Laches, Application of

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

Decisions of the Tennessee Supreme Court

Opinions of the Tennessee Court of Appeals

Little v City of Chattanooga, Tennessee,  No. E2020-01414-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 25, 2022).

The application of laches lies within the discretion of the trial court and “will not be reversed except on a showing of an abuse of discretion.” John P. Saad & Sons, Inc. v. Nashville Thermal Transfer Corp., 715 S.W.2d 41, 46 (Tenn. 1986). The doctrine of laches has been described as follows:

Under the defense of laches, “equity will not intervene on behalf of one who has delayed unreasonably in pursuing his rights.” Laches, if applicable, requires more than mere delay. It requires an unreasonable delay that prejudices the party seeking to employ laches as a defense, and it depends on the facts and circumstances of each individual case.

Long v. Bd. of Prof’l Resp. of Supreme Ct., 435 S.W.3d 174, 181–82 (Tenn. 2014) (quoting Dennis Joslin Co. v. Johnson, 138 S.W.3d 197, 200 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2003)).


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