs April 3, 2018

          Appeal from the Circuit Court for Shelby County No. CT-000531-17 Jerry Stokes, Judge

         This appeal arises from a marathon of litigation, as many as eleven separate civil actions, all of which pertain to the defendants' former property in Eads, Tennessee that Regions Mortgage, Inc. ("Regions") purchased at a foreclosure sale in 2013. See Brown v. AmSouth Bank, No. W2016-02596-COA-R3-CV, 2018 WL 1319169, at *1-2 (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 14, 2018). At issue here is the grant of a writ of possession to Regions by the General Sessions Court of Shelby County in a forcible entry and detainer action, which decision the defendants appealed to the circuit court. When the circuit court dismissed the appeal for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, the defendants appealed to this court. Due to profound deficiencies with the defendants' brief, specifically the failure to comply with Rule 6 of the Rules of the Court of Appeals of Tennessee, we dismiss the appeal.

         Tenn. R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Circuit Court Dismissed.

          Joseph Willie Brown and Kimerly W. Brown, Eads, Tennessee, pro se.

          Randall D. Noel, Jonathan T. Skrmetti, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellee, Regions Mortgage, Inc.

          Frank G. Clement Jr., P.J., M.S., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Charles D. Susano Jr. and Brandon O. Gibson, JJ., joined.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION [1]

          FRANK G. CLEMENT JR., P.J., M.S.

         Joseph and Kimerly Brown ("the Browns") purchased a home in Eads, Tennessee in 2003 and stopped paying on the mortgage in October 2010. See Brown, 2018 WL 1319169, at *1. Regions initiated foreclosure proceedings, and the Browns filed a complaint in chancery court to contest the foreclosure, the first of eleven actions filed in seven different courts. Id. Though this case is concerned solely with an appeal from the Shelby County General Sessions Court to the Shelby County Circuit Court, we will briefly summarize the relevant procedural history, which involves actions filed in other courts, to provide context.

         When Regions first attempted to foreclose on the Eads property, the Browns filed suit in Shelby County Chancery Court. Regions removed the case to the United States District Court for the Western District of Tennessee. Id. at *2. The case was mediated, and Regions and the Browns entered into a settlement agreement. Id. Pursuant to the settlement agreement, the Browns agreed to pay Regions $590, 000 within ninety days to satisfy their debt. Id. If the Browns failed to pay that sum, Regions could and would proceed with foreclosure, and the Browns would not "contest foreclosure proceedings." Id.

         When the Browns failed to make the required payment, they elected to contest the validity of the settlement agreement in the District Court. Id. After the District Court found the settlement agreement valid and enforceable, the Browns appealed to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the Sixth Circuit affirmed the District Court's ruling. Id. Based on the Sixth Circuit's ruling, Regions foreclosed on the Eads property, and Regions purchased the property at the foreclosure sale in 2013. Id.

         Thereafter, the District Court issued an order authorizing Regions to proceed with the forcible entry and detainer process in state court. Id. When Regions sought to obtain possession of the property, and thereby remove the Browns from the property, the Browns once again obtained a stay in a Shelby County General Sessions Court proceeding. Id.

         In 2015, Regions renewed its action for the forcible entry and detainer warrant in general sessions court to which the Browns responded by commencing an action in the Shelby County Chancery Court, pursuant to an ex parte petition for a temporary restraining order and a complaint to again contest the foreclosure proceedings they agreed not to contest. Id. The chancery court granted Region's motion to dismiss, recognizing that the claims were based upon alleged "deficiencies in Regions' foreclosure, " and that dismissal was required "by virtue of collateral estoppel and res judicata." Id. The Browns appealed to this court, and we affirmed the chancery court's decision. Id. at *4.

         After the chancery court dismissed the case, Regions prevailed in the Shelby County General Sessions Court and obtained a judgment of possession against the Browns on January 18, 2017. The Browns then timely appealed that decision to the Shelby County Circuit Court and filed an affidavit of indigence and proceeded on a pauper's oath to avoid a cost bond. Although the Browns continued to occupy the Eads property, they ...


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