September 29, 2023


Parenting News

Confusion From Clerical Errors Didn’t Deprive Jurisdiction

3 min read

Tennessee baby help 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 mother and father of 1 minor baby.  In 2017, the courtroom acknowledged the daddy because the mum or dad, set the kid help obligation, and set a everlasting parenting plan.  The daddy was additionally ordered to pay excellent baby help 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 courtroom 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 courtroom discovered that not one of the start prices had been paid, and apart from a single fee of $500, no baby help 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 courtroom finally corrected this, and the order was filed with the courtroom clerk in Knox County.

The daddy moved to put aside the judgment on the grounds that the Union County courtroom 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 baby help, plus lawyer charges of over $16,000.  The daddy then appealed to the Tennessee Court docket of Appeals.

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

The appeals courtroom examined the document, and held that despite the fact 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 courtroom acknowledged that clerical errors had been made, however that these clerical errors didn’t rob the trial courtroom of subject material jurisdiction.  Whereas there was a “regrettable quantity of confusion,” this didn’t deprive the courtroom of jurisdiction.

The daddy additionally argued that the award of lawyer’s charges was unreasonable.  However after reviewing the document, the appeals courtroom held that the decrease courtroom had acted inside its discretion.

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

The appeals courtroom subsequently affirmed, and in addition ordered the mom to be paid her lawyer 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 authentic opinion for precise language.  Authorized citations omitted.

To be taught extra, see Youngster Help 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 baby help worksheets from actual instances accessible on

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