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.

Mathews Construction, Inc. v. Omanwa

Court of Appeals of Tennessee, Knoxville

October 21, 2019

MATHEWS CONSTRUCTION, INC.
v.
KENNEDY OMANWA

          Assigned on Briefs October 1, 2019

          Appeal from the Chancery Court for Hamilton County No. 17-0805 Pamela A. Fleenor, Chancellor

         A defendant filed a motion to recuse the trial judge one month prior to trial; the trial judge responded to the motion and entered an order denying it two weeks prior to trial. Defendant appeals, asserting that the court erred in denying the motion and in failing to notify him that the court would proceed with the trial as previously set. Discerning no error, we affirm the judgment.

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

          Kennedy N. Omanwa, Collegedale, Tennessee, Pro Se.

          Thomas L. N. Knight, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellee, Mathews Construction, Inc.

          Richard H. Dinkins, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which D. Michael Swiney, C.J., and Arnold B. Goldin, J., joined.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION [1]

          RICHARD H. DINKINS, JUDGE

         On November 8, 2017, Mathews Construction, Inc., ("Plaintiff") filed suit in Hamilton County Chancery Court against Kennedy Omanwa ("Defendant") to recover payment for repair work it performed on Defendant's property; the contract between the parties was attached to the complaint as "Exhibit A" and a separate payment agreement as "Exhibit B." Defendant filed a response and counterclaim on December 11, 2017, asserting, among other things, that he signed the payment agreement under duress, that the signatures on the agreement were forged, and that Plaintiff received excess funds that should have either been returned to Defendant or to a third party. Plaintiff answered the counterclaim on January 12, 2018, denying the allegations.

         Defendant filed a Notice of Removal to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee on August 17, 2018; the case was remanded to the chancery court on October 18 for lack of diversity. On November 6, the court set the trial for January 23, 2019. On December 28, Defendant filed a motion asking the court to recuse itself; filed with the motion was Defendant's "Affidavit of Bias, Prejudice and in Support of Motion to Recuse," which contained assertions that the court's conduct and statements led Defendant to believe "he cannot get a fair hearing and or a fair trial before the Honorable Chancellor." Pursuant to section 1.03 of Rule 10B of the Rules of the Supreme Court, the trial court entered an order on January 9 making findings relative to the factual allegations in the motion. The court also held that the motion failed to comply with section 1.01 of Rule 10B in that it did not state that it was not filed for an improper purpose, that the motion was not timely, and that Defendant failed to establish grounds warranting recusal. The court denied the motion; Defendant filed his notice of appeal with the trial court on January 22 and did not seek a stay.

         The trial took place as scheduled on January 23; Defendant did not appear. The court entered a judgment on January 24, finding in favor of Plaintiff, awarding a judgment in the amount of $42, 247.74, and dismissing Defendant's counterclaim. Defendant filed additional notices of appeal on January 28 and February 4. The January 28 notice is identical to the notice of appeal filed on January 22, and the February 4 notice appealed the January 24 order.[2]

         Defendant's brief lacks a clear statement of the issues. We have determined that Defendant asserts that the trial court erred in denying his motion to recuse in the order entered January 9 and in entering the judgment on January 24, after he filed his first notice of appeal.

         I. Standard of Review

         Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 10B governs recusals. Section 2.01 provides that "the trial court's ruling on the motion for disqualification or recusal shall be reviewed by the appellate court under a ...


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.