March 17, 2003
Volume 9 Number 046
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):
||New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Supreme Court
||New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Supreme Court Workers' Compensation Panel
||New Document(s) or Proposed Rule(s) from the Tennessee Supreme Court
||New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Court of Appeals
||New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals
||New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Attorney General (PDF format)
||New Judicial Ethics Opinion(s)
||New Formal Ethics Opinion(s) from the Board of Professional Responsibility
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Howard H. Vogel
SUPREME COURT OF TENNESSEE SUPREME COURT DISCRETIONARY APPEALS
Court:TSC - Rules
PERRY MARCH v. LAWRENCE LEVINE, et al.
John E. Herbison, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Perry
C.J. Gideon, Jr. and Margaret J. Moore, Nashville, Tennessee, for the
appellees, Lawrence Levine and Carolyn Levine, as Next Friends of
Janet Levine March, as Next Friends of Samson March and Tzipora March;
Children Janet Levine March, and in their Individual Capacities.
This matter is a dispute between Absentee Janet March's parents,
Lawrence and Carolyn Levine, and her husband, Perry March. The case
began as an in rem battle over the Absentee's property after Perry
March opened an absentee estate following Janet's disappearance.
However, the Levines, thirty-one months after the absentee estate was
opened, asked to amend the proceedings and add a claim for wrongful
death against Perry March. The court allowed the amendment. Perry
March incurred citations for civil contempt of court, and the Levines
were eventually granted a default judgment as a result of his
contempt. A judgment for $113,500,000.00 in damages was entered
against him. Perry March appealed. We find that the trial court
abused its discretion in allowing the wrongful death action, and we
reverse the trial court. The default judgment for wrongful death and
the award for damages against Perry March are reversed.
PERRY MARCH v. LAWRENCE LEVINE, et al.
PRAVIN PATEL, et ux. v. DOUGLAS A. BAYLIFF, et al.
Tim Edwards and R. Douglas Hanson, Memphis, Tennessee, for the
appellants, Pravin and Mita Patel.
Arnold Goldin, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellees, Douglas A.
Bayliff and Tommie W. Bayliff.
Evan Nahmias, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellee, Germantown Pest
This is an appeal from a grant of summary judgment. The underlying
case concerned the sale of a home to the Appellants that, subsequent
to the closing, evidenced termite damage. Appellant buyers claim that
the Appellee sellers are responsible for this damage under various
theories of recovery, all of which were dismissed by the trial court.
Appellants further assert that the Appellee termite company is
responsible for the damages because they failed to disclose on the
termite inspection report that the home had been repeatedly treated
for termites by that same company. We affirm in part, reverse in
part, and remand.
FELICIA DENISE WEBB v. ERNEST BERNETT GILLESPIE
William T. Winchester, Webb A. Brewer, Memphis, TN, for Appellant
Rev. Ernest Gillespie, III, pro se
This is a child support case. Father is the pastor of a church.
Mother contends that Father uses a church bank account for his
personal use. Mother argues that the funds in this account minus
legitimate church expenses should be imputed to Father as income for
purposes of calculating child support. The trial court found that it
could not determine Father's income and, following the Child Support
Guidelines, imputed $25,761.00 to him as income. We affirm.
FELICIA DENISE WEBB v. ERNEST BERNETT GILLESPIE
KIRBY LILLARD DISSENTING
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JASON R. GARNER
Michael E. Scholl, Memphis, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Jason R.
Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Michael Moore,
Solicitor General; P. Robin Dixon, Jr., Assistant Attorney General;
William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and Paul Goodman,
Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of
The Appellant, Jason R. Garner, appeals his conviction by a Shelby
County jury of second degree murder and especially aggravated robbery.
The convictions arose from Garner's involvement in the robbery and
shooting of Charles Bledsoe. Garner received consecutive sentences of
twenty years for second degree murder and twenty years for especially
aggravated robbery. On appeal, Garner argues that: (1) the evidence
was insufficient to sustain his convictions; (2) the convictions are
"irreconcilable;" (3) the trial court erred by allowing the State to
file untimely notice of sentence enhancements; (4) the trial court
erred by failing to submit an instruction with regard to accomplice
testimony to the jury; and (5) his sentences were excessive and the
imposition of consecutive sentences was error. After review, we find
these issues without merit. Accordingly, the judgment of the trial
court is affirmed.
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. ERIC GENE ISLAND
James T. Powell, Union City, Tennessee (on appeal); Joseph P. Atnip,
District Public Defender; and William K. Randolph, Assistant District
Public Defender (at trial), for the appellant, Eric Gene Island.
Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; P. Robin Dixon, Jr.,
Assistant Attorney General; Thomas A. Thomas, District Attorney
General; and Kevin David McAlpin, Assistant District Attorney General,
for the appellee, State of Tennessee.
An Obion County jury convicted the defendant, Eric Gene Island, of
attempt to commit robbery and conspiracy to commit robbery. The trial
court sentenced him to concurrent sentences of four years for each
conviction. On direct appeal, the defendant contends: (1) trial
counsel was ineffective in failing to investigate the case and secure
witnesses; and (2) he was denied his right to testify at trial. Upon
reviewing the record, we conclude the failure to conduct a Momon
hearing to determine whether the defendant personally waived his right
to testify was plain error. Therefore, we remand the case to the
trial court for a full hearing on the issue.
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. DWAYNE NELVIS SLOCUM
Clifford K. McGown, Jr., Waverly, Tennessee (on appeal); and Gary F.
Antrican, District Public Defender, and Shana McCoy-Johnson, Assistant
Public Defender (at trial and on appeal), for the appellant, Dwayne
Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; J. Ross Dyer,
Assistant Attorney General; and Elizabeth T. Rice, District Attorney
General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.
The defendant appeals his effective ten-year community corrections
sentence with a requirement of 160 days of jail time after pleading
guilty to violating a habitual motor vehicle offender order, driving
under the influence - 4th offense, and resisting arrest. The
defendant filed no transcripts of the guilty plea submission hearing
or sentencing hearing. These hearings are essential for appellate
review. Therefore, we must presume that the trial court is correct.
We affirm the judgments of the trial court.
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. RAYMOND NICHOLUS WALLACE
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