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.
- 02-New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Supreme Court
- 00-New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Supreme Court Workers Comp Panel
- 01-New Document(s) or Proposed Rule(s) from the Tennessee Supreme Court
- 06-New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Court of Appeals
- 04-New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals
- 00-New Judicial Ethics Opinion(s)
- 00-New Formal Ethics Opinion(s) from the Board of Professional Responsibility
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Lucian T. Pera
STATE OF TENNESSEE VS. CHRISTA GALE PIKE Court:TSC Judge:PER CURIAM First Paragraph: A petition for rehearing has been filed on behalf of appellant. After consideration of the same, the Court is of the opinion that the petition should be and the same is hereby denied at the cost of appellant. URL:http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC/pike_prh.WP6 STATE OF TENNESSEE VS. PAUL DENNIS REID AND STATE OF TENNESSEE VS. CHRISTOPHER DAVIS Court:TSC Attorneys: FOR APPELLANT REID: FOR STATE OF TENNESSEE: J. Michael Engle John Knox Walkup Asst Metro Public Defender Attorney General & Reporter Nashville, Tennessee Michael E. Moore Michael R. Jones Solicitor General Public Defender 19th Judicial District Kathy Morante Clarksville, Tennessee Assistant District Attorney General Nashville, Tennessee FOR APPELLANT DAVIS: Hershell Koger Victor S. Johnson, III Pulaski, Tennessee District Attorney General 20th Judicial District Niles Nimmo Nashville, Tennessee John Wesley Carney, Jr. District Attorney General 19th Judicial District FOR AMICUS CURIAE: Tennessee Association Criminal Defense Lawyers Jefferson T. Dorsey Nashville, Tennessee Judge:DROWOTA First Paragraph: We granted and consolidated the applications for permission to appeal filed on behalf of Paul Dennis Reid and Christopher Davis to consider the following three important questions of criminal procedure. 1. Whether a defendant must give pre-trial notice of the intent to introduce expert testimony of his or her mental condition as mitigation at the sentencing phase of a capital trial? 2. If so, whether, at the request of the State, the trial court may order a mental examination of the defendant by a mental health expert selected by the State? 3. If so, what procedures should be followed in connection with this notice and examination? URL:http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC/reidpd_opn.WP6 IN RE: AMENDMENT TO RULE 13, RULES OF THE SUPREME COURT OF TENNESSEE Court:TSC - Rules Judge:ANDERSON First Paragraph: Rule 13 of the Rules of the Supreme Court of Tennessee is hereby amended by adding the underlined portion to S 6(a): URL:http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC_Rules/R13audit_ord.WP6 JAMES M. BEAM and JOYCE A. BEAM, Individually and as Next of Kin of KAREN H. BEAM, Deceased, and Next Friend of LANCE B. BEAM, A Minor VS. UNITED SERVICES AUTOMOBILE ASSOCIATION, and/or USAA CASUALTY INSURANCE COMPANY, and/or USAA GENERAL INDEMNITY COMPANY Court:TCA Attorneys: FRANCIS A. CAIN and BEVERLY DEAN NELMS, Frantz, McConnell, & Seymour, LLP, Knoxville, for Appellants. MARK E. FLOYD, Pryor, Flynn, Priest & Harber, Knoxville, for Appellees. Judge:MCMURRAY First Paragraph: This appeal involves the determination of whether there is insurance coverage on three separate insurance policies -- two automobile policies and a personal umbrella policy. The plaintiffs, James and Joyce Beam, had purchased insurance coverage from the defendant, United Services Automobile Association (USAA). The plaintiffs, whose daughter was killed in an automobile accident, filed a declaratory action against USAA seeking a judgment as to whether uninsured motorist (UM) coverage was included under their personal umbrella policy and whether USAA had acted in "bad faith" by denying coverage. In its answer, USAA denied that the plaintiffs could recover under both automobile policies and under their personal umbrella policy. With court approval, the plaintiffs amended their complaint to allege that the two automobile policies could be "stacked," thereby allowing them a greater recovery. URL:http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/beamjm_opn.WP6 JAN LORENA NEWSOME VS. QUALITY BODY SHOP, INC. Court:TCA Attorneys: JOHN M. FOLEY OF KNOXVILLE FOR APPELLANT DAIL R. CANTRELL OF CLINTON FOR APPELLEE Judge:GODDARD First Paragraph: Quality Body Shop, Inc., appeals a judgment rendered against it in favor of Jan Lorena Newsome in the amount of $30,000, The damages were awarded as a result of a jury finding that Quality Body Shop, Inc., violated the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act in connection with the repair of her wrecked automobile. URL:http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/newsom_opn.WP6 TRUDY R. SWATZELL PARMAN VS. MARK ROBERT SWATZELL and COVEY DIANE KELLEY SWATZELL Court:TCA Attorneys: TRUDY R. SWATZELL PARMAN, Pro Se JACK H. BURKHARD OF GREENEVILLE FOR APPELLEES Judge:GODDARD First Paragraph: Trudy Rose Swatzell, now Parman, prosecuting this case--both below and on appeal--pro se, filed a complaint on April 6, 1998, which is styled "Petition to Correct Adoption Agreement" against her former husband, Mark Robert Swatzell and his present wife, Covey Dianne Kelly Swatzell. Ms. Swatzell had adopted the children of Ms. Parman and Mr. Swatzell--Jessica Nicole Swatzell (d.o.b. 7/2/81), and Chuck Robert Swatzell (d.o.b. 5/23/83)--by a decree filed in February 1992. URL:http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/parman_opn.WP6 C. M. REAGAN VS. TROY MALONE, SANDRA MALONE and DAN CONNELLY Court:TCA Attorneys: MARVIN BERKE OF CHATTANOOGA FOR APPELLANT DAN CONNELLY SCOTT N. BROWN, JR., and SCOTT A. MILLER OF CHATTANOOGA FOR APPELLEE Judge:GODDARD First Paragraph: This is an appeal by Dan Connelly from an order entered by the Chancellor pursuant to a motion by C. M. Reagan, seeking to discover assets of Mr. Connelly for the purpose of satisfying a judgment rendered in Mr. Reagan's favor. URL:http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/reagan_opn.WP6 JERRY LYNN SHORTER VS. MARGARET MAE SHORTER Court:TCA Attorneys: JERRY LYNN SHORTER, pro se. DENISE TERRY STAPLETON, TERRY, TERRY & STAPLETON, Morristown, for Appellant. Judge:FRANKS First Paragraph: In this divorce action the Trial Court decreed the parties' separate marital property, divided the marital estate, and granted the parties a divorce pursuant to T.C.A. S36-4-129(b). The wife has appealed and raises these issues: 1. The Court erred in not awarding alimony. 2. The Court erred in not equitably dividing the marital estate; and 3. The Court erred in not making an equitable distribution of the husband's military retirement. URL:http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/shorterj_opn.WP6 WESTWOOD GROUP PARTNERSHIP VS. DAVID L. MOORE, M.D. Court:TCA Attorneys: BARBARA W. CLARK, Moore & Clark, P.C., Knoxville, for Appellant. DAIL R. CANTRELL, Cantrell, Pratt & Varsalona, Clinton, for Appellee. Judge:MCMURRAY First Paragraph: This appeal involves a commercial lease dispute between the Westwood Group Partnership (the landlord) and Dr. David L. Moore (the tenant). Each party sued the other for breach of the lease agreement. After a bench trial, the trial court ruled that the tenant breached the lease by not paying the rent, and awarded the landlord rent payments, late fees and attorney's fees in the total amount of $5,390.00. The tenant appeals this ruling. We affirm the judgment of the trial court and agree with the appellee that this is a frivolous appeal. URL:http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/westwdgp_opn.WP6 GENE H. CRANK VS. STATE OF TENNESSE Court:TCCA Attorneys: FOR THE APPELLANT: GENE H. CRANK, Pro Se #108161 South Central Correctional Center Apollo AA-225 P.O. Box 279 Clifton, TN 38425-0279 FOR THE APPELLEE: JOHN KNOX WALKUP Attorney General and Reporter KAREN M. YACUZZO Assistant Attorney General Cordell Hull Building, 2nd Floor 425 Fifth Avenue North Nashville, TN 37243-0493 VICTOR S. JOHNSON III District Attorney General 222 - 2nd Avenue North Washington Square, Suite 500 Nashville, TN 37201-1649 Judge:RILEY First Paragraph: Petitioner appeals the summary dismissal of his petition for writ of habeas corpus. The petitioner claims his indictment for aggravated rape and first degree burglary was void for failing to set forth the requisite mens rea. However, the record does not contain the indictment at issue, thereby precluding the Court from conducting an adequate review. Nevertheless, assuming that the indictment reads as claimed by petitioner, we find no merit to his claim and AFFIRM the trial court's dismissal of the habeas corpus petition. URL:http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/crankgh_opn.WP6 STATE OF TENNESSEE VS. DENNIS R. GILLILAND WITH CONCURRING OPINION Court:TCCA Attorneys: FOR THE APPELLANT: GUY T. WILKINSON District Public Defender 24th Judicial District 117 North Forrest Avenue P.O. Box 663 Camden, Tennessee 38320 VICKI S. SNYDER Assistant Dist. Public Defender 24th Judicial District FOR THE APPELLEE: JOHN KNOX WALKUP Attorney General and Reporter JOHN P. CAULEY Assistant Attorney General Cordell Hull Building, 2nd Floor 425 Fifth Avenue North Nashville, TN 37243-0493 DAN M. ALSOBROOKS District Attorney General JAKE LOCKERT SUZANNE M. LOCKERT Assistant Dist. Attorneys General Court Square, P.O. Box 580 Charlotte, TN 37036-0580 Judge:RILEY First Paragraph: The defendant, Dennis R. Gilliland, appeals as of right his conviction for felony murder by a Dickson County jury. He received a sentence of life without the possibility of parole. The defendant raises the following issues on appeal: (1) the trial court erred in admitting testimony regarding the defendant's involvement in two (2) homicides three (3) weeks before the instant offense; (2) the trial court erred in admitting into evidence currency found outside the Dickson County police station; (3) the defendant was unfairly prejudiced when he appeared before the jury in handcuffs; (4) the state did not prove venue by a preponderance of the evidence; (5) the trial court erred in admitting into evidence certain personal effects of the victim without requiring a proper chain of custody; (6) the evidence was insufficient to justify the guilty verdict; (7) the trial court erred by ruling that the state's withdrawal of its intent to seek the death penalty did not include a withdrawal of its intent to seek life without parole; (8) the trial court considered improper factors in sentencing the defendant to life without parole; and (9) newly discovered evidence warrants a new trial. The defendant's conviction is affirmed, but the case is remanded for resentencing. URL:http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/gillildr_opn.WP6 CONCURRING OPINION: URL:http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/gillilan_con.WP6 WILLIAM C. HIGHTOWER VS. STATE OF TENNESSEE Court:TCCA Judge:RILEY First Paragraph: Appellant, William C. Hightower, appeals the trial court's denial of his motion to correct an illegal sentence. The trial court previously revoked his probation and ordered an effective eight-year sentence to run consecutively to a fifteen-year Alabama sentence. URL:http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/hightowe_opn.WP6 STATE OF TENNESSEE VS. TURNER P. WILLIAMS Court:TCCA Attorneys: FOR THE APPELLANT: FOR THE APPELLEE: CHARLES R. RAY JOHN KNOX WALKUP 211 Third Avenue North Attorney General and Reporter P. O. Box 198288 Nashville, TN 37219-8288 LISA A. NAYLOR Assistant Attorney General JAMES BRYAN LEWIS 425 Fifth Avenue North 217 Second Avenue North Nashville, TN 37201-1649 Nashville, TN 37201-1649 VICTOR S. JOHNSON District Attorney General GEORGE BONDS Assistant District Attorney Washington Square, Suite 500 Nashville, TN 37201-1649 Judge:SMITH First Paragraph: On May 19, 1997, a Davidson County jury found Appellant, Turner Williams, guilty of Driving Under the Influence of an Intoxicant, first offense. The trial court sentenced Appellant to eleven months and twenty-nine days incarceration, all suspended except for two days, the remainder to be served on probation. Appellant filed a timely notice of appeal, raising two issues on appeal: (1) Whether the trial court erred in admitting into evidence highly prejudicial statements made by Appellant which were not probative of guilt and were allegedly introduced for the purpose of inflaming and prejudicing the jury in violation of Rule 403 of the Tennessee Rules of Evidence; and (2) Whether the trial court erred in refusing to suppress the results of a field sobriety test where the officer gave the test under such adverse conditions that the results were invalid and should not have been presented to the jury. After a review of the record, we affirm the judgment of the trial court. URL:http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/willturn_opn.WP6
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