Session April 17, 2019
from the Chancery Court for Jefferson County No. 16-CV-116
Telford E. Forgety, Jr., Chancellor
appeal involves a review of the denial of a motion pursuant
to Rule 60.02 of the Tennessee Rules of Civil Procedure. We
affirm the ruling of the trial court.
R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Chancery
Court Affirmed; Case Remanded
Jeffrey A. Armstrong, Morristown, Tennessee, for the
Ann Sklar and Rosemary Sklar. Luke D. Durham, Knoxville,
Tennessee, for the appellee, Patrick Clancy.
W. McClarty, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which
D. Michael Swiney, C.J., and Thomas R. Frierson, II, J.,
W. MCCLARTY, JUDGE
matter involves a 30-acre farm located at 2563 East U.S.
Highway 25/70, Dandridge, Tennessee ("the Real
Property"). Mary Ann Sklar ("Seller"), the
owner of the Real Property, entered into a land purchase
contract with Patrick Clancy on September 6, 2016. The
agreement stated that "[t]he purpose of this contract
permits the purchaser, Patrick Clancy, exclusive use and
ownership of the 30 acres . . . owned currently by seller,
Mary Ann Sklar . . . ." It further provided that
"[i]n return, Mary Ann Sklar, Rosemary Sklar, Thomas
Cartwright will have right to occupy the property with
agreement to terms in separate binding contract." The
contract was acknowledged by a notary public and was
"Witnessed by" Rosemary Sklar. The Real Property
was conveyed to Clancy by quitclaim deed executed by Seller
on September 8, 2016, and recorded with the Register of Deeds
for Jefferson County, Tennessee, on September 20,
is a widow in her 70s who claimed she engaged Clancy
regarding the care of animals on the farm that she had
inherited in 1985 from her mother. She contends that Clancy
tricked her into signing the quitclaim deed rather than a
asserts that he agreed to care for Seller's animals,
assume all debt and liens on the property, and pay any
outstanding property taxes in return for Seller transferring
the Real Property and the animals to him. According to
Clancy, he intended to open the property to the public for
educational purposes. He stated that the Sklars were "to
continue to reside on the property pursuant to [a] later
agreed upon lease."
initiated the instant litigation seeking to rescind the
quitclaim deed to the Real Property. Clancy responded that if
the quitclaim deed was to be rescinded, he would be entitled
to recover the consideration he paid for it, including paid
liens and taxes and the value of any improvement to the Real
Property. Seller followed up with an "Amendment to
Petition to Rescind Quitclaim Deed" on March 6, 2017,
requesting that the land purchase contract be declared void
trial occurred on November 29, 2017. In the judgment entered
on January 12, 2018, the trial court ordered as follows:
The Petition, as amended, to rescind the parties'
quitclaim deed and land purchase contract is granted,
expressly conditioned upon the Petitioner's payment of
$21, 800 to the clerk of this court, for the benefit of
respondent, within forty-five days of the trial, on or before
January 13, 2018. If petitioner does not pay $21, 800 into
the clerk of the court on or before January 13, 2018, the
quitclaim deed and land purchase contract are not rescinded
and are, therefore, upheld and found by this court to be
valid and enforceable[.]
memorandum opinion incorporated by reference, the trial court
observed as follows:
… [T]his contract permits the purchaser, Patrick
Clancy, exclusive use and ownership . . . of 30 acres . . .
.In return, Mary Ann Skylar [sic], Rosemary Skylar [sic],
Thomas Cartwright will have the right to occupy the property
with agreement to terms in separate binding contract.
The paragraph is contradictory in itself . . . .
You get the right to occupy the property in the Skylars
[sic], what is it? Is it a life estate[?] The land purchase
contract doesn't call it that. Is it a lease? The land
purchase contract doesn't call it that. Is it a license?
It doesn't call it that.
It says that there are terms in a separate binding contract,
which indicates to the court that [there] were to have been
other terms to define the Skylars [sic] right to occupy the
property. That's what it says. There were to have been
other terms. Well apparently those other terms were never
settled. There is nothing in the record to show that they
were settled what those other terms ...