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Thompson v. Meyer

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

October 17, 2017

JOSEPH THOMPSON, INDIVIDUALLY AND IN HIS CAPACITY AS THE ADMINISTRATOR OF THE ESTATE OF VICKIE THOMPSON, DECEASED APPELLANT
v.
WILLIAM P. MEYER, JOHN M. MEYER, AND BUD'S MOBILE HOMES, INC. APPELLEES

          DATE OF JUDGMENT: 06/03/2014

         HARRISON COUNTY CHANCERY COURT, SECOND JUDICIAL DISTRICT, HON. JAMES B. PERSONS.

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: WAYNE L. HENGEN.

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEES: VIRGIL G. GILLESPIE.

         EN BANC.

          IRVING, P.J.

         ¶1. Joseph Thompson, individually and as the administrator of the estate of Vickie Thompson, appeals the judgment of the Harrison County Chancery Court, Second Judicial District, arguing that the chancellor erred in denying his Mississippi Rule of Civil Procedure 60(b)(6) motion.

         ¶2. Finding no error, we affirm.

         FACTS

         ¶3. This is a breach-of-contract case that was dismissed for want of prosecution. In 2003, Thompson and his wife Vickie (hereinafter the Thompsons, unless the context requires otherwise), entered into an agreement creating a joint venture with John Meyer and William Meyer (hereinafter Meyer, unless the context requires otherwise), involving End of the Rainbow Trailer Park, which was owned and operated by the Thompsons. The agreement stipulated that the Thompsons would sign over all rights to their property, and, in exchange, Meyer would pay the existing debt on the property in furtherance of purchasing it. Meyer also agreed to remit any rents to the Thompsons that were in excess of the amount needed to service the debt pursuant to the partnership agreement. Meyer obtained a loan for $350, 000 to pay off the existing debt on the property and took up the payments. In May 2005, Meyer sent a letter to the Thompsons, stating that they had violated the agreement by encumbering the property with further debt after they had transferred it to Meyer. Meyer sent a second letter to the Thompsons in July 2005, informing them that the agreement was null and void because they had not remedied the breach.

         ¶4. Aggrieved by Meyer's perceived failure to abide by the terms and conditions of the agreement, Joseph filed a complaint for a preliminary injunction on January 8, 2008, against William, John, and Bud's Mobile Homes, Inc. The complaint alleged, among other things, that Meyer had failed to honor any of its contractual obligations other than accepting the transfer of the property from the Thompsons to Meyer. After Meyer answered the complaint, a hearing was held on March 14, 2008, wherein the Thompsons' counsel requested a receivership to handle the rent being paid on the property by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in response to Hurricane Katrina, until a hearing on the merits could be held. Meyer and counsel were absent from that hearing.

         ¶5. On November 5, 2009, another hearing was held addressing the merits of the case, but there was no final resolution. According to the record, the next hearing was not held until September 8, 2011, in which the court addressed Meyer's change of counsel issues and Joseph's request for a special commissioner to be appointed. At the conclusion of that hearing the case was continued, and was to be reset at a time that was agreeable to both parties. The case was then noticed for another hearing, but it never occurred. On May 18, 2012, Joseph's attorney filed a "Motion for Status and Final Disposition, " requesting that the court grant Joseph money damages and the property, and noticed the motion for a hearing. In September 2012, Joseph's attorney filed another notice for a hearing on his motion, and, again, the case entered a period of relative inaction, where no substantive motions were filed.

         ¶6. Suffice it to say that on January 25, 2013, the chancellor issued an order, directing the parties' counsel to, among other things, meet and try to resolve the case within sixty days and to "set the matter for a conference with the court no later than sixty days out." The order set the case for review on March 18, 2013. The record reflects that nothing else transpired in the case until April 29, 2014, when the clerk filed a motion to dismiss for want of prosecution. On June 3, 2014, the chancellor entered an order granting the motion to dismiss the case. On January 5, ...


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