September 29, 2010

Court Reviews Summary Judgment Ruling in a Case Between a Home Purchaser and a Licensed Contractor

NATALIE HAGAN v. MICHAEL PHIPPS ET AL. (Tenn. Ct. App. September 29, 2010)

This appeal involves claims by a home purchaser against a licensed contractor and a business associate of the unlicensed builder who built the home in question and sold it to the plaintiff. The trial court granted the contractor defendant's motion for summary judgment on all claims against him based upon its conclusions that the unlicensed builder was not the agent of the licensed contractor and that there was no predicate tort for civil conspiracy because the builder intended to use the house for his personal residence. Because we find that there are issues of material fact that must be resolved, we reverse the trial court's grant of summary judgment.

Opinion may be found at:

September 28, 2010

Court Reviews Priority Issues in a Case Involving Lien Enforcement

EAST TENNESSEE GRADING, INC., v. BANK OF AMERICA, N.A., et al. (Tenn. Ct. App. September 28, 2010)

Plaintiff brought this action to enforce a lien for excavation and road work done in a residential development, because the owner had not paid for the construction work performed. An agreed judgment was entered as to plaintiff's claims against defendant, Seven Lakes Development, awarding judgment against that defendant for materials and labor performed on the property. One parcel of property, however, totaling 6.36 acres was owned by defendants Coughlins, which was subject to a deed of trust in favor of Bank of America. The Trial Court held that Bank of America had priority over plaintiff as to 1.9 acres because plaintiff had not filed its Notice of Lien timely to maintain priority over the subsequent owners pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. section 66-11-112. The Trial Court also held that plaintiff had priority over Bank of America as to 4.46 acres because plaintiff's Notice of Lien was filed before the Amended Deed of Trust in favor of Bank of America was filed. On appeal, we affirm the Judgment of the Trial Court.

Opinion available at:

September 16, 2010

Court Reviews the Enforceability of a Materialman's Lien

CENTURY FIRE PROTECTION, LLC., v. FOWLERS' HOLDINGS, LLLP., et al. (Tenn. Ct. App. September 16, 2010)

Plaintiff alleged that it delivered materials and provided labor for the installation of a fire protection system on the property of defendant and defendant had failed to pay money still owed under the contract. Plaintiff sought a materialmen's lien to enforce any judgment obtained against defendant for the amount of monies owed under the contract. Defendants answered, filed a counter-complaint and raised multiple defenses. The Trial Court conducted an evidentiary hearing and ruled in plaintiff's favor, holding that plaintiff was entitled to recover monetary damages and the materialmen's lien would be enforced. Defendants have appealed and we affirm the Judgment of the Trial Court.

Opinion available at: