September 12, 2001
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Howard H. Vogel
(CORRECTED VERSION) CITY OF CHATTANOOGA v. KEVIN DAVIS and FRANK BARRETT v. METROPOLITAN GOVERNMENT OF NASHVILLE AND DAVIDSON COUNTY Court:TSC Attorneys: Jerry H. Summers, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellant, Kevin Davis. Kenneth O. Fritz, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellee, City of Chattanooga. John E. Herbison, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Frank Barrett. Karl F. Dean and John L. Kennedy, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; Peter M. Coughlan, Assistant Attorney General, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, State of Tennessee. James W. Kirby, Nashville, Tennessee, for Amicus Curiae, Tennessee District Attorneys General Conference. Judge: BARKER First Paragraph: The primary issue presented by these consolidated cases is whether Article VI, section 14 of the Tennessee Constitution, which prohibits the laying of fines in excess of fifty dollars unless assessed by a jury, applies to proceedings for the violation of a municipal ordinance. We hold that Article VI, section 14 does apply to such proceedings when either the intended purpose or the actual purpose or effect of the monetary assessment is to serve as a punitive measure. To the extent that O'Dell v. City of Knoxville, 54 Tenn. App. 59, 388 S.W.2d 150 (1964), would compel a contrary conclusion, it is expressly overruled. We further hold that the assessment imposed by the Chattanooga City Court in City of Chattanooga v. Davis was punitive in its intended purpose and therefore subject to constitutional limitation. As for the assessments imposed in Barrett v. Metropolitan Government, we hold that the actual purpose and effect of all these sanctions were to impose punishment for ordinance violations. Therefore, the judgment of the Court of Appeals is affirmed as modified and explained below in Davis's case, and the judgment of the Court of Appeals is reversed in Barrett's case. Because no court, other than one of general jurisdiction, has been granted the authority to empanel a jury to determine facts or to impose punishment, we reduce each of the unlawful fines imposed in these cases to fifty dollars, the maximum assessment allowed under such circumstances by Article VI, section 14. With regard to the additional issues raised in City of Chattanooga v. Davis, we hold that Tennessee Code Annotated section 6-54-306 does not facially violate Article VI, section 14. With regard to the allegations that Tennessee Code Annotated sections 6-54-306 and 55-10-307 violate the Class Legislation Clause of Article XI, section 8, we dismiss the challenge to section 6-54-306 as moot. As to section 55-10-307, we hold that this statute does not violate Article XI, section 8 for the sole reasons that a distinction is made between municipalities and unincorporated areas of the state or that different punishments may be imposed by substantially similar or identical offenses. Finally, we hold that Davis lacks legal standing to challenge the policies and practices of the City of Chattanooga that arguably infringe upon the District Attorney General's constitutional and statutory authority in Hamilton County. The judgment of the Court of Appeals on these issues is affirmed as modified herein. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC/davisbarrett2.wpd OWNER-OPERATOR INDEPENDENT DRIVERS ASSOCIATION, INC., et al. v. CONCORD EFS, INC., et al. Court:TSC Attorneys: Jonathan A. Dibble and Eric D. Barton, Salt Lake City, Utah, and Eugene N. Bulso, Jr. and Thor Y. Urness, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Flying J, Inc. Robert R. Campbell and Amy V. Hollars, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Pilot Corporation. W. Gary Blackburn and John R. Callcott, Nashville, Tennessee, and Paul D. Cullen, Sr., Joyce E. Mayers, and Amy Irene Washburn, Washington, D.C., for the appellees, Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, Inc., Harold Landry, Jimmy Hux (d/b/a/ Hux Trucking), Richard Kershman, and Laurel Barrick. J. Richard Buchignani, Douglas A. Black, and Lyle Reid, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellees, Concord EFS, Inc. and EFS National Bank, Inc. Judge: BIRCH First Paragraph: The plaintiffs, who are or independent truck drivers and their representatives, claim they are intended third-party beneficiaries of certain contracts between Flying J, Inc., Pilot Corporation, and EFS National Bank, Inc. The plaintiffs contend that Flying J, Inc. and Pilot Corporation breached their contracts with EFS National Bank, Inc. by improperly imposing surcharges on diesel fuel purchased with certain credit cards. For the alleged breaches, the plaintiffs seek damages and injunctive relief. After thorough consideration and due deliberation, we conclude that the plaintiffs are not intended third-party beneficiaries of the contracts and thus have no standing to sue. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the Court of Appeals. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC/owneroperator.wpd
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