Supreme Court Rules That Nuisance Suit Against Farm That Hosts Music Concerts May Proceed

Monday, August 19, 2013

In a unanimous opinion, the Tennessee Supreme Court held that the Right to Farm Act does not bar a homeowner’s nuisance lawsuit against a farm that hosted amplified music concerts. 

Velda Shore retired to a subdivision in rural Blount County in 2003.

The subdivision was adjacent to Maple Lane Farms, which was owned and operated by Robert Schmidt. In addition to raising crops and livestock, Mr. Schmidt hosted spring and fall festivals that included a variety of public attractions, including music concerts. 

Ms. Shore complained to county officials about the noise and traffic caused by the concerts. In 2008, the Blount County Board of Zoning Appeals decided that Mr. Schmidt could hold only one concert per year at Maple Lane Farms. After Mr. Schmidt ignored the board’s decision, Ms. Shore filed suit alleging that the concerts were a nuisance and violated local zoning regulations. 

The Chancery Court for Blount County dismissed Ms. Shore’s suit based on its conclusions that the Tennessee Right to Farm Act shielded Mr. Schmidt from nuisance liability and that all the activities at Maple Lane Farms were exempted from local zoning regulations. The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court, concluding that the activities on the farm met the state’s legal definition of agritourism and were permitted. 

The Supreme Court granted Ms. Shore’s appeal and reversed the dismissal of her case. The Court decided that the Right to Farm Act did not apply to the music concerts at Maple Lane Farms because they were not connected to the production of crops and livestock. The Court also decided that Ms. Shore had presented enough evidence to permit her nuisance claim to proceed. Finally, the Court determined that the concerts were not exempted from the local zoning regulations.



AOC Launching New Indigent Representation Payment System In February

The Administrative Office of the Courts will modernize its disbursement system for indigent representation payments to attorneys, interpreters, expert witnesses, and investigators in February 2018. The new AOC Claims and Payment (ACAP) system will replace the Indigent Claim Entry (ICE) system and will allow users to more accurately and efficiently input and track claims for payment.The ... (click for more)

Consistent Cold Temps Boosting EPB Bottom Line

Consistent cold temps are boosting EPB's bottom line, Chief Financial Officer Greg Eaves said. The city utility had $1.1 million in revenues from kilowatt sales in December. It wound up with a positive margin of over $3 million for the month. Mr. Eaves said January "is looking real good as well with consistent cold temperatures." He said the fact that the cold weather ... (click for more)

Fleischmann Blames Senate Democrats For Government Shutdown

Congressman Chuck Fleischmann blamed Senate Democrats after the Senate’s failure to pass the Continuing Resolution (CR), putting a government shutdown into place. He said,  “I cannot fathom how Senate Democrats, knowing the severity of the issues in question, acted with such insensitivity using our children and our military as pawns, putting party over country. ... (click for more)

From Green Window Shutters To Forks And Spoons, Mount Vernon Restaurant Up For Auction

From the green wooden window shutters to the forks, knives and spoons, the landmark Mount Vernon Restaurant is up for auction. Marc Gravitt, of Gravitt Auction, said there will be an online auction starting Thursday morning and running through Saturday at noon. It will be handled as a "staggered close," he said. The first item will go first, then the second 30 seconds later, ... (click for more)

DACA Or Amnesty To Become The Majority?

As we have the political drama that we see in D.C. let’s be honest about what DACA is all about. We understand as the liberal policies of abortion, dependency on the government and an anti-American globalist / progressive agenda that many have come to realize these policies no longer represent their core beliefs and have left a certain party. Without an influx of new dependency ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Saturday Funnies

It is said that a 15-year-old in Minnesota, where just like the rest of the United States prayer in schools is prohibited, was tasked with writing an essay. He turned in his paper and, as it was returned with an A-plus, it is only fitting that something this clever should begin this week’s edition of The  Saturday  Funnies. Those who enjoy the Funnies understand that ... (click for more)