Opinion Flash

March 19, 2002
Volume 8 — Number 050

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):
 
03 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
01 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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Howard H. Vogel
Knoxville, Tennessee
Editor-in-Chief, TBALink


WILLIAM ANDREW DIXON v. FLORA J. HOLLAND, WARDEN AND

WILLIAM ANDREW DIXON v. DONAL CAMPBELL, COMMISSIONER OF TDOC

Court:TSC

Attorneys:

Thomas F. Bloom, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, William
Andrew Dixon.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore,
Solicitor General; Kim R. Helper, Assistant Attorney General; and
Pamela S. Lorch, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellees, Donal
Campbell, Commissioner for the Department of Corrections, and Flora
Holland, Warden. opinion.

Judge: HOLDER

First Paragraph:

We granted review in these consolidated cases to determine (1) whether
William Andrew Dixon's sentence under Tenn. Code Ann. S 39-2603 (1975)
is void and thus subject to habeas corpus relief; and (2) whether
Tenn. Code Ann. S 41-21-236(c) (1997) applies to Dixon's sentence.  We
hold that Dixon's sentence is void and grant habeas corpus relief.  We
further hold that Dixon is entitled to any sentence reduction credits
earned from 1988 until 1998.  Our grant of habeas corpus relief
pretermits the remaining issues raised by Dixon.  Accordingly, the
judgment of the Court of Criminal Appeals is reversed, and the case is
remanded to the criminal court for proceedings consistent with this
opinion.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC/dixonwill.wpd

EXXON CORPORATION v. METROPOLITAN GOVERNMENT OF NASHVILLE 
AND DAVIDSON COUNTY, TENNESSEE, et al.

Court:TSC

Attorneys:

Scott K. Haynes, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Exxon
Corporation.

John L. Kennedy, Shayna Abrams, and Daniel Champney, Nashville,
Tennessee, for the appellants, Metropolitan Government of Nashville
and Davidson County, Tennessee, and Metropolitan Beer Permit Board of
the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County,
Tennessee.                       

Judge: DROWOTA

First Paragraph:

We granted permission to appeal in this case to determine whether the
Court of Appeals erred in defining the phrase "on that same location"
as it is used  in Tenn. Code Ann. S 57-5-109 to mean anywhere within
the boundary lines of the property.  We hold that such a definition,
when considered  in pari materia with the Nashville and Davidson
County Metropolitan Code, broadens the scope of this statutory
grandfather provision.  Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the
Court of Appeals and affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC/exxon.wpd

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. ALVIN RAY TAYLOR

Court:TSC

Attorneys:

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Michael Moore, Solicitor
General; Elizabeth T. Ryan, Assistant Attorney General; Charles
Michael Layne, District Attorney General; Stephen E. Weitzman,
Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellant, State of
Tennessee

Gregory M. O'Neal, Winchester, Tennessee, for the appellee, Alvin Ray
Taylor

Judge: DROWOTA

First Paragraph:

The sole issue in this appeal is whether Article I, Section 16 of the
Tennessee Constitution or the Eighth Amendment of the United States
Constitution is violated by Tenn. Code Ann. S 55-50- 504(a)(2), a
statute which provides a minimum fine, for second offense driving on a
revoked license, but which fails to provide a maximum fine for the
offense.  We conclude that the statute is not facially
unconstitutional under either the state or the federal constitution. 
However, fines imposed in specific cases under such statutes are
subject to being challenged as excessive.  When such a challenge is
made, however, courts should first apply the principles of the
Criminal Sentencing Reform Act to determine whether the fine is
excessive before analyzing the constitutional validity of the fine. 
We conclude that the $27,500 fine imposed by the jury in this case is
excessive under the principles of the Criminal Sentencing Reform Act. 
Accordingly, we modify the fine to the statutory minimum of $3,000. 
As modified, this fine does not contravene the state and federal
constitutional provisions prohibiting excessive fines.  Accordingly,
we reverse that part of the judgment of the Court of Criminal Appeals
holding Tenn. Code Ann. S 55-50-504(a)(2) unconstitutional.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC/tayloralvinray.wpd

BELLSOUTH ADVERTISING AND PUBLISHING COMPANY v. RUTH JOHNSON,
COMMISSIONER OF REVENUE, STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court:TCA

Attorneys:

James W. McBride, Washington, D.C. and Brigid M. Carpenter, Nashville,
Tennessee, for the appellant, BellSouth Advertising and Publishing
Company.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore,
Solicitor General; and Russell S. Baldwin, Assistant Attorney General,
for the appellee, Ruth Johnson, Commissioner of Revenue, the State of
Tennessee.                        

Judge: CANTRELL

First Paragraph:

The State Commissioner of Revenue imposed a use tax on the cost price
of telephone directories produced in Alabama and distributed in
Tennessee by BellSouth Advertising and Publishing Company ("BAPCO"). 
BAPCO claimed a credit for sales taxes it paid in Alabama when it
purchased the photocompositions used to print the directories.  The
Chancery Court of Davidson County granted summary judgment to the
Commissioner.  We affirm the lower court's decision because BAPCO did
not show that it was entitled to the credit and the Tennessee use tax
in this case does not violate the Commerce Clause of the United States
Constitution.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/bapco.wpd

BARBARA K. COCHRAN v. JACKIE D. COCHRAN, et al.

Court:TCA

Attorneys: 

Clinton R. Anderson, Morristown, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Barbara
K. Cochran

James R. Scroggins, Jefferson City, Tennessee, for the Appellee,
Jackie D. Cochran

O. D. Bridges, Jefferson City, Tennessee, for the Appellees, Thomas M.
Crawford and wife Mary Ruth Crawford                         

Judge: GODDARD

First Paragraph:

This is a suit wherein the Plaintiff, Barbara K. Cochran, sues her
former husband, Jackie D. Cochran, seeking specific performance of her
claimed right of first refusal to purchase certain real estate. 
Thomas M. Crawford and his wife, who had purchased the property from
Mr. Cochran, were also made parties Defendant.  The Trial Court found
that Mr. Cochran had met his obligation to give Ms. Cochran the right
to purchase the property in accordance with her right of first refusal
and that she had declined to accept the offer.  We affirm.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/cochranbar.wpd

POLK COUNTY, TENNESSEE v. GLENDA B. ROGERS, d/b/a OCOEE RIVER RATS

Court:TCA

Attorneys:

Joe Gene Bagwell, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Glenda B.
Rogers, d/b/a Ocoee River Rats

Denny Ernest Mobbs, Cleveland, Tennessee, for the Appellee, Polk
County, Tennessee                       

Judge: GODDARD

First Paragraph:

In this appeal from the Polk County Chancery Court the Appellant ,
Glenda B. Rogers, d/b/a Ocoee River Rats, contends that evidence
presented at trial showed that the classification of whitewater
rafting businesses and their customers under a private act applicable
to the Appellee, Polk County, assessing a privilege tax on guided
rafting ticket sales by such businesses in Polk County is without
reasonable basis and that the Trial Court's finding to the contrary
was in error.  We affirm the judgment of the Trial Court and we
adjudge costs of the appeal against the Appellant.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/polkcnty.wpd

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. ROSS BURGER

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:

Charles M. Corn, District Public Defender, and A. Wayne Carter,
Assistant Public Defender, for the appellant, Ross Burger.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; P. Robin Dixon, Jr.,
Assistant Attorney General; Jerry N. Estes, District Attorney General;
and Shari Lynn Tayloe, Assistant District Attorney General, for the
appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WILLIAMS

First Paragraph:

Defendant appeals the trial court's denial of placement in the
Community Corrections Program.  Denial of placement in Community
Corrections Program for untruthfulness and failure to report to begin
sentence of incarceration was not abuse of discretion.  We affirm.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/burgerr.wpd

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