Opinion Flash

April 16, 2003
Volume 9 — Number 068

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):
01 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
00 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Court of Appeals
02 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


RICKY HARRIS v.  STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court:TSC

Attorneys: 

Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General, and Mark A. Fulks, Assistant
Attorney General, for the appellant, State of Tennessee.

Kenneth F. Irvine, Jr. and Robert R. Kurtz, Knoxville, Tennessee, for
the appellee, Ricky Harris.

Judge: DROWOTA

First Paragraph:

In this appeal, the dispositive issues are whether a claim that the
prosecution failed to disclose exculpatory evidence in violation of
Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963), is a cognizable basis for
reopening a post-conviction petition under Tennessee Code Annotated
section 40-30-217(a) and whether the Court of Criminal Appeals erred
in sua sponte treating the petitioner's motion as a petition for writ
of error coram nobis based upon newly discovered evidence.  The trial
court denied the petitioner's motion to reopen on the basis that it
did not state a cognizable ground for reopening a post-conviction suit
under Tennessee Code Annotated section 40-30-217(a).  The Court of
Criminal Appeals agreed that the motion did not state grounds for
reopening under the post- conviction statute, but the intermediate
court sua sponte treated the motion as a petition for writ of error
coram nobis and concluded that due process precluded application of
the one-year statute of limitations to bar the petition.  The Court of
Criminal Appeals therefore remanded the case to the trial court to
consider the merits of the coram nobis claim.  From this decision, the
State filed an application for permission to appeal, primarily arguing
that the Court of Criminal Appeals erred in sua sponte treating the
motion to reopen as a petition for writ of error coram nobis.  We
granted the State's application for permission to appeal, and for the
reasons herein stated,  this Court concludes that the lower courts
correctly held that the motion does not state grounds for reopening
under the post-conviction statute but that the Court of Criminal
Appeals erred in sua sponte treating the motion to reopen as a
petition for writ of error coram nobis.  The judgment of the Court of
Criminal Appeals therefore is reversed, and the judgment of the trial
court dismissing the motion is reinstated.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC/harrisr_opn.wpd
								
RICKY HARRIS v. STATE OF TENNESSEE Court:TSC JANICE HOLDER CONCURRING http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC/harrisr_con.wpd
RICKY HARRIS v. STATE OF TENNESSEE Court:TSC RILEY ANDERSON AND ADOLPHO BIRCH CONCURRING AND DISSENTING http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC/harrisr_conanddis.wpd
HUGH PETER BONDURANT v. STATE OF TENNESSEE Court:TCCA Attorneys: M. Wallace Coleman, Jr., Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, for the appellant, Hugh Peter Bondurant. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Renee W. Turner, Assistant Attorney General; Mike Bottoms, District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee. Judge: WEDEMEYER First Paragraph: The Appellant was convicted in 1991 of second degree murder, and his conviction was affirmed on direct appeal. He subsequently filed a "PETITION FOR RELIEF FROM CONVICTION OR SENTENCE PURSUANT TO TENNESSEE CODE ANNOTATED 40-30-301 THROUGH 40-30- 312," and the trial court summarily dismissed the petition relying upon the Post-Conviction Procedure Act. The Appellant now appeals the summary dismissal of his opinion. Our review of the complete petition filed by the Appellant reveals that, despite the statutory sections inappropriately cited in its title, the Appellant sought relief under the Post-Conviction DNA Analysis Act. We therefore reverse the judgment of the trial court and remand to the trial court for findings of fact pursuant to the Post-Conviction DNA Analysis Act. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/bonduranthp.wpd
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. TONYA M. JENNINGS Court:TCCA Attorneys: Jay Steed and Jeffrey A. DeVasher (on appeal) and Laura C. Dykes (at trial), Assistant Public Defenders, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Tonya M. Jennings. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Christine M. Lapps, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney General; Pam Anderson and Gigi Braun, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee. Judge: WEDEMEYER First Paragraph: A trial court found the Defendant not guilty by reason of insanity of the offense of stalking. Following judicial hospitalization in the Middle Tennessee Mental Health Institute, the Defendant filed a motion requesting the trial court to expunge all public records pertaining to the stalking offense. The trial court denied the Defendant's request. The Defendant now appeals, arguing that the trial court erred by denying the Defendant's request to expunge her records. Finding no reversible error, we affirm the judgment of the trial court. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/jenningstm.wpd

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