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Sunday, November 07, 2021

Death of a Party in a Pending Civil Action: Trial Court's Dismissal of Plaintiff's Claim Upheld on Appeal Because Counsel Failed to Properly Revive the Suit Within the Time Allotted by Law and Trial Court Found No Reason to Enlarge Time for a Revivor to Be Effected

The Tennessee Court of Appeals has released its opinion in Mead v. Tucker, No. M2020-01512-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 5, 2021).  The syllabus from the slip opinion reads:

In this personal injury negligence action, the defendant died while the litigation was pending. The plaintiff failed to file a motion for substitution of party within ninety days of the original defendant’s death being suggested on the record. Over a month later, the plaintiff moved the trial court to enlarge the time to substitute the parties pursuant to Tennessee Rule of Civil Procedure 6.02(2). The trial court denied the motion for an enlargement of time. Because the trial court did not abuse its discretion, we affirm.

Here is a link to the opinion:

NOTE: This case reminds one of how important it is to properly revive a case against a deceased party and that an enlargement of time to do that is not always granted after the time to act has expired.  

Friday, November 05, 2021

New Case on Service of Leading Process: Trial Court's Dismissal of Plaintiff's Lawsuit Due to Counsel's Intentional Delay in Effecting Service Upheld on Appeal

The Tennessee Court of Appeals has issued its opinion in Bridges v. Roth, No. W2020-01508-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. Nov. 5. 2011).  The syllabus reads:  

This appeal involves a Tennessee Rule of Civil Procedure 4.01(3) summons issue. The trial court granted defendant’s motion to dismiss after finding that plaintiff intentionally delayed the issuance of the summons for the complaint in contradiction to Rule 4.01(3) of the Tennessee Rules of Civil Procedure. Plaintiff appeals. We affirm. 

Here is a link to the opinion:

NOTE: This opinion accentuates the fact that filing a complaint on time is 1(a) and effecting service of leading process os 1(b).  Both are so important.