Session May 8, 2019
from the Circuit Court for Sumner County No. 2017-CV-801 Joe
appellees have moved the court to dismiss this appeal as
premature. Because multiple motions remain pending in the
trial court, we dismiss the appeal for lack of a final
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Appeal Dismissed
Daniel Richardson Roberts, Jr., Nashville, Tennessee, for the
appellants, John Cavin and Donna Cavin.
Abigail Marie Strader, Hendersonville, Tennessee, for the
appellee, Independent Asset Group, LLC.
Hinds Stubbs, Gallatin, Tennessee, for the appellee, The
Glaser Firm, P. C.
G. Clement, Jr., P.J., M.S., Andy D. Bennett, and Richard H.
appeal arises out of the partial dismissal of a
counter/cross-complaint filed by the appellants, John and
Donna Cavin. On February 19, 2019, the trial court dismissed
Count I of Mr. and Mrs. Cavin's counter-complaint against
Independent Asset Group, LLC ("IAG"). On the same
date, the trial court dismissed Mr. and Mrs. Cavin's
counter-complaint against The Glaser Firm, P.C.,
("Glaser"). The trial court also determined that
there no was just reason for delay and directed the entry of
a final judgment under Tenn. R. Civ. P. 54.02 as to both
Mrs. Cavin filed their notice of appeal with the clerk of
this court on March 20, 2019. IAG and Glaser have both filed
motions to dismiss the appeal as premature. Mr. and Mrs.
Cavin have not filed a response disputing that their appeal
is premature or opposing dismissal of the appeal.
appears from the unopposed motions to dismiss, and from Mr.
and Mrs. Cavin's own docketing statement, that multiple
motions remain pending in the trial court, including motions
to alter or amend the judgment and a motion for leave to file
a second amended answer and counter/cross-complaint. The
trial court retains jurisdiction to rule on a timely filed
motion to alter or amend, and a notice of appeal filed prior
to the trial court's ruling on such a motion is deemed
premature. Tenn. R. Civ. P. 4(e). Even where the trial court
has directed the entry of a final judgment under Tenn. R.
Civ. P. 54.02, the trial court must still rule on any motions
to alter or amend before an appeal can proceed. Based on the
appellees' unopposed motions, we conclude that this
appeal should be dismissed and that the trial court must
dispose of all pending motions before Mr. and Mrs. Cavin can
pursue an new appeal of the two dismissal orders certified by
the trial court as final judgments under Tenn. R. Civ. P.
appeal is hereby dismissed without prejudice to the filing of
a new appeal once a final judgment has been entered. The case
is remanded to the trial court for further proceedings
consistent with this opinion. Costs of the ...