Assigned on Briefs August 19, 2019
from the Chancery Court for Davidson County No. 18-669-II
Anne C. Martin, Chancellor
an interlocutory appeal as of right, pursuant to Rule 10B of
the Rules of the Supreme Court of Tennessee, filed by Deborah
Russell ("Plaintiff"), seeking to recuse the trial
judge in this case which involves a foreclosure action.
Having reviewed the petition for recusal appeal filed by
Plaintiff, and finding no error in the Trial Court's
order denying recusal, we affirm.
Sup. Ct. R. 10B Interlocutory Appeal as of Right; Judgment of
the Chancery Court Affirmed
Deborah Chandler Russell, Madison, Tennessee, appellant, pro
Jonathan Cole, John Spaulding Hicks, and Joy Longnecker,
Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellees, Household Financial
Services, Ben Adams, Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell &
Berkowitz (Nashville), Jonathan Cole, Joy Longnecker, and
Dana St. Clair-Hougham.
Michael Swiney, C.J., delivered the opinion of the court, in
which Frank G. Clement, Jr., P.J., M.S., and Kenny W.
Armstrong, J., joined.
MICHAEL SWINEY, CHIEF JUDGE
filed a petition for recusal appeal in this Court on August
16, 2019, seeking review of the July 26, 2019 order of the
Chancery Court for Davidson County ("the Chancery
Court") denying Plaintiff's Motion for Immediate
Disqualification and/or Recusal filed in the proceedings
below on July 18, 2019.
case arose from an agreement between Plaintiff and the
defendant HSBC, Inc. d/b/a Household Financial Services, Inc.
("HSBC") with regard to the refinancing of
Plaintiff's mortgage. The litigation originated in
September of 2004, when Plaintiff filed an adversarial
proceeding in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Middle
District of Tennessee. That case was dismissed without
prejudice in March of 2006.
a detainer action was filed in the General Sessions Court and
a ruling issued, which Plaintiff then appealed to Circuit
Court. Plaintiff then filed a complaint in Chancery Court,
Part I seeking an injunction preventing HSBC from foreclosing
on Plaintiff's home. Plaintiff was represented by counsel
at that time, and her complaint alleged claims for
intentional and negligent misrepresentation, violations of
the Truth in Lending Act, violations of the Tennessee
Consumer Protection Act, and fraud. An initial temporary
restraining order was entered by the Chancery Court, and the
case was transferred to Circuit Court, where the appeal from
the General Sessions Court was pending. The appeal of the
General Sessions Court case was subsequently dismissed for
October of 2007, Plaintiff, now proceeding pro se,
filed another complaint in Chancery Court, which was assigned
to Part II. The new complaint addressed the foreclosure and
also contained new allegations with regard to HSBC and its
handling of litigation and discovery matters. This case was
transferred to Circuit Court where the other cases still were
pending. In October of 2013, the two Circuit Court cases were
consolidated and were assigned to Sixth Circuit Court, with
Judge Thomas W. Brothers presiding.
alleged that HSBC had induced her to refinance her mortgage
in July of 2000 by promising her terms that were not included
in the actual loan agreement. Plaintiff complained that her
monthly loan payments were different from the amounts that
had been represented by HSBC, and she claimed that many of
the loan documents that she had signed were blank when she
signed the documents and that HSBC representatives had told
her not to worry about the blanks. HSBC filed a counterclaim
against Plaintiff based upon a claimed post-foreclosure
deficiency on her loan.
of 2008, the Circuit Court granted summary judgment to HSBC
with regard to all of Plaintiff's claims and HSBC's
counterclaim. The case was appealed to this Court, and we
affirmed the grant of summary judgment as to the Tennessee
Consumer Protection Act claims, but reversed as to
Plaintiff's Truth in Lending Act claims and
Plaintiff's intentional and negligent misrepresentation
claims. Russell v. Household Mortgage Servs., No.