Wednesday, October 14, 2009

ESTATE OF BENJAMIN F. DARNELL, SR., ET AL. v. CHARLES FENN, ET AL. (Tenn. Crt. App. February 27, 2009)

Charles Fenn and Dott Fenn owned property in Sevier County. In August 1996, they entered into a contract to sell the property to Benjamin F. Darnell, Sr. The Fenns agreed to finance the sale over a ten-year period. According to the contract, Mr. Darnell was to make monthly payments of $999.11 for ten years, with one final balloon payment of $113,058.43. Mr. Darnell died in February 2004 and his wife, Mary Darnell, continued making the monthly payments. Unbeknownst to Ms. Darnell, on October 14, 2005, the Fenns sold the property to Teddy Jones. Four days later, Ms. Fenn, through her attorney, sent Ms. Darnell a letter terminating the contract based on various alleged breaches. Ms. Darnell filed suit seeking specific performance of the contract. Following a bench trial, the court found that the contract was enforceable; it ordered specific performance. The trial court rejected the claim of the defendant Teddy Jones that he was a bona fide purchaser without knowledge. The Fenns and Mr. Jones appeal. We affirm.

Opinion may be found at the TBA website: