June 30, 2009

Court examines whether chancery court has subject matter jurisdiction; whether defendant is required to exhaust administrative remedies before trial

CHEATHAM COUNTY by and through its Floodplain Administrator, A. M. Armstrong v. JAMES KONG, ET AL. (Tenn. Ct. App. June 30, 2009)

Appellee was issued a building permit for a carport by Appellant, County. County subsequently revoked the permit and ordered demolition of the carport claiming the structure exceeded that permitted. Appellee failed to demolish the structure, and County sued in the chancery court. Appellee moved to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, claiming that he should be allowed to exhaust his administrative remedies-an appeal to the Board of Zoning Appeals-before the chancery court could assume jurisdiction. The trial court granted Appellee's motion to dismiss. We find the chancery court had subject matter jurisdiction over the case, and thus, reverse and remand to the chancery court for a trial on the merits.

Opinion may be found at the TBA website: