GEORGE H. NASON, INDIVIDUALLY & AS TRUSTEE OF THE CHURCH STREET REALTY TRUST v. C & S HEATING, AIR, & ELECTRICAL, INC. AND O’BRIEN HEATING & AIR, INC. (Tenn. Ct. App. April 30, 2009).
Plaintiff appeals summary judgment granted on claims for breach of contract, unjust enrichment and entitlement to quantum meruit relief. The trial court dismissed the complaint based on the doctrine of collateral estoppel finding Plaintiff’s claims or rights to the same property were finally adjudicated in federal court. We affirm.
Opinion may be found at the TBA website:
”In this case, the district court found that Mr. Nason had the necessary standing under Article III but did not have the requisite statutory standing to challenge the forfeiture because he failed comply with Rule C(6) after sufficient constructive notice of the action was given. Mr. Nason’s inability to proceed as a party to the forfeiture action was a problem of his own making. Several attempts were made to personally serve Mr. Nason with notice in addition to the published notices. Despite Mr. Nason’s belief that the breach of contract claims do not arise from or relate to the forfeiture action, the time to challenge the validity of Appellees’ liens and claimed interest in the property was during the civil forfeiture action. Mr. Nason cannot now assert his position on a claim that was settled between the Appellees and the government and approved in a final order of the district court by filing a second suit, regardless of whether the first action was in rem or in personam. Examination of the previous action shows that Mr. Nason had a full and fair opportunity to litigate the issues he now seeks to raise but failed to timely act to use that opportunity when he failed to file an answer or statement of interest. Balancing the concerns of judicial efficiency and fairness to the parties, we find that Mr. Nason is subject to preclusion by collateral estoppel since he could have become a party to the prior litigation.” Id.