March 27, 2001
Volume 7 — Number 056

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.

This Issue (IN THIS ORDER):
02 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Supreme Court
00 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Supreme Court Workers' Compensation Panel
00 New Document(s) or Proposed Rule(s) from the Tennessee Supreme Court
03 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Court of Appeals
00 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals
00 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Attorney General (PDF format)
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



Andrea McKellar and Gregory Dye Smith, Nashville, Tennessee, for
defendant/appellant, Steven G. LeTellier.

Jon Steven Jablonski, Nashville, Tennessee, for plaintiff/appellee,
Teresa B. LeTellier.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore,
Solicitor General; and Stuart F. Wilson-Patton, for amicus curiae,
Tennessee Department of Human Services.                       


First Paragraph:

We granted this appeal to address the following issues regarding the
modification of out-of-state support orders:  1) the interrelation of
S 36-5-2201, S 36-5-2202, and S 36-5-2611(a) of Tennessee's Uniform
Interstate Family Support Act ("UIFSA") and the extent to which those
statutes confer jurisdiction upon Tennessee courts to modify
out-of-state support orders; and 2) the preemption of Tennessee's
UIFSA by the jurisdictional provisions of the Federal Full Faith and
Credit for Child Support Orders Act ("FFCCSOA").  We hold that S
36-5-2202 is not applicable to actions to modify out-of-state support
orders.  Section 36-5-2202 is applicable, however, to actions in which
long-arm personal jurisdiction is acquired via S 35-5-2201 to
establish, enforce, or modify Tennessee support orders.  Tennessee
courts have subject matter jurisdiction to modify support orders
issued by other states only when S 36-5-2611(a) of UIFSA has been
satisfied.  We further hold that the jurisdictional provisions of the
Federal FFCCSOA do not conflict with UIFSA.  Accordingly, UIFSA is not
preempted by federal law.

KENNETH LEE WESTON v. STATE OF TENNESSEE Court:TSC Attorneys: Mark E. Stephens, District Public Defender, and Paula R. Voss, Assistant District Public Defender, Knoxville, Tennessee, for appellant, Kenneth Lee Weston. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General, Erik W. Daab, Assistant Attorney General, Randall E. Nichols, District Attorney General, and Marsha Selecman, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee. Judge: BIRCH First Paragraph: We granted review in this cause to determine whether the trial court exceeded the authority granted upon remand when it permitted Kenneth Lee Weston to amend his post-conviction petition and when it ruled on the amended petition. Because we find that the trial court was without authority to allow the amendment, we vacate all orders pertaining to the amended petition and remand the cause to the Court of Criminal Appeals for a first-tier review of the trial court's denial of the original unamended petition for post-conviction relief.
VESTA G. MOSLEY v. TENNESSEE WATER SERVICE AND SALES, INC. Court:TCA Attorneys: James R. Moore, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Tennessee Water Service and Sales, Inc. Dail R. Cantrell, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the Appellee, Vesta G. Mosley. Judge: GOODARD First Paragraph: In this appeal from the Circuit Court of Anderson County the Defendant/Appellant, Tennessee Water Service and Sales, Inc., appeals the Circuit Court's order which denied Tennessee Water's motion for a new trial and overruled its objection to entry of a final judgment in favor of Plaintiff/ Appellee, Vesta G. Mosley. It is our finding that Tennessee Water did not receive notice of the hearing which resulted in the final judgment against it and, therefore, we vacate such judgment and reverse the Circuit Court's order overruling Tennessee Water's objection to entry of the judgment and its motion for a new trial. We remand this cause for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.
STATE OF TENNESSEE, DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN'S SERVICES V. RC Court:TCA Attorneys: Melody Daniel Musick, Lenoir City, Tennessee, for Appellant. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter, and Douglas Earl Dimond, Assistant Attorney General, Nashville, for Appellee. Judge: FRANKS First Paragraph: In this action to terminate parental rights, the mother didn't appear for trial and the Trial Court terminated her parental rights. On appeal, she argues her constitutional rights were violated by proceeding to trial in her absence, and termination was not supported by clear and convincing evidence. We affirm.
In re: ESTATE OF MARTHA M. WOODARD Court:TCA Attorneys: Rick J. Bearfield, Johnson City, Tennessee, for the appellants, Diana M. Agett and William Bryan Woodard, Jr. Jerry W. Laughlin, Greeneville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Martha Woodard Braden. Judge: SUSANO First Paragraph: This declaratory judgment action focuses on a dispute among three adult children concerning the ownership of certain funds in their mother's estate. In earlier litigation relating to the administration of the estate of the children's father, a chancellor found the same funds had been owned by the children's parents as tenants by the entireties and directed that the funds be transferred out of the father's estate, and "deposited to [the mother's] account." The children's mother died approximately four months after the entry of the chancellor's order. At the time of her death, the funds were still in the father's estate due to the fact that the executrix of his estate, who was also the mother's attorney-in-fact, had failed to transfer the funds into her mother's name. The mother's will made several specific bequests, including a bequest, to the petitioner in the instant case, of "all of [sic] money deposited in the First Tennessee Bank." The petitioner filed this suit seeking a declaration that the funds should be treated as constructively having been placed in the mother's checking account at First Tennessee Bank. The trial court granted such relief, and the respondents, the other two children, now appeal. We reverse.

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