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Nalls v. Tate

August 18, 1998

HATTIE NALLS, APPELLANT
v.
ROSE TATE AND LLEWELLYN TATE, D/B/A TATE REALTY; GREENVILLE LUMBER COMPANY, INC.; DAVE J. SHERMAN AND EDWARD A. LUECKENBACH, APPELLEES



Before Thomas, P.j., Diaz, And Hinkebein, JJ.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Thomas, P.j., For The Court:

Nalls v. Tate, et al, 96-CA-00545-COA

THIS OPINION IS NOT DESIGNATED FOR PUBLICATION AND MAY NOT BE CITED, PURSUANT TO M.R.A.P. 35-B

DATE OF JUDGMENT: 12/22/95

TRIAL JUDGE: HON. WILLIAM L. GRIFFIN JR.

COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: WASHINGTON COUNTY CHANCERY COURT

NATURE OF THE CASE: CIVIL - CONTRACT TRIAL COURT DISPOSITION:, APPELLANT'S COMPLAINT DISMISSED; ATTORNEY FEES AND SANCTIONS IMPOSED

DISPOSITION AFFIRMED

Hattie Nalls appeals from a decision of the Chancery Court of Washington County dismissing her complaint and awarding attorney's fees in the amount of $25,287.51 to the defendants/appellees. On appeal, Nalls raises the following issues:

I. WHETHER OR NOT THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN GRANTING, APPELLEE'S MOTION TO DISMISS OR FOR DIRECTED VERDICT AT THE CLOSE OF PLAINTIFF'S CASE.

II. WHETHER OR NOT THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN AWARDING ATTORNEY'S FEES AND COSTS AGAINST APPELLANT AND HER ATTORNEY PURSUANT TO THE LITIGATION ACCOUNTABILITY ACT OF 1988.

III. WHETHER OR NOT THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN AWARDING SANCTIONS AGAINST APPELLANT PURSUANT TO ITS ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR CONTINUANCE.

We find no error and affirm the judgment of the chancery court.

FACTS

In late 1993, Hattie Nalls became interested in a house located at 633 Sewanee Street, Greenville, Mississippi. She met Llewellyn Tate at a school meeting and learned that he was a real estate salesman. Nalls wanted the property for a home/office and told Tate that it was her "dream house." Tate made inquiries and discovered that the property belonged to Greenville Lumber, which had reacquired the property through foreclosure. Tate contacted Dave Sherman, president of Greenville Lumber, and entered into a listing agreement on behalf of Tate Realty with Rose Tate as the broker and Llewellyn Tate as salesman.

Nalls signed a contract to purchase the house on February 25, 1994. The agreed sale price was $80,000 with $10,000 to be paid in cash at closing and the balance to be financed by Greenville Lumber. Nalls paid $500 in earnest money when the contract was signed.

The initial closing date in the contract was March 22, 1994, but was extended to April 1, 1994, and then to April 30, 1994. Because April 30, 1994, was on a Saturday, the closing was scheduled for Friday, April 29, 1994. On the afternoon of April 29, just before the time for closing, Nalls complained about the air conditioning and a switch on the Jacuzzi, and the closing was postponed to Monday, May 3.

Nalls testified that she had the necessary funds to close on Friday, April 29, most of which was cash. Nalls indicated in her deposition that the source of those funds was her account at Magnolia Federal Bank and cash for which she had no records. Her account records from Magnolia Federal Bank were subpoenaed and showed that on April 29 she had $1.46 on deposit.

According to Nalls, during the weekend between Friday, April 29, and Monday, May 2, Nalls's brother in Washington state was arrested and she sent approximately $5,000 of her down payment money to him for bail. Nalls had no receipts for the money sent to her brother and admitted that ...


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