September 12, 2001
Volume 7 — 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.

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
00 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
 

There are three ways for TBALink members to get the full-text versions of these opinions from the Web:

Do a key word search in the Search Link area of TBALink. This option will allow you to view and save a plain-text version of the opinion.

Browse the Opinion List area of TBALink. This option will allow you to download the original version of the opinion.

Click the URL at end of each Opinion paragraph below. This option will allow you to download the original document.

Howard H. Vogel
Knoxville, Tennessee
Editor-in-Chief, TBALink

(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

PLEASE FORWARD THIS E-MAIL!
Feel free to forward this Opinion Flash on to anyone you know of with an e-mail address.

GET A FULL-TEXT COPY OF AN OPINION!
See the intrsuctions at the beginning of this edition of Opinion Flash.

JOIN TBALink!
While Opinion Flash is a free service of the Tennessee Bar Association, you must be a subscriber to TBALink, the premier Web site for Tennessee attorneys, in order to access the full-text of the opinions or enjoy many other features of TBALink. TBA members may join TBALink for just $50 per year. To join, go to: http://www.tba.org/join.html/

SUBSCRIBE TO OPINION FLASH!
Would you like to receive the TBALink Opinion Flash free each day by e-mail? Anyone, whether a TBA member or not, is welcome to subscribe ... it's free!

For the
Plain Text Version:
1) Send an e-mail message to: Opinion-Flash@tba.org
2) In the SUBJECT of the message type:
SUBSCRIBE
3) Leave the body of the message blank

For the HTML Text Version:
1) Send an e-mail message to: Opinion-Flash@tba.org
2) In the SUBJECT of the message type:
SUBSCRIBE HTML
3) Leave the body of the message blank

UNSUBSCRIBE TO OPINION FLASH? ... SURELY NOT!

To STOP receiving TBALink Opinion-Flash:
1) Send an e-mail message to: Opinion-Flash@tba.org
2) In the SUBJECT of the message type:
UNSUBSCRIBE
3) Leave the body of the message blank


© Copyright 2001 Tennessee Bar Association