December 7, 1999
Volume 5 -- Number 167

What follows is the case style or name, first paragraph, author's name, and the names of attorneys for the parties of each opinion released eletronically today to TBALink from Tennessee's three appellate courts.

This Issue (IN THIS ORDER):
00 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Supreme Court
00 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Supreme Court Workers' Compensation Panel
01 New Document(s) or Proposed Rule(s) from the Tennessee Supreme Court
00 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
Editor-in-Chief, TBALink


Court:TSC - Rules

STATE OF TENNESSEE VS. RHONDA LEIGH BURKHART Court:TCCA Attorneys: For the Appellant: For the Appellee: Paul G. Summers Mark Olson Attorney General of Tennessee 114 Franklin Street and Clarksville, TN 37040 Michael E. Moore (AT TRIAL) Solicitor General and Robert M. Friedman Daryl J. Brand 100 N. Main Street, Suite 3400 Assistant Solicitor General Memphis, TN 38103 425 Fifth Avenue North (ON APPEAL) Nashville, TN 37243 William McDaniels John Wesley Carney, Jr. and District Attorney General Malachi B. Jones, Jr. and 725 Twelfth Street, N.W. Daniel Brollier Washington, D.C. 20005-5901 Asst District Attorney General (ON APPEAL) 204 Franklin Street, Suite 200 Clarksville, TN 37040 Judge: TIPTON First Paragraph: The state appeals as of right from the Montgomery County Circuit Court's dismissal of an indictment charging the defendant, Rhonda Leigh Burkhart, with knowingly possessing gambling devices, specifically, six "One-Armed Bandit" video machines, in violation of Tenn. Code Ann. S 39-17-505. The state contends that the trial court erred in finding portions of Tenn. Code Ann. SS 39-17-501 and -505 unconstitutionally vague and overbroad. We hold that the statutes are constitutionally sound and we reverse the dismissal of the indictment.
STATE OF TENNESSEE VS. ARTHUR COPELAND Court:TCCA Attorneys: FOR THE APPELLANT: FOR THE APPELLEE: ROBERT W. WHITE PAUL G. SUMMERS 404 Ellis Avenue Attorney General & Reporter Maryville, TN 37804 ELLEN H. POLLACK Assistant Attorney General 425 Fifth Avenue North Nashville, TN 37243-0493 MIKE FLYNN District Attorney General WILLIAM REED Assistant District Attorney 363 Court Street Maryville, TN 37804 Judge: SMITH First Paragraph: The appellant, Arthur Copeland, was convicted by a Blount County jury of one (1) count of simple assault, a Class A misdemeanor. The trial court sentenced him to eleven (11) months and twenty-nine (29) days in the county jail and ordered that the appellant's sentence for assault run consecutively to his sentence for a prior aggravated robbery conviction. On appeal, the appellant claims that the trial court erred in (1) imposing sentence immediately after the jury rendered its verdict without affording the appellant a separate sentencing hearing; and (2) ordering consecutive sentences. After thoroughly reviewing the record before this Court, we conclude that there is no evidence in the record to support the trial court's imposition of consecutive sentences. Therefore, this case is remanded to the trial court for another sentencing hearing.
STATE OF TENNESSEE VS. RONALD REECE CROSS Court:TCCA Attorneys: FOR THE APPELLEE: FOR THE APPELLANT: TERRY JORDAN PAUL G. SUMMERS Ofc. of the Public Defender Attorney General & Reporter P. O. Box 839 Blountville, TN 37617 TODD R. KELLEY Assistant Attorney General GERALD L. GULLEY, JR. 425 Fifth Avenue North Contract Appellate Defender Nashville, TN 37243-0493 P. O. Box 1708 Knoxville, TN 37901-1708 GREELEY WELLS District Attorney General JOSEPH EUGENE PERRIN Assistant District Attorney Main Street Springfield, TN 37172 Judge: SMITH First Paragraph: On July 21, 1998, Ronald Reece Cross (the "defendant") pled guilty to the following charges arising out of a single incident: violating an habitual traffic offender order, evading arrest, driving under the influence of alcohol (eighth offense), running a stop sign, reckless driving, and violation of registration. Following a sentencing hearing on the above charges, the trial court denied alternative sentencing for the defendant, and instead ordered the defendant to serve an effective ten (10) year, eleven (11) month, and twenty-nine (29) day sentence.
JOHN PAUL SEALS VS. STATE OF TENNESSEE Court:TCCA Attorneys: For Appellant: For Appellee: Greg W. Eichelman Paul G. Summers Ofc. of the Public Defender Attorney General and Reporter Third Judicial District 1609 College Park Drive Clinton J. Morgan Morristown, TN 37813 Assistant Attorney General 425 Fifth Avenue North Nashville, TN 37243-0493 John F. Dugger, Jr. Assistant District Attorney General 510 Allison Street Morristown, TN 37814 Judge: WADE First Paragraph: The petitioner, John Paul Seals, entered a guilty plea to first degree murder on December 12, 1988. The state had originally sought the death penalty. The trial court imposed a life sentence. Six years later, the petitioner filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus or, in the alternative, post-conviction relief. The trial court, which treated the petition as one for post-conviction relief, dismissed based upon the statute of limitations. This court affirmed on direct appeal. John Paul Seals v. State, No. 03C01-9409-CR-00319 (Tenn. Crim. App., at Knoxville, Feb. 22, 1995), perm. app. denied, (Tenn. 1995). On January 7, 1998, the petitioner filed this claim for post-conviction relief alleging several constitutional violations. The petitioner argued that the statute of limitations should not apply because he had been mentally incompetent since before the commission of the offense.

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