Opinion FlashJanuary 16, 2002
Volume 8 Number 011
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.
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Howard H. Vogel
PAUL FARNSWORTH a/k/a RONNIE BRADFIELD v. RICHARD KENYA Court:TCA Attorneys: Paul Farnsworth, Henning, TN, pro se Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter, Michael Moore, Solicitor General, Pamela S. Lorch, Assistant Attorney General, Nashville, TN, for Appellees Judge: HIGHERS First Paragraph: This appeal arises from the Appellees' denial of the Appellant's request to marry during the Appellant's incarceration. The Appellant filed a complaint in the Circuit Court of Lake County against the Appellees for breach of contract and retaliation. The Appellees filed a motion to dismiss claiming that the Appellant failed to exhaust his administrative remedies and failed to state a claim for which relief can be granted. The Appellees filed a motion to stay discovery. The Appellant filed a motion for leave to amend his complaint. The Appellant sought to add new defendants and additional claims that were unrelated to his original claim. The trial court granted the Appellees' motion to dismiss. On appeal, this Court found that the trial court failed to rule on the motion to amend the original complaint. This Court dismissed the appeal on the basis that the order appealed from was not a final judgment. The trial court entered an order granting the motion to stay discovery, denying the motion to amend the original complaint, and dismissing the case. The Appellant appeals the decision of the Circuit Court of Lake County granting the motion to stay discovery, denying the motion to amend the original complaint, and dismissing the case. For the reasons stated herein, we affirm the trial court's decision. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/farnsworthpaul.wpd
TERRI JUAN (BARRON) JACKSON v. DANNY L. JACKSON Court:TCA Attorneys: Lloyd R. Tatum, Henderson, TN, for Appellant Dennis W. Plunk, Savannah, TN, for Appellee Judge: HIGHERS First Paragraph: This appeal involves the calculation of an obligor parent's net income for purposes of determining whether a decrease in child support obligations is warranted. Appellant's motion to decrease child support obligations was overruled by the lower court based on a finding that no significant variance existed between the guidelines and the amount of support currently ordered. In calculating the guidelines amount, the court refused to decrease Appellant's gross income by temporary living expenses he accrued because of his job assignment. Appellant appealed alleging that the deduction in his gross income should be allowed. For the following reasons, we affirm. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/jacksonterri.wpd
TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN'S SERVICES v. FRANCES PYLE BATES Court:TCA Attorneys: William Dan Douglas, Jr., Ripley, For Appellant, Frances Pyle Bates Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter, Douglas Earl Dimond, Assistant Attorney General, For Appellee, State of Tennessee Department of Children's Services Judge: CRAWFORD First Paragraph: This is a termination of parental rights case. Francis Pyle Bates (hereinafter Mrs. Bates) appeals from the final decree of the Probate and Juvenile Court of Lauderdale County which terminated her parental rights to her three minor children, T. M. P., born March 28, 1991; J. R. P., born August 15, 1992; and R. D. P., born July 25, 1994. For the reasons hereinafter stated, we affirm the trial court's final decree. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/pylefra.wpd
DARIN SHAFFER, et al. v. SHELBY COUNTY, TENNESSEE Court:TCA Attorneys: Thomas J. Cullen, Jr., Ericka L. Kleiman, Baltimore, MD; Scott A. Frick, Memphis, TN, for Appellants Carroll C. Johnson, Memphis, TN, for Appellee, Shelby County, Tennessee Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter, Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General, Laura T. Kidwell, Assistant Attorney General, Nashville, TN, for Intervenor-Appellee, State of Tennessee Judge: HIGHERS First Paragraph: This appeal involves an accident in which a mother and son were hit by an automobile. The mother received fatal injuries in the accident. The survivors brought an action against Shelby County for the wrongful death of the mother and for negligent infliction of emotional distress with respect to the son. A jury found Shelby County liable for $12,039,049.01. The award was reduced in accordance with the Governmental Tort Liability Act (the GTLA) to $260,000.00 plus discretionary costs of $5,434.55. The plaintiffs appealed the reduction of liability alleging that the GTLA violated the Tennessee Constitution and should be judicially abrogated. The plaintiffs further allege that even if the GTLA is upheld, liability should be capped at $350,000.00 as opposed to $260,000.00. Shelby County also raises several issues in this appeal. First, Shelby County alleges that it was performing a discretionary function, which immunizes it from liability. Shelby county also contends that the proof shows the mother to be at fault and fails to show that the son suffered a serious emotional injury. In addition, Shelby County argues that the verdicts were excessive and were tainted by inappropriate arguments made during the plaintiffs' closing. Finally, Shelby County alleges that the trial court erred by assessing discretionary costs, which caused the award to exceed the GTLA's statutory cap on damages. For the following reasons, we reverse the trial court's award of discretionary costs and affirm the trial court in all other respects. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/shafferdarin.wpd
ROBERT L. SMITH, JR. v. WARDEN LARRY CRAVEN, et al. Court:TCA Attorneys: Robert L. Smith, Jr., Pro Se. Tom Anderson, Jackson, Tennessee, for the appellees, Larry Craven and Randy Eckman. Judge: FARMER First Paragraph: Petitioner appeals from the trial court's order denying Petitioner's petition for writ of certiorari. We affirm. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/smithrobertl.wpd
WILLIAM JOSEPH WILSON v. PATRICIA JEAN WILSON Court:TCA Attorneys: Michael L. Robb, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, William Joseph Wilson. Mitchell D. Moskovitz, Adam N. Cohen, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellee, Patricia Jean Wilson. Judge: LILLARD First Paragraph: This is a divorce case in which alimony is in dispute. At trial, the parties stipulated to the grounds for divorce, and the issue of fault was not considered. The trial court awarded the wife alimony in solido of $750 per month until she reached the age of sixty, and specified that it was non- modifiable upon the wife's death or remarriage. The husband appeals. On appeal, we affirm the trial court's decision awarding the wife alimony in solido, and modify the amount to $500 per month until she reaches the age of sixty. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/wilsonwj.wpd
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. MARCUS FITZGERALD Court:TCCA Attorneys: Mary C. Jermann, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Marcus Fitzgerald. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Kim R. Helper, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and James Lammey, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee. Judge: WOODALL First Paragraph: Defendant, Marcus Fitzgerald, was convicted by a Shelby County jury of resisting arrest, aggravated rape, and rape. Defendant appeals his convictions and presents the following issues for review: (1) whether the trial court erred in granting the State's motion to consolidate; (2) whether the trial court erred in denying Defendant's motion to suppress a pre-trial identification; (3) whether the trial court erred by offering an advisory opinion on a stipulation; (4) whether Defendant was unfairly prejudiced by the trial court's comments to the jury after extraneous contact with a third party; and (5) whether the trial court erred by admitting mug shots of Defendant taken a few days after his arrest. After a thorough review of the record, we affirm the judgment of the trial court. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/fitzgeraldmarcus.wpd
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. CLIFFORD DOUGLAS PEELE Court:TCCA Attorneys: Kenneth F. Irvine, Jr., Knoxville, Tennessee (on appeal); Bob McD. Green, Johnson City, Tennessee (on plea at trial); and H. R. Fallin, Mountain City, Tennessee (on motion at trial) for the appellant Clifford Douglas Peele. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Elizabeth B. Marney, Assistant Attorney General; Joe C. Crumley, Jr., District Attorney General; David Crockett, Assistant District Attorney General; and Michael LaGuardia, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee. Judge: WOODALL First Paragraph: The defendant appeals the trial court's denial of his motion to withdraw his guilty plea on the ground that he received ineffective assistance of counsel during the plea proceedings. Initially, we dismissed his appeal. The supreme court granted the defendant's application to appeal and reversed the dismissal, remanding the matter to this Court for a determination of the merits of the appeal. After a thorough review of the record and applicable law, we affirm the judgment of the trial court. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/peelec.wpd
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. TERRANCE ROGERS Court:TCCA Attorneys: George Morton Googe, District Public Defender; and Stephen P. Spracher, Assistant Public Defender, Jackson, Tennessee, for the appellant, Terrance Rogers. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Kim R. Helper, Assistant Attorney General; James G. Woodall, District Attorney General; and Jody S. Pickens, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee. Judge: WOODALL First Paragraph: Defendant, Terrance Rogers, appeals the revocation of his community corrections sentence. Defendant contends that the court erred by revoking his sentence for failing to report a new arrest, and for the alleged possession of cocaine. After a thorough review of the record, we affirm the judgment of the trial court. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/rogersterrance.wpd
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