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.

Wooden v. Club Epic

Court of Appeals of Tennessee, Jackson

August 12, 2019

LAWRENCE WOODEN
v.
CLUB EPIC ET AL.

          Session June 19, 2019

          Appeal from the Circuit Court for Shelby County No. CT-001362-14 Mary L. Wagner, Judge.

         This appeal arises from the trial court's denial of relief from an order of dismissal for lack of prosecution. The trial court entered its final order on June 21, 2016. On June 1, 2017, plaintiff electronically filed a motion for relief pursuant to Tennessee Rule of Civil Procedure 60.02 due to mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect, but it was rejected and not filed because it did not comply with the e-filing rules of the Circuit Court for the Thirtieth Judicial District. Plaintiff filed a second motion for relief on December 28, 2017. Having determined that plaintiff's second motion was not timely filed, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

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

          Jason Nowlin, Savannah, Tennessee, for the appellant, Lawrence Wooden.

          Arnold B. Goldin, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Kenny Armstrong, and Carma Dennis McGee, JJ., joined.

          OPINION

          ARNOLD B. GOLDIN, JUDGE.

         Background and Procedural History

         On March 26, 2014, Lawrence Wooden ("Plaintiff") filed a complaint against Club Epic, an adult gentleman's club, and Tara Henderson, an employee of the club at the time of the underlying matter, in the Shelby County Circuit Court (the "trial court"), raising numerous claims sounding in tort. Plaintiff alleged that, on or about March 26, 2013, Ms. Henderson attacked him with an empty glass bottle and pepper sprayed him as he exited Club Epic. On May 19, 2014, Club Epic filed its answer, denying Plaintiff's charges.[1]

         Sometime in late 2014 or early 2015, the trial court clerk (the "Clerk") notified Plaintiff's counsel that the case had been removed from the trial court's docket due to his failure to attend the docket call and that, in order to have the case placed back on the docket, he would need to contact opposing counsel. For the next several months, Plaintiff's counsel allegedly made numerous attempts to contact opposing counsel; however, in October 2015, he discovered that opposing counsel had passed away several months prior. On October 23, 2015, Plaintiff's counsel emailed the Clerk about the death of opposing counsel and allegedly sought guidance regarding the steps he needed to take in order to place the case back on the docket. Plaintiff's counsel sent two follow-up emails to the Clerk on February 3 and 11, 2016. The Clerk responded on March 29, 2016, stating that "[s]omeone within that law firm should be assigned the previous attorney's cases and should file an Order (Notice of Appearance) into the courts." Plaintiff's counsel emailed the Clerk again on April 28, 2016, stating that opposing counsel was a solo practitioner and again seeking guidance on how to place the case back on the docket. According to Plaintiff's counsel, he attempted to follow up with the Clerk numerous times until September 21, 2016, when he checked the trial court's online docket and realized that the case had been dismissed on June 21, 2016 for lack of prosecution.[2]

         Almost nine months later, on June 1, 2017, Plaintiff's counsel electronically filed a motion for relief from the trial court's order of dismissal pursuant to Rule 60.02 of the Tennessee Rules of Civil Procedure. The motion, however, was rejected for filing for failing to follow the e-filing rules of the Circuit Court for the Thirtieth Judicial District, and a notice of this rejection was sent to Plaintiff's counsel the following day on June 2, 2017. Plaintiff's counsel failed to make any subsequent filings until approximately six months later on December 28, 2017, when he filed a second motion for relief from the trial court's order of dismissal. Therein, Plaintiff's counsel again argued that the trial court's order was entered as a result of mistake, inadvertence, surprise, or excusable neglect. On May 1, 2018, the trial court denied Plaintiff's motion for relief, finding that the motion was not filed within a reasonable time. Plaintiff timely appealed.

         Issue Presented

         Plaintiff raises one issue on appeal, which we reproduce as follows: Did the trial court err by denying Plaintiff's Rule 60.02 Motion for Relief from Order of Dismissal for Lack of Prosecution Entered on June 20, 2016?

         Standard ...


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.