Pleading, Discovery, and Pretrial Motion Practice (excluding Motions in Limine)

Dismiss, Motion to (on Standing)

Except as indicated, all indented material is copied directly from the court’s opinion. 

Decisions of the Tennessee Supreme Court

Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County v. Tennessee Department of Education, No. M2020-00683-SC-R11-CV, p. 6 (Tenn. May 18, 2022).

The Court reviews the motion to dismiss on the issue of standing de novo with no presumption of correctness. Effler v. Purdue Pharma, L.P., 614 S.W.3d 681, 687 (Tenn. 2020). On a motion to dismiss, the Court presumes all factual allegations to be true and construes them in favor of the plaintiff. Foster v. Chiles, 467 S.W.3d 911, 914 (Tenn. 2015). This is equally true with respect to factual allegations regarding standing. See Lujan v. Defs. of Wildlife, 504 U.S. 555, 561 (1992) (For the purposes of a challenge to standing “[a]t the pleading stage, general factual allegations of injury resulting from the defendant’s conduct may suffice, for on a motion to dismiss we presum[e] that general allegations embrace those specific facts that are necessary to support the claim.” (second alteration in original) (internal quotation marks omitted)).


Decisions of the Tennessee Court of Appeals


In re Estate of Seeber, No. E2022-01476-COA-R3-CV, p. 8 (Tenn. Ct. App. Sept. 27, 2023). 

“Whether a contestant has standing to bring a will contest is a threshold question of law separate and apart from the merits of the will contest itself.” In re Estate of Brock, 536 S.W.3d 409, 413 (Tenn. 2017). “This Court reviews de novo the determination of questions of law and affords no presumption of correctness to lower court rulings.” Id. (citing Johnson v. Hopkins, 432 S.W.3d 840, 844 (Tenn. 2013)).

Goetz v. Autin, No. W2022-00393-COA-R3-CV, p. 17-18 (Tenn. Ct. App. Mar. 17, 2023).

A trial court’s determination that the doctrine of res judicata bars a claim also involves a question of law, Regions Bank v. Prager, 625 S.W.3d 842, 848 (Tenn. 2021) (citations omitted), as does a trial court’s decision regarding the issue of standing. Metro. Gov’t of Nashville & Davidson Cnty. v. Tennessee Dep’t of Educ., 645 S.W.3d 141, 147 (Tenn. 2022) (citation omitted). Our review of a trial court’s determinations on questions of law is de novo with no presumption of correctness. Cooper v. Mandy, 639 S.W.3d 29, 33 (Tenn. 2022).



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