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Lowe v. Parris

Court of Appeals of Tennessee, Knoxville

June 25, 2019

ASATA D LOWE
v.
MIKE PARRIS ET AL.

          Assigned on Briefs May 1, 2019

          Appeal from the Circuit Court for Blount County No. L-19878 David Reed Duggan, Judge

         This case involves a prisoner's appeal from the trial court's dismissal of his complaint, wherein he raised numerous claims relating back to his seizure, arrest, prosecution, and conviction, all of which occurred from 1998 to 2000. The trial court dismissed all of the prisoner's claims on numerous grounds, including that they were time-barred by various statutes of limitations and that many of the defendants were entitled to sovereign immunity. Concluding that because certain defendants are entitled to sovereign immunity and that all of the prisoner's claims are either time-barred or do not comply with the Tennessee Rules of Civil Procedure, we affirm.

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

          Asata Dia Lowe, Wartburg, TN, Pro se.

          Herbert H. Slattery, III, Attorney General and Reporter; Thomas J. Aumann, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellees, Mike Parris and Tennessee Department of Correction.

          Craig Strand, Knoxville Tennessee and Craig L. Garrett, Maryville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Blount County Sheriff's Office.

          Benjamin K. Lauderback, Knoxville, Tennessee for the appellees, Alcoa Police Department, Ernest C. Kemper, III, Dale Boring, and Lowell H. Ridings.

          Herbert H. Slattery, III, Attorney General and Reporter; Laura Miller, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellees, Edward Bailey, Kirk Andrews, and the Blount County District Attorney's Office.

          Arnold B. Goldin, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which D. Michael Swiney, C.J., and Frank G. Clement, Jr., P.J., M.S., joined.

          OPINION

          ARNOLD B. GOLDIN, JUDGE

         Background and Procedural History

         On July 12, 2000, a Blount County, Tennessee jury convicted Asata Lowe ("Plaintiff") on two counts of first-degree murder and one count of especially aggravated robbery. Plaintiff's conviction was upheld on direct appeal to the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals. See State v. Asata Lowe, No. E2000-01591-CCA-R3-CD, 2002 WL 31051631 (Tenn. Crim. App. Sept. 16, 2002). The conviction was again upheld on post-conviction appeal. See Lowe v. State, No. E2006-02028-CCA-MR3-PC, 2008 WL 631169 (Tenn. Crim. App. Aug. 25, 2008).

         On April 10, 2018, Plaintiff, proceeding pro se, [1] filed a "Complaint for Extraordinary Process" (the "Complaint") in the Blount County Chancery Court. Therein, Plaintiff named numerous defendants[2] and raised numerous tort and constitutional claims, as well as a host of procedural deficiencies, arising from his arrest, conviction, and imprisonment.[3] In total, Plaintiff sought $5, 000, 000, 000.00 in economic damages, $5, 000, 000, 000.00 in non-economic damages, and $15, 000, 000, 000.00 in punitive damages. After Plaintiff filed the Complaint, the case was transferred from the Blount County Chancery Court to the Blount County Circuit Court (the "trial court") via an interchange order entered on April 12, 2018. After the transfer to the circuit court, nearly all of the Defendants filed motions to dismiss, [4] asserting that all of Plaintiff's claims should fail: (1) pursuant to the doctrine of sovereign immunity; (2) because his underlying criminal convictions had not been invalidated through direct appeal, post-conviction, or habeas proceedings; (3) because his claims were time-barred by various statutes of limitations; and (4) because his claims violated Tennessee Rule of Civil Procedure 8.01.

         A hearing on Defendants' respective motions was held on August 13, 2018. On August 23, 2018, the trial court entered an order dismissing Plaintiff's lawsuit in its entirety, and in which it ...


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