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Dad Loses After Failing to Notify Court of New Address


Tennessee case abstract on service of course of.

Todd Randolph Napier v. Kristen C. Napier

The events on this Williamson County, Tennessee, case have been divorced in 2005.  The mom was named the first residential dad or mum, with the daddy being allowed visitation.  In 2015, the daddy went again to courtroom to implement the parenting plan.  The events have been in a position to conform to a modification, however the father alleged that the mom was misconstruing and violating the brand new agreed order.  The father requested to have the mom held in contempt, the order put aside, and the kid assist be recalculated.

The mom made a restricted look and moved to dismiss.  She alleged that she had not been served with the petition.  The trial courtroom agreed, and the daddy tried once more.  The mom once more objected primarily based on lack of service.

The father employed an lawyer and made a 3rd try.  He alleged lower in revenue and requested for a change of kid assist.  The mom filed a counter-petition alleging that the daddy voluntarily give up his job.

More motions have been filed, together with the withdrawal of two attorneys for the daddy.  The final one indicated that the daddy was continuing professional se, and listed an e-mail tackle.  It failed, nevertheless, to listing any physical tackle.

The father by no means answered one of many mom’s petitions, and he or she requested for a default judgment.  She indicated that she had mailed the paperwork and despatched them to a different e-mail tackle.  The trial courtroom granted the default judgment.

The father moved to put aside the default.  He acknowledged that he had notified the mom of his new tackle in Missouri.

The father conceded that he had by no means formally up to date his mailing tackle with the courtroom information.  The trial courtroom, Judge James G. Martin, III, denied the movement and let the default judgment stand.  The father then appealed to the Tennessee Court of Appeals, which determined the case in an opinion penned by Judge J. Steven Stafford.

The appeals courtroom first needed to decide what grounds for aid the daddy was asserting.  Even although his argument modified barely on appeal, he had argued that the judgment was mainly procured by fraud, as a result of the mom despatched the papers to the fallacious tackle.

The appeals courtroom famous that it’s incumbent upon professional se litigants to maintain their tackle updated with the courtroom.  It held that with out this rule, it could be not possible for the courtroom to maintain involved with litigants, and the daddy had failed to fulfill this obligation.

The father argued that he wasn’t conscious of any persevering with litigation, however the appeals courtroom rejected this argument.

After reviewing the proof, the appeals courtroom affirmed.  It additionally awarded the mom her lawyer’s charges on appeal and remanded the case for a dedication of the quantity.

No. M2019-00978-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. July 27,  2020).

See unique opinion for actual language.  Legal citations omitted.

To be taught extra, see The Tennessee Divorce Process: How Divorces Work Start to Finish.


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