Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Polk v. Polk

Court of Appeals of Tennessee, Jackson

July 16, 2019

SHERITA MICHELLE POLK
v.
FRANK EDWARD POLK

          Session June 18, 2019

          Appeal from the Chancery Court for Madison County No. 71535 James F. Butler, Chancellor

         This appeal arises from a divorce between parties with no minor children. The husband appealed raising numerous issues related to property division. He also challenges the trial court's denial of his request for alimony. The appellate record contains no transcript or statement of evidence that complies with Rule 24 of the Tennessee Rules of Appellate Procedure. Further the husband's brief is woefully deficient. Because of the husband's failure to comply with the Tennessee Rules of Appellate Procedure and the Rules of this Court, there is no basis upon which to conclude that the evidence preponderates against the findings of the chancery court and the rulings based thereon. We affirm the judgment of the chancery court and remand the case for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

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

          Frank Edward Polk, Jackson, Tennessee, Pro Se. Mitchell G. Tollison, Jackson, Tennessee, for the appellee, Sherita Michelle Polk.

          Carma D. McGee, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which J. Steven Stafford, P.J., W.S., and Thomas R. Frierson, II, J., joined.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION [1]

          CARMA D. McGEE, JUDGE

         I. Facts &Procedural history

         Frank Edward Polk ("Husband") and Sherita Michelle Polk ("Wife") were married in 1992 and have no minor children. In 2014, Wife filed for divorce. Husband timely filed an answer and counter-complaint.

         After a period of discovery, several pre-trial motions, and an unsuccessful mediation, the court held a four-day bench trial in 2017 and 2018. Each party was represented by an attorney throughout the trial. The trial court issued a letter ruling and filed the same with the clerk on September 11, 2018. An order of absolute divorce was entered on October 15, 2018. The trial court declared the parties divorced pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated section 36-4-129. The court attached to the order a spreadsheet which detailed the division of assets and debts for each party in a manner the court deemed equitable.

         Husband filed several post-trial motions, including a motion to contest the terms of the order of absolute divorce, and he raises similar issues in this appeal. Wife filed a motion for clarification of issues. The trial court heard the motions on November 5, 2018, and took the matter under advisement. The court issued separate letter rulings on November 16, 2018, addressing all issues raised by Husband and Wife, except for Husband's request to "correct the address on the property division worksheet to read 244/246 Airways Blvd." The court indicated it would reconsider the alimony issues in a separate order. The letter rulings were memorialized in orders entered on December 10, 2018. A separate order on alimony was filed with the trial court on March 1, 2019, which terminated the alimony award to Wife contained in the order of absolute divorce. Husband timely filed a notice of appeal. Wife does not present any issues on appeal.

         II. Issues Presented

         Husband presents the following issues, as quoted from his brief:

1. Whether the trial court's amended final order on alimony filed March 1, 2019 reflects equitable consideration to the Appellant's economic disadvantage that would result from a failure to award him additional income producing marital property and/or alimony for spousal support and relief.
2. Whether the trial court can seize and withhold Appellant's home insurance proceeds and if $7, 246.46 of Appellant's home insurance proceeds, which was awarded to Appellee to satisfy her request for attorney fees, be amended and awarded to Appellant for recovering damages to the insured property.
2a. Whether the trial court may order Appellant to pay for a service that the court asked Appellee's attorney to do.
3. Is Appellant entitled to have an equitable share of Appellee's IRA?
4. Whether Appellant should be awarded or credited for paying deficiency balance on foreclosed marital home.
5. Whether Appellant is entitled to relief in the form of a reimbursement award for the seizure of his rents by Appellee before the resolution of all actions, proper notice and transfer of deeds.
6. Whether the marital debt, especially non-evidenced debt, should be removed from the work sheet attached to the absolute order of divorce filed October 15, 2018.
7. Should the address for Appellant's awarded marital property be corrected on the work sheet attached to the absolute order of divorce filed October 15, 2018?

         III. Discussion

         A. Transcript or Statement of Evidence

         As an initial matter, we note that Husband proceeds pro se in this appeal.[2] It is well settled that pro se litigants must comply with the same standards to which lawyers must adhere. Jackson v. Lanphere, No. M2010-01401-COA-R3-CV, 2011 WL 3566978, at *3 (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 12, 2011). As explained by this Court:

Parties who decide to represent themselves are entitled to fair and equal treatment by the courts. The courts should take into account that many pro se litigants have no legal training and little familiarity with the judicial system. However, the courts must also be mindful of the boundary between fairness to a pro se litigant and unfairness to the pro se litigant's adversary. Thus, the courts must not excuse pro se litigants from complying with the same substantive and procedural rules that represented parties are expected to observe.

Jackson, 2011 WL 3566978, at *3 (quoting Hessmer v. Hessmer,138 S.W.3d 901, 903 (Tenn. Ct. ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.