Confusion From Clerical Errors Didn’t Deprive Jurisdiction

Tennessee little one assist assortment case abstract.

Katherine Mechelle Stooksbury v. Matthew D. Varney

The events on this Knox County, Tennessee, case have been by no means married, however have been the dad and mom of 1 minor little one.  In 2017, the court docket acknowledged the daddy because the mum or dad, set the kid assist obligation, and set a everlasting parenting plan.  The daddy was additionally ordered to pay excellent little one assist in addition to half of the start prices.

In 2018, the mom filed for contempt, alleging that funds weren’t made as required.  There was, nonetheless, some confusion as to which court docket was listening to the case.  The daddy asserted that the case had been filed in Union County, and the case did have a docket quantity in each counties.

The trial court docket discovered that not one of the start prices had been paid, and aside from a single fee of $500, no little one assist had been paid.

The daddy was held in contempt, however the order contained the title of 1 county, however the docket quantity within the different county.  The court docket finally corrected this, and the order was filed with the court docket clerk in Knox County.

The daddy moved to put aside the judgment on the grounds that the Union County court docket didn’t have jurisdiction over the matter.

To additional complicate issues, one other petition was filed in 2019 in Knox County, filed in Knox County, however erroneously captioned in Union County.

Finally, the case was heard, and it was discovered that the daddy owed over $85,000 in previous little one assist, plus legal professional charges of over $16,000.  The daddy then appealed to the Tennessee Courtroom of Appeals.

The daddy first argued that the trial court docket lacked jurisdiction, because it was appearing as a court docket of Union County, with out Knox County having relinquished jurisdiction.

The appeals court docket examined the report, and held that regardless that the trial choose was appointed a juvenile choose in Union County, he always had the identical energy and jurisdiction in Knox County.

The appeals court docket acknowledged that clerical errors had been made, however that these clerical errors didn’t rob the trial court docket of subject material jurisdiction.  Whereas there was a “regrettable quantity of confusion,” this didn’t deprive the court docket of jurisdiction.

The daddy additionally argued that the award of legal professional’s charges was unreasonable.  However after reviewing the report, the appeals court docket held that the decrease court docket had acted inside its discretion.

Lastly, the daddy argued that the decrease court docket acted improperly in ordering him to pay again the arrearage at $1000 per 30 days.  However once more, the appeals court docket held that the decrease court docket had acted correctly.

The appeals court docket subsequently affirmed, and likewise ordered the mom to be paid her legal professional charges on attraction.  It remanded the case for a calculation of the quantity.

No. E2021-01449-COA-R3-JV (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 27, 2023).

See unique opinion for precise language.  Authorized citations omitted.

To study extra, see Youngster Assist Assortment & Enforcement in Tennessee.

See additionally Tennessee Parenting Plans and Child Support Worksheets: Building a Constructive Future for Your Family that includes precise examples of parenting plans and little one assist worksheets from actual instances out there on