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Questions Answered by Paul E. Tennison
1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Tennessee on
Q: I had guardianship of husband with mental illness and TBI in Minnesota since 2013. We have moved to Tennessee last July

how do I get guardianship here or maybe I don't need it here. I am his rep Payee and he has signed Power of attorney and last will in front of notary a few months ago. Also health care directive in front of witnesses.

Paul E. Tennison
Paul E. Tennison answered on Feb 19, 2020

You should consult with an experienced attorney. Tennessee has a conservatorship (guardianship of an adult), similar to what you described in Minnesota. In a conservatorship court proceeding, the court would determine if a conservator should be appointed. A conservatorship may not be necessary if... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Tennessee on
Q: Who has legal ownership of dog living in home with no electricity and owner been in jail since Jan 18?

I live in Sweetwater, TN and have become aware of a dog, Mia, living in a house in Sweetwater with no electricity. Mia's owner has been in jail since Jan. 18 and a family member is feeding her and taking her out to potty twice a day. Upon her owner going to jail, the police told the family member... Read more »

Paul E. Tennison
Paul E. Tennison answered on Feb 19, 2020

Based on the facts as you describe them, the owner who is in jail still owns the dog. The family member seems to be taking care of the dog on a volunteer basis. The family member may be able to argue the owner abandoned the dog, if that argument is successful then the family member would be the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Family Law for Tennessee on
Q: If I had my house before we were married and my husband wants to claim it . Can he do so in a divorce

My husband just up and abandon me on January 1st. of 2020 and has been living with another female and now wants to take control of my house even though he does not stay there. What can I do.

Paul E. Tennison
Paul E. Tennison answered on Feb 17, 2020

I recommend you consult with a local Attorney. I am not sure which law applies here as you posted in Tennessee, yet the location is listed as Texas. Assuming Tennessee law applies, the house may be your separate property. If it is deemed your separate property, it would not be awarded to your... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Domestic Violence for Tennessee on
Q: Me and my son have an order of protection against my childs father. Would he get visitation?
Paul E. Tennison
Paul E. Tennison answered on Feb 11, 2020

There may be more facts that would change this analysis. However, if a child has an Order of Protection (OOP) against anyone, that OOP would trump any previous Court ordered parenting plan. The person with a valid OOP against him cannot exercise visitation with the protected child. The OOP should... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for Tennessee on
Q: If someone told me my dog bite them because he was running loose in their yard, do they have to show proof my dog did it

My dog will not stay in the yard and I don't believe in chaining them up, only makes them more territorial and mean. I had a man come to my house and tell me that he was bitten by my dog because he was in his yard, does he need to show proof that it was my dog that bit him or will the court system... Read more »

Paul E. Tennison
Paul E. Tennison answered on Feb 10, 2020

If there is no other witness and the man claims he was bitten by your dog, then most likely anyone would believe that he was. Proof could be something as simple as a picture of the bite marks. If the man is willing to put on a sworn document or swear in court as to what happened, he is likely to be... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law for Tennessee on
Q: I reside with my wife in South Korea (she is active duty) last November I flew to TN where I obtained full custody of my

Son and daughter. They reside with us in S. Korea now. My ex wife has supervised visitation two times a year. I have to fly the kids back in April for her visitation and we have the final parenting plan hearing (I currently do not receive child support it was an emergency hearing) is it fair to ask... Read more »

Paul E. Tennison
Paul E. Tennison answered on Feb 10, 2020

You may certainly ask, that seems reasonable. However, if your ex has no job, no home, and was recently arrested I do not really see how she could pay. I recommend you consider consulting with an experienced family law attorney if you have additional questions. Good luck!

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Tennessee on
Q: What takes precedence, lease or law?

My family needs to break our one year lease early. Our lease states that if we were to terminate early for any reason, we will be responsible for all remaining rent due to the end of the lease, forfeiture of all deposits and fees, plus two additional months of rent. Which will equal about $15,000.... Read more »

Paul E. Tennison
Paul E. Tennison answered on Feb 10, 2020

Law trumps the lease. There is a mitigation of damages requirement in Tennessee.

In general the reason people put language in the lease that goes beyond what the law allows is that such action is not illegal. People think with good reason that strong worded language scares people into...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Domestic Violence for Tennessee on
Q: Who pays court/legal fees in an order of protection hearing?

I am the respondent, the petitioner falsified everything that was used to request this order and I can prove it. I noticed one of the items she is asking from the hearing is that I pay all legal fees and taxes. If I win and no order of protection is granted, will I still need to pay the fees?

Paul E. Tennison
Paul E. Tennison answered on Dec 10, 2019

Tennessee has a statute where if an order of protection is granted, the respondent is required to pay the legal fees of the petitioning party. This likely means if she is successful in securing the order of protection against you, that you would be responsible for her legal fees. If you have proof... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce for Tennessee on
Q: How much does it usually cost for a uncontested divorce? If both parties aren't wanting to divide anything.
Paul E. Tennison
Paul E. Tennison answered on Dec 10, 2019

I recommend you try Googling this. Another good option is to call several local attorneys and ask how much they typically charge. Keep in mind if either party later decides to contest anything that will make the case cost significantly more for both sides.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody for Tennessee on
Q: What does it mean when you get a letter from juvenile court saying that the case be struck from the docket lack of serv
Paul E. Tennison
Paul E. Tennison answered on Dec 10, 2019

Lack of service means the other side was not given notice of the hearing. If you are unsure exactly what the letter means, the best first step is to call the clerk's office and ask them about it. They should explain why they are taking that action. If you are unsure of how to proceed after... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce for Tennessee on
Q: This is regarding my husband. His divorce was finalized in 2017. Wife has not refinanced the car in her name only.

She now says she has bad credit. We don’t want the car but don’t want to continue to have to monitor her on the payments. What are the options? She was reminded this was coming up and said I know but never mentioned her credit.

Paul E. Tennison
Paul E. Tennison answered on Oct 4, 2019

You could consult with an attorney for more specific guidance tailored to your situation.

Generally, if a party disobeys a court order, then the aggrieved party can file a petition for contempt. The petition would be served on her and she would have time to respond. Then there would be a...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Traffic Tickets for Tennessee on
Q: I was ticketed for going 94 in a 70. Could I go to jail for this? What I do to make sure going to jail don’t happen?

I was in Brinkley Arkansas

Paul E. Tennison
Paul E. Tennison answered on Oct 4, 2019

The ticket you were given should contain the information about what is required of you. Most of the time, you simply pay the fine and all that happens is the ticket is also on your driving record. If you have enough traffic incidents, the state where you are licensed could suspend your drivers... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Military Law for Arkansas on
Q: Does the misdemeanor Possession of sexually explicit digital material disqualifies me from military
Paul E. Tennison
Paul E. Tennison answered on Oct 4, 2019

Speak with a recruiter. They understand what will disqualify you from military service and what will not. These requirements change overtime and sometimes they can secure waivers to allow enlistments that would otherwise not be allowed. Good luck.

1 Answer | Asked in Traffic Tickets for Tennessee on
Q: What is the law concerning using unmarked police cars on tn highways?
Paul E. Tennison
Paul E. Tennison answered on Sep 30, 2019

I am unaware of any specific TN or Federal law that restricts TN law enforcement from using unmarked police cars.

1 Answer | Asked in Business Formation and Business Law for Tennessee on
Q: Where do I file my LLC if I have a new company never registered with the state, but moved to a new state?

My business is registered with the IRS under my home address which was in Tennesee. My company is an outreach (home health) service that does not have a physical location. The services will be provided in Tennessee only at this time, however, I (the owner & founder) moved to Mississippi. Do I still... Read more »

Paul E. Tennison
Paul E. Tennison answered on Sep 30, 2019

If you are providing the services in Tennessee, then you should likely either incorporate in Tennessee or you could file in MS and also file in Tennessee as a foreign LLC transacting business in Tennessee. For a deeper discussion of the pros and cons of each option, I recommend you speak with an... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Contracts and Business Law for Tennessee on
Q: From an attorney's perspective, how would a company prevent a lawsuit like the one in Pittsley v. Houser from occurring?

Question: Should the Uniform Commercial Code be applied in a case where installation was defective but the goods are not?

Facts:

1) Pittsley contracted with Hilton Contract Carpet Co. for carpet installation for $4,402; $3,500 for the carpet and $902 for installation.

2)... Read more »

Paul E. Tennison
Paul E. Tennison answered on Sep 30, 2019

This is a very specific, fact intensive question. You should discuss with an experienced business attorney. I recommend you schedule a consultation to discuss this in greater detail.

Notably, your question seems to be one of how an Idaho case applies in Tennessee. That would be unclear...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Tennessee on
Q: I signed a year long lease for a townhome but I must break it to move out of state. Landlord is asking for 4 months rent

My job is moving me to Dallas for a promotion. There is nothing in the lease about what to pay in case of breaking the lease. At first, he said that I wasn’t allowed to break it and there was nothing that could be done. Then he talked to the owner and they said 3 months but now changed their mind... Read more »

Paul E. Tennison
Paul E. Tennison answered on Sep 30, 2019

The lease break penalty should be specified in the lease. If it is not specified then default rules of the TN Uniform Landlord Tenant Act should apply. (in counties with over 75,000 residents) See T.C.A. Section 66-28-101. Unfortunately, the default rules state that the tenant is responsible for... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Construction Law and Land Use & Zoning for Tennessee on
Q: is a new development liable for damage they cause to my property? flooding from raised elevation?
Paul E. Tennison
Paul E. Tennison answered on Jul 24, 2019

Depending on more facts, yes they could be. I recommend you consult with an experienced construction law attorney to determine what your legal options are in this situation. Good luck.

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Law for Tennessee on
Q: Are there any rules regarding what documents a private employer is required to give a former employee?
Paul E. Tennison
Paul E. Tennison answered on Jul 24, 2019

Yes, in Tennessee, an employer should give an employee a separation notice when the employee no longer works for the employer. Find the TN DOL website and you can read more about those issues. Good luck.

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation for Tennessee on
Q: Can you tell me if at residential property we are living needs to supply the residents with adequate parking?

When we moved to this new residence in June we were told parking was first come, first serve. After we registered our vehicles with them, as there are 2 of us to this household with 2 cars, they are now telling us both of us cannot park here and have to park 1 car in another lot which is not owned... Read more »

Paul E. Tennison
Paul E. Tennison answered on Jul 24, 2019

No, to my knowledge there is no law that would require residential properties to provide any certain amount of parking spaces. For example, many large cities in the US do not have any parking included in the residential leases. Yet, even without a legal requirement for them to provide the parking,... Read more »

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