Opinion Flash

January 28, 2003
Volume 9 — Number 015

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):
00 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
05 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Court of Appeals
03 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




Thomas J. Drake, Jr., Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Buffy

Jerry Gonzales, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Louis Brooks.

Judge: CAIN

First Paragraph:

This matter involves a fraudulent transfer of real property and
violation of Tennessee's Consumer Protection Act occurring as a result
of Plaintiff's attempt to obtain a loan using his real property as
collateral.  In return for a loan of $4000.00, Plaintiff quit claimed
his home as collateral and gave Defendant Creech physical possession
of the promissory note in exchange for the loan.  Defendant Stigall,
who had office space in the same office, was listed as trustee of the
property and payee on the promissory note.  She then represented
herself to First American Bank as owner of the property and wife of
Defendant Creech, obtaining a loan for $42,000.00 and offering
Plaintiff's property as collateral.  The trial court found that
Defendants Stigall and Creech were involved in a conspiracy and that
they violated the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act and defrauded
Plaintiff and First American Bank (now AmSouth Bank).  The court
reformed the Quitclaim Deed into a Deed of Trust, giving the bank a
subrogation in the $4000.00 owed to Defendant Stigall.  Only Defendant
Stigall appeals.  We affirm the trial court's decision in its

WENDY DIANE LAYNE (NOW HASTINGS) v. MARK ANTHONY LAYNE Court:TCA Attorneys: H. Graham Swafford, Jr., Jasper, Tennessee, for the appellant, Wendy Diane Layne (now Hastings). Judge: CANTRELL First Paragraph: The divorced parents of a fourteen-year-old girl asked the trial court to sign an agreed order to enable her to live with her grandmother so she could attend school in Hamilton County. The trial judge refused to sign the order. While the decision to sign or not to sign such an order is within the sound discretion of the trial court, the court in this case erroneously believed that it lacked jurisdiction over the matter because the parties had not shown a change of circumstances since the prior decree. We find that the proof does show a change of circumstances and that the best interests of the child require the entry of the proposed order. Therefore we reverse. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/laynewd.wpd
JABARI ISSA MANDELA v. DONAL CAMPBELL, et al. Court:TCA Attorneys: Jabari Issa Mandela, Henning, Tennessee, Pro Se. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; and Dawn Jordan, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee. Judge: CANTRELL First Paragraph: After a federal court barred an inmate legal helper from submitting further filings, the warden removed the legal helper from his job. The prisoner filed a Petition for Declaratory Judgment against the Warden and the Commissioner of Correction in an attempt to have his job restored. The trial court dismissed the petition for failure to name a proper party and failure to state a claim for which relief can be granted. We affirm the trial court. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/mandelajl.wpd
MICHAEL D. MATTHEWS v. NATASHA STORY, et al. Court:TCA Attorneys: Phillip L. Boyd, Rogersville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Michael D. Matthews. Patrick Ledford and Tausha M. Carmack, Kingsport, Tennessee, for the appellees, Natasha Story and Tammy Y. Morelock. Judge: SUSANO First Paragraph: This case arises out of an automobile accident in which the plaintiff, Michael D. Matthews, was injured. The plaintiff sued Tammy Y. Morelock ("Morelock"), alleging that Morelock was a passenger in the vehicle the plaintiff was driving and that Morelock's negligence had caused his injuries. When the plaintiff later learned that Natasha Story ("Story") was the passenger in the vehicle and not Morelock, the plaintiff attempted to amend his complaint to add Story as a defendant. The trial court dismissed the plaintiff's claim against Story, holding the statute of limitations barred such an amendment. The trial court also granted Morelock's motion for summary judgment, finding the family purpose doctrine inapplicable. We affirm. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/matthewsmd.wpd
TYRONE STERLING v. LOLITA R. (STERLING) WILLIAMS Court:TCA Attorneys: Roland Robert Lenard, Clarksville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Lolita R. (Sterling) Williams. Sheri S. Phillips, Clarksville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Tyrone Sterling. Judge: CANTRELL First Paragraph: The Chancery Court of Montgomery County awarded Tyrone Sterling a divorce from Lolita R. Sterling and custody of the parties' minor child. Ms. Sterling asserts on appeal that the division of the marital property violated the automatic stay issued in her bankruptcy proceeding, and that the court erred in granting Mr. Sterling the divorce and custody of the child. We affirm the judgment of the trial court. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/sterlingt.wpd
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JIMMY RAY CURETON Court:TCCA Attorneys: Kenneth F. Irvine, Jr., Knoxville, Tennessee, for appellant, Jimmy Ray Cureton. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Kathy D. Aslinger, Assistant Attorney General; Randall E. Nichols, District Attorney General; and Robert L. Jolley, Jr., Assistant District Attorney General, for appellee, State of Tennessee. Judge: SMITH First Paragraph: The trial jury convicted the defendant, Jimmy Ray Cureton, of felony murder and attempted especially aggravated robbery. However, the trial court amended the defendant's attempted especially aggravated robbery conviction to attempted aggravated robbery based on the wording of the defendant's indictment. This Court subsequently reversed the trial court, finding that the indictment language was sufficient to allege attempted especially aggravated robbery. See State v. Cureton, 38 S.W.3d 64, 83-84 (Tenn. Crim. App. 2000). We remanded the case for re-sentencing, and, upon remand, the trial court sentenced the defendant to serve ten years for his attempted especially aggravated robbery conviction consecutively to his life sentence for the felony murder conviction. The defendant now brings this direct appeal contending that his sentence is both (1) excessive and (2) improper because his indictment alleges that he merely committed attempted aggravated robbery. After reviewing the procedural history of this case and the record of the sentencing hearing, we find that neither of the defendant's allegations merits relief. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/curetonjimmy.wpd
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JOSHUA S. GRUBB Court:TCCA Attorneys: Roger A. Miller, Clinton, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Joshua S. Grubb. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Thomas E. Williams, III, Assistant Attorney General; James N. Ramsey, District Attorney General; and Jan Hicks, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee. Judge: WITT First Paragraph: Joshua S. Grubb appeals from the Anderson County Criminal Court's imposition of incarcerative sentencing for his three aggravated burglary and three theft convictions. Contending that the lower court erroneously denied him probation, he asks us to reverse the sentencing orders entered below. We are, however, unpersuaded of the defendant's worthiness for probationary sentences and, therefore, affirm the lower court's judgments. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/grubbjs.wpd
DAVID ANDREW NICHOLSON, JR. v. STATE OF TENNESSEE Court:TCCA Attorneys: John D. McDougal, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the Appellant, David Andrew Nicholson, Jr. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Elizabeth B. Marney, Assistant Attorney General; William H. Cox, III, District Attorney General; and Rodney Strong, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee. Judge: WITT First Paragraph: David Andrew Nicholson, Jr., appeals from the Hamilton County Criminal Court's denial of his petition for post-conviction relief. He claims that he was not effectively represented by counsel at his trial and on direct appeal. He also claims that his due process rights were impaired at trial when the court interrupted a defense witness's testimony and played an audio recording of the defendant's statement to the police for the witness. Because the record supports neither allegation, we affirm the lower court's order denying relief. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/nicholsondavid.wpd

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