Session August 14, 2019
from the Chancery Court for Hickman County No. 2010-CV-4248
Deanna B. Johnson, Judge
appeal involves a boundary dispute. In resolving the dispute,
the trial court made specific findings about the location of
a non-party's border, indicating that it was coterminous
with the disputed northern border of Mr. Simpkins, who is a
party to this case. Finding this non-party to be a necessary
party based on the record, we vacate the trial court's
order and remand for further proceedings consistent with this
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Chancery
Court Vacated and Remanded
Mills and Hilary H. Duke, Dickson, Tennessee, for the
appellant, Randy Lynn Simpkins.
Larry Edmondson and Thomas F. Bloom, Nashville, Tennessee,
for the appellees, Joe Ward and Mike Ward,
E. Doyle, Linden, Tennessee, for the appellees, John Marrs,
Keith Marrs, Chad Marrs, and d/b/a Marrs Logging.
B. Goldin, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which
J. Steven Stafford, P.J., W.S., and Carma Dennis McGee, J.,
MEMORANDUM OPINION 
B. GOLDIN, JUDGE
present case concerns a dispute over real property.
Litigation was commenced by Randy Simpkins in October 2010
when he filed suit against Joe Ward, Mike Ward, John Marrs,
Keith Marrs, and Chad Marrs. According to the filed petition,
the Wards had entered into a contract with the Marrses to
harvest timber on Mr. Simpkins' property. Mr. Simpkins
alleged that approximately twelve acres of timber had
ultimately been harvested from his property, and he sought to
hold the respondents jointly and severally liable. Mr.
Simpkins averred that the Wards were aware that the property
from which the timber was harvested belonged to him, and he
claimed that the Marrses knew, or should have known upon a
reasonable investigation, that the Wards had no ownership
interest in the harvested timber.
property dispute later went to trial, and thereafter, the
trial court made a number of findings in its "Memorandum
and Order," ultimately holding in favor of the Wards
based on adverse possession. When the matter came before us
at the oral argument of this appeal, we expressed concern
that an adjoining landowner referenced in the record, Mr.
Heatherly, was not joined as a necessary party in the trial
court. Having further reflected on the issue, we are of the
opinion that Mr. Heatherly's non-joinder presents an
impediment to our oversight of this case at this time.
concern pertaining to Mr. Heatherly is grounded in the
dictates of Rule 19 of the Tennessee Rules of Civil
Procedure. Under that Rule:
A person who is subject to service of process shall be joined
as a party if (1) in the person's absence complete relief
cannot be accorded among those already parties, or (2) the
person claims an interest relating to the subject of the
action and is so situated that the disposition of the action
in the person's absence may (i) as a practical matter
impair or impede the person's ability to protect that
interest, or (ii) leave any of the persons already parties
subject to a substantial risk of incurring double, multiple,
or otherwise inconsistent obligations by reasons of the
claimed interest. If the person has not been so joined, the
court shall order that the person be ...