What follows is the case style or name, first paragraph, author's name, and the names of the attorneys for the parties of each opinion released today from Tennessee's three appellate courts.
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Lucian T. Pera
SUPREME COURT OF TENNESSEE STATE LIST FOR PERMISSION TO APPEAL Date: October 26, 1998 URL:http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC_Rules/statelst_26.WP6 MARY ALICE (WILLIAMS) GRIFFIN VS. LACY FLOYD GRIFFIN Court:TCA Attorneys: THOMAS R. MEEKS 137 Franklin Street Clarksville, Tennessee 37040 GREGORY D. SMITH One Public Square, Suite 321 Clarksville, Tennessee 37040 ATTORNEYS FOR PLAINTIFF/APPELLEE FRANK J. RUNYON P. O. Box 1023 Clarksville, Tennessee 37041 ATTORNEY FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLANT Judge:CAIN First Paragraph: Lacy Floyd Griffin married Mary Alice Williams in November of 1964. They had been married for thirty-one years, when Mrs. (Williams) Griffin filed suit for divorce from the bonds of matrimony on the grounds of irreconcilable differences and cruel and inhuman treatment. The complaint was filed August 29, 1995. The parties executed a Marital Dissolution Agreement on August 30, 1995. Mr. Griffin was not represented by counsel in the divorce. URL:http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/griffinm_opn.WP6 ANTHONY JAMES NORTON VS. DONAL CAMPBELL, COMMISSIONER TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTION Court:TCA Attorneys: ANTHONY JAMES NORTON, #228858 Northwest Correctional Complex Site 2 Route 1, Box 660 Tiptonville, Tennessee 38079 Pro Se/Petitioner/Appellant JOHN KNOX WALKUP Attorney General and Reporter JOHN R. MILES Counsel for the State Civil Rights and Claims Division 425 5th Avenue North Nashville, Tennessee 37243-0488 Attorney for Respondent/Appellee Judge:CANTRELL First Paragraph: An inmate in the custody of the Department of Correction petitioned the Chancery Court of Davidson County for judicial review of the constitutionality of a statute that rendered him ineligible for early release from his sentence. The Chancery Court dismissed the petition. We affirm. URL:http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/nortonaj_opn.WP6 AMY (KELLEY) SMITH VS. ALTON WADE KELLEY Court:TCA Attorneys: J. RUSSELL HELDMAN Franklin, Tennessee Attorney for Appellant JAMES L. CURTIS Nashville, Tennessee Attorney for Appellee Judge:HIGHERS First Paragraph: Defendant, Alton Wade Kelley ("Appellant" or "Husband"), appeals the trial court's order allowing Plainitff, Amy Kelley Smith ("Appellee" or "Wife"), to relocate to Texas with the parties' minor child, Robert Wade Kelley, declining to change custody of the minor child to Husband, declining to award Husband attorneys fees, and declining to dismiss Wife's motion under 12(b)(6). Wife appeals the portion of the trial court's judgment which set the new visitation schedule for Husband. URL:http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/smithaw_opn.WP6 SHANNON RENEE THOMPSON VS. BRAD KENT THOMPSON Court:TCA Attorneys: DENNIS W. POWERS McClellan, Powers, Ehmling & Dix 116 Public Square Gallatin, Tennessee 37066 ATTORNEY FOR PLAINTIFF/APPELLEE F. DULIN KELLY ANDY L. ALLMAN Kelly & Kelly 629 East Main Street Hendersonville, Tennessee 37075 ATTORNEYS FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLANT Judge:CAIN First Paragraph: The parties are the parents of two minor children whose custody is at issue in this post-divorce proceeding. The trial court modified the joint legal and physical custody arrangement delineated in the parties' Marital Dissolution Agreement resulting in the Mother being awarded primary care and control of the children. The Father now appeals the court's decision to modify custody as well as its decision to award the Mother part of her attorney fees. We reverse the decision of the court below both with regard to custody and attorney fees. Furthermore, we remand to the trial court the issue of whether the child support paid to the Mother need be increased. URL:http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/thompsos_opn.WP6 STATE OF TENNESSEE VS. SALLY J. LANE Court:TCCA Attorneys: For Appellant: For Appellee: Eugene J. Honea John Knox Walkup Assistant Public Defender Attorney General & Reporter 407-C Main Street P.O. Box 68 Clinton J. Morgan Franklin, TN 37065-0068 Counsel for the State 425 Fifth Avenue North Cordell Hull Building, Second Floor Nashville, TN 37243-0493 Judge:WADE First Paragraph: The defendant, Sally J. Lane, pled guilty to simple possession of marijuana, a Class A felony. Tenn. Code Ann. S 39-17-418. The trial court imposed a sentence of eleven months, twenty-nine days at seventy-five percent service and a fine of two hundred fifty dollars. The defendant was ordered to serve sixty days, day for day, followed by supervised probation. In this appeal of right, the defendant challenges the trial court's denial of full probation. We affirm the judgment of the trial court. URL:http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/lanesj_opn.WP6 STATE OF TENNESSEE VS. MITCHELL LEIDERMAN Court:TCCA Attorneys: For the Appellant: For the Appellee: Philip A. Condra John Knox Walkup District Public Defender Attorney General and Reporter 204 Betsy Pack Drive Jasper, TN 37347 Karen M. Yacuzzo Assistant Attorney General 425 Fifth Avenue North Nashville, TN 37243-0493 James Michael Taylor District Attorney General Steven H. Strain Assistant District Attorney P.O. Box 130 Jasper, TN 37347 Judge:BARKER First Paragraph: The appellant, Mitchell Leiderman, appeals as of right his conviction in the Marion County Circuit Court of driving under the influence, second offense. Appellant was sentenced to eleven months, twenty-nine days and ordered to serve 75 days with the remainder to be served on probation. He was fined $600 and the trial court granted his request for work release. On appeal, he contests the sufficiency of the evidence, the trial court's admission of a hearsay statement as an excited utterance, and the propriety of his sentence. After reviewing the record, we affirm the appellant's conviction, but modify the sentence imposed. URL:http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/leidrmnm_opn.WP6 DANNY RAY MEEKS VS. STATE OF TENNESSEE Court:TCCA Attorneys: FOR THE APPELLANT: FOR THE APPELLEE: EDWARD L. BORING JOHN KNOX WALKUP P.O. Box 381 Attorney General & Reporter Pikeville, TN 37367 (On Appeal) TIMOTHY F. BEHAN Asst. Attorney General MARION C. FORDYCE John Sevier Bldg. Washington Square, Ste 500 425 Fifth Ave., North 222 Second Ave., North Nashville, TN 37243-0493 Nashville, TN 37201 (At Hearing) J. MICHAEL TAYLOR District Attorney General THOMAS D. HEMBREE -and- STEVEN BLOUNT Asst. District Attorneys General 265 Third Ave., Suite 300 Dayton, TN 37321 Judge:PEAY First Paragraph: In August 1990, a jury convicted the petitioner of aggravated kidnapping, especially aggravated robbery, aggravated burglary, and extortion. The petitioner received an effective sentence of forty-eight years in the Department of Correction. The petitioner appealed, and this Court affirmed the petitioner's convictions and sentence in August 1993. See State v. Meeks, 867 S.W.2d 361 (Tenn. Crim. App. 1993)(permission to appeal denied Nov. 1, 1993). The petitioner filed his petition for post-conviction relief on October 6, 1994, alleging thirty-two grounds for relief. The petitioner twice amended his petition to allege an additional twenty-five grounds for relief. After hearing evidence on the issues raised by the petition, the trial court filed a memorandum opinion dismissing the petition in August 1997. One month later, the trial court filed an addendum to its opinion. URL:http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/meeksdr_opn.WP6 WILLIAM A. RANSOM VS. KEVIN MYERS, WARDEN, and STATE OF TENNESSEE Court:TCCA Attorneys: For Appellant: For Appellees: William A. Ransom, Pro Se John Knox Walkup # 98835, Gemini B-A 110 Attorney General & Reporter CCA/SCCC P.O. Box 279 Lisa A. Naylor Clifton, TN 38425-0279 Assistant Attorney General 425 Fifth Avenue North Nashville, TN 37243-0493 Judge:WADE First Paragraph: The petitioner, William A. Ransom, was convicted of robbery and, because he qualified as a habitual criminal, he received a life sentence. This court affirmed the convictions on direct appeal. State v. William Ransom, [no number in original] (Tenn. Crim. App., at Nashville, May 15, 1984). In this petition for habeas corpus, the petitioner claims that the indictment for robbery and the declaration of habitual criminality is void because the indictment failed to assert the requisite mens rea. It is the initial contention of the petitioner that, due to the faulty indictment, the trial court lacked jurisdiction to enter a conviction or impose a sentence. Secondly, the petitioner claims that the trial court erred by failing to appoint counsel or to conduct an evidentiary hearing. URL:http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/ransomwa_opn.WP6 STATE OF TENNESSEE VS. JOSEPH MARTIN THURMAN Court:TCCA Attorneys: FOR THE APPELLANT: FOR THE APPELLEE: HOWARD B. BARNWELL, JR. JOHN KNOX WALKUP 829 McCallie Avenue Attorney General and Reporter Chattanooga, TN 37403 TIMOTHY F. BEHAN Assistant Attorney General 425 Fifth Avenue North Nashville, TN 37243 J. MICHAEL TAYLOR District Attorney General STEVE STRAIN Assistant District Attorney Jasper, TN Judge:SMITH First Paragraph: The appellant, Joseph Martin Thurman, was convicted by a Marion County jury of one (1) count of premeditated first degree murder and one (1) count of arson. He was sentenced to concurrent terms of life imprisonment for murder and three (3) years for arson. On appeal, he presents several issues for this Court's review. However, because the record reflects that appellant failed to timely file his motion for new trial and notice of appeal, all issues presented on appeal are waived, and this appeal is not properly before this Court. Therefore, the judgment of the trial court is affirmed pursuant to Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals Rule 20. URL:http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/thurmajo_opn.WP6 STATE OF TENNESSEE VS. GARY VAUGHN, et al. Court:TCCA Attorneys: FOR THE APPELLANT: FOR THE APPELLEE: JOHN E. HERBISON JOHN KNOX WALKUP 2016 Eighth Avenue South Attorney General and Reporter Nashville, TN 37204 DARYL J. BRAND Senior Counsel 425 Fifth Avenue North Nashville, TN 37243 BILL GIBSON District Attorney General LILLIE ANN SELLS Assistant District Attorney 145 South Jefferson Avenue Cookeville, TN 38501 Judge:SMITH First Paragraph: The appellants, Gary M. Vaughn, Harry D. Stewart, Jo Ann Scarbrough, Kenneth L. Reagan, William M. Ransom, Julie C. Hileman, Harold H. Hileman, Geoffrey Mark Greely, Roy Howard Elkins, Kenneth D. Dyer, Larry K. Dunn and Robert J. Cunningham were convicted by a Putnam County jury of violation of Tenn. Code Ann. S 55-9-302, the "motorcycle helmet law." Each appellant received a fine of $5 as his or her sentence. On appeal, appellants claim that Tenn. Code Ann. S 55-9-302 is unconstitutional as it (1) interferes with their constitutionally protected privacy right, and (2) restricts their freedom of expression under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, and Article I, S 19 of the Tennessee Constitution. Ten (10) of the appellants also challenge the sufficiency of the convicting evidence. After a thorough review of the record before this Court, we find no error and affirm the judgment of the trial court. URL:http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/vaughnga_opn.WP6 JEROME WILLIAMS VS. STATE OF TENNESSEE Court:TCCA Attorneys: FOR THE APPELLANT: FOR THE APPELLEE: JEROME WILLIAMS JOHN KNOX WALKUP Pro Se Attorney General & Reporter CCA/SCCC P.O. Box 279 GEORGIA BLYTHE FELNER Clifton, TN 38425 Counsel for the State 425 Fifth Ave. N., 2d Floor Nashville, TN 37243-0493 VICTOR S. JOHNSON, III District Attorney General KATY NOVAK MILLER Asst. District Attorney General Washington Square, Suite 500 222 Second Ave. North Nashville, TN 37201-1649 Judge:WITT First Paragraph: The petitioner, Jerome Williams, appeals the Davidson County Criminal Court's summary dismissal of his petition for post-conviction relief. The petitioner is currently serving an effective 55 year sentence for his convictions of armed robbery and aggravated rape. State v. Jerome Williams, No. 86-86-III (Tenn. Crim. App., Nashville, Feb. 12, 1987). He filed an unsuccessful post-conviction petition challenging his convictions. See Jerome Williams v. State, No. 01C01- 9105-CR-00152 (Tenn. Crim. App., Nashville, Nov. 14, 1991), perm. app. denied (Tenn. 1992). In the present action, he seeks to reopen his previous post-conviction action by alleging that a jury instruction given at his trial equating moral certainty with reasonable doubt violated his constitutional rights. Following a review of the record and the briefs of the parties, we affirm the trial court's dismissal of the defendant's petition. URL:http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/williamj_opn.WP6
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