Opinion FlashOctober 30, 2002
Volume 8 Number 192
Following this index are summaries of each case, including its name, first paragraph, author's name, and the names of attorneys for the parties of each opinion.This Issue (IN THIS ORDER):
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Howard H. Vogel
TAMMY BOWMAN v. FLEETWOOD HOMES OF TENNESSEE INC., et al. Court:TSC - Workers Comp Panel Attorneys: John R. Lewis, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellants, Fleetwood Homes of Tennessee Inc., and Kemper Insurance Companies. B. Keith Williams, Lebanon, Tennessee, for the appellee, Tammy Bowman. Judge: WEATHERFORD First Paragraph: This workers' compensation appeal has been referred to the Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel of the Supreme Court in accordance with Tennessee Code Annotated S 50-6- 225(e)(3) for hearing and reporting to the Supreme Court of findings of facts and conclusions of law. The employer appeals the judgment of the trial court awarding the employee 5% permanent partial disability for a right shoulder injury, even though the parties had stipulated prior to trial that this injury was not at issue. The employer further appeals the trial court's ruling combining a 20% vocational disability rating to the arm, which is a scheduled member, with the 5% anatomical impairment rating for the shoulder, which is to the body as a whole, then multiplying both by the 2.5 maximum pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated S 50-6-241(a)(1). We hold that the trial court erred in awarding permanent partial disability for the right shoulder because both parties had stipulated that it was not at issue and because no expert testimony supported a finding of permanency. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the trial court awarding workers' compensation benefits based upon an injury to the employee's shoulder. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC_WCP/bowmantammy.wpd
EXPRESS PERSONNEL SERVICES, INC. v. DONNA M. BELCHER Court:TSC - Workers Comp Panel Attorneys: Fred C. Statum, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Express Personnel Services, Inc. Andrew J. Blackwell, III, Madison, Tennessee, for the appellee, Donna M. Belcher Judge: LOSER First Paragraph: This workers' compensation appeal has been referred to the Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel in accordance with Tenn. Code Ann. S 50-6-225(e)(3) for hearing and reporting of findings of fact and conclusions of law. In this appeal, the employer contends that the trial court improperly considered the claimant's criminal record, her responsibility for five children, her lack of reliable transportation, and her financial need in determining the claimant's vocational disability rating. As discussed below, the panel has concluded that the judgment of the trial court should be affirmed. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC_WCP/expresspersonnel.wpd
ROBERT HALL v. DONAL CAMPBELL, JAMES A. DUKES, and LISA A. REYNOLDS Court:TCA Attorneys: Robert Hall, Nashville, Tennessee, appellant, pro se. Arthur Crownover II, Nashville, for appellees, Donal Campbell, James A. Dukes, and Lisa A. Reynolds. Judge: LILLARD First Paragraph: This is a writ of certiorari case brought by a prisoner. The plaintiff, an inmate of the Tennessee Department of Correction, was found guilty by the prison disciplinary board of committing the offense of Conspiracy to Violate State Law. He was sentenced to punitive segregation, and thereafter placed in administrative segregation. The plaintiff prisoner petitioned for a writ of certiorari. The trial court granted the defendants' motion to dismiss, finding that the facts failed to show that the disciplinary board exceeded its jurisdiction, or acted illegally, arbitrarily, or fraudulently. We affirm. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/hallr.wpd
JOHN J. HOOKER, v. PHIL BREDESEN Court:TCA Attorneys: John Jay Hooker, Nashville, Tennessee, pro se. Robert E. Cooper and J. Brandon Miller, Nashville, Tennessee, for Appellee. Judge: FRANKS First Paragraph: Plaintiff accused defendant of violating Tennessee Constitution, Article X, S3, at a political fund- raiser event by serving attendees food and drink. The Trial Judge dismissed the complaint for failure to state a cause of action. On appeal, we affirm. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/hookerjj.wpd
DONALD FRANKLIN KING v. BETTY JUNE KING Court:TCA Attorneys: Carthel L. Smith, Lexington, Tennessee, for appellant, Donald Franklin King James F. Butler and J. Brandon McWherter, Jackson, Tennessee, for appellee, Betty June King. Judge: LILLARD First Paragraph: This is an alimony case. The parties were married for twenty-nine years. The wife is disabled and unable to work. Upon divorce, the husband was ordered to pay alimony in futuro until the wife reaches sixty-two years of age. On appeal, the husband argues that the trial court improperly assessed the wife's living expenses, and that the husband will not be able to afford the necessities of life if he is required to fulfill his alimony obligation. We affirm, finding that the trial court did not abuse its discretion. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/kingdf.wpd
CAROLYN JOY MORRISON v. CHARLES ROY MORRISON Court:TCA Attorneys: Bradley J. Cordts, Memphis, Tennessee, for appellant Carolyn Joy Morrison. Linda F. Teems, Memphis, Tennessee, for appellee Charles Roy Morrison Judge: LILLARD First Paragraph: This case involves the finality of a divorce decree. The parties were married in 1971 and divorced in 2001. Under the divorce, the parties received, as separate property, their respective "bank, retirement and investment accounts" listed in each spouse's name. The wife now asserts that the husband's military pension was not provided for in the divorce decree, that the divorce decree is therefore not final, and that the trial court should equitably divide the funds the husband receives from his military pension. The trial court found that the pension was part of the "retirement" funds allocated as separate property. On this basis, it denied the wife's Rule 59 motion to alter, amend, or vacate the judgment. The wife appeals. We affirm, finding that the parties' final divorce decree contemplated that the parties would retain their respective retirement benefits, including the military pension. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/morrisonc.wpd
IN THE MATTER OF THE ESTATE OF JAMES T. SANDERSON, DECEASED Court:TCA Attorneys: Charles M. Cary, Bolivar, Tennessee, for the appellant, Shirley Diane Sanderson. William C. Bell, Jr., Jackson, Tennessee, for the appellee, Joe B. Cole, Administrator. Judge: FARMER First Paragraph: This case concerns the administration of an estate. The decedent's widow appeals the trial court's judgment claiming that it was error to deny her claim for an elective share of the estate. Appellant also alleges error in the finding that the administrator had not caused the estate to suffer monetary loss as a result of actions taken by him in his role as administrator. We affirm. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/sandersn.wpd
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. RONALD DOTSON Court:TCCA Attorneys: A C Wharton, Jr., District Public Defender; W. Mark Ward and Russell White, Assistant Public Defenders, for the appellant, Ronald Dotson. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Braden H. Boucek, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and Jennifer S. Nichols, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee. Judge: WILLIAMS First Paragraph: The defendant appeals his sentence of life imprisonment without parole as a repeat violent offender because he was not tried within 180 days of arraignment. Because the defendant did not prove that he suffered prejudice from the delay in bringing his case to trial, we affirm the decision of the trial court. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/dotsonr1.wpd
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. DIANNA HELTON HORD Court:TCCA Attorneys: George H. Waters, Assistant Public Defender, Maryville, Tennessee, and Julie A. Rice, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Dianna Helton Hord. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Elizabeth G. Marney, Assistant Attorney General; Mike Flynn, District Attorney General; and William Reed, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee. Judge: WELLES First Paragraph: The Defendant, Dianna Helton Hord, pled guilty to driving under the influence and driving on a revoked license. As part of her plea agreement, she expressly reserved with the consent of the trial court and the State the right to appeal a certified question of law pursuant to Tennessee Rule of Criminal Procedure 37(b)(2)(i). The certified question of law stems from the trial court's denial of the Defendant's motion to suppress. We affirm the judgment of the trial court. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/horddh.wpd
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. TONI YVONNE HUNT Court:TCCA Attorneys: Jeff Mueller, Jackson, Tennessee (at trial), and Marcus M. Reaves, Denmark, Tennessee (on appeal), for the appellant, Toni Yvonne Hunt. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; John H. Bledsoe, Assistant Attorney General; James G. (Jerry) Woodall, District Attorney General; and Shaun H. Brown, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee. Judge: WILLIAMS First Paragraph: The defendant appeals her sentence of confinement after pleading guilty to theft under $500.00, a Class A misdemeanor, in violation of Tennessee Code Annotated section 39-14-103. The trial court sentenced the defendant to 11 months, 29 days at 75% release eligibility, with 150 days of shock incarceration. The defendant argues that the trial court erred in not granting her full probation. However, the defendant did not meet her burden necessary to prove the impropriety of her sentence. Our supreme court acknowledges that trial courts have more flexibility in misdemeanor sentencing than in felony sentencing. Given the defendant's prior criminal history and the flexibility granted to trial courts in misdemeanor sentencing, the judgment of the trial court is affirmed. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/huntty.wpd
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JAMES M. POWERS (Corrected opinion) Court:TCCA Attorneys: Charles Herman, Assistant Public Defender, Jacksboro, Tennessee, and Steve McEwen, Mountain City, Tennessee, for the appellant, James M. Powers. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Thomas E. Williams, III, Assistant Attorney General; William Paul Phillips, District Attorney General; and Michael O. Ripley, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee. Judge: WELLES First Paragraph: The Defendant, James M. Powers, appeals as of right from his convictions by a jury of four counts of rape of a child, a Class A felony. After a sentencing hearing, the trial court imposed a sentence of twenty years on each of the four counts and ordered that three of the sentences run consecutively, for an effective sentence of sixty years to be served in the Tennessee Department of Correction. The Defendant argues two issues on appeal: (1) that the evidence presented at trial was insufficient to support his four convictions of child rape, and (2) that the trial court erred by imposing consecutive sentences. We affirm the Defendant's convictions. We reverse the trial court's order that the sentences be served consecutively and remand for the entry of an order reflecting concurrent sentences. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/powersjmcx.wpd
ANTONIO YOUNG v. STATE OF TENNESSEE Court:TCCA Attorneys: Keith A. Black, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Antonio Young. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Christine M. Lapps, Assistant Attorney General; William H. Cox, III, District Attorney General; and Rodney C. Strong, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee. Judge: WITT First Paragraph: Antonio Young appeals the Hamilton County Criminal Court's denial of his petition for post- conviction relief. The lower court found his allegations of ineffective assistance of counsel unsupported by the evidence and denied relief. Because we are unpersuaded of error, we affirm. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/youngantonio.wpd
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