May 2, 2003
Volume 9 Number 080
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
LINDA J. CORUM v. HOLSTON HEALTH & REHABILITATION CENTER, et al.
John B. Dupree, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Holston
Health & Rehabilitation Center.
John P. Dreiser and J. Anthony Farmer, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the
appellee, Linda J. Corum.
Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore,
Solicitor General; and E. Blaine Sprouse, Assistant Attorney General,
Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, James W. Farmer, Director,
Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce, Workers' Compensation
Division, Second Injury Fund, State of Tennessee.
We granted the employer's motion for full court review in this case in
order to decide whether the failure to file the statistical data
("SD1") form contemporaneously with the order of final judgment, as
required by Tennessee Code Annotated section 50-6-244(b) (1999),
affects the finality of that judgment. After a thorough review of the
record and careful consideration of relevant authorities, we have
determined that the failure to file the SD1 form contemporaneously
with the order of final judgment does not affect the finality of the
judgment. Accordingly, we agree with the Special Workers'
Compensation Appeals Panel in its dismissal of the appeal as untimely
because as it was not filed within the time prescribed by Rule 4 of
the Tennessee Rules of Appellate Procedure.
DEE ANN CURTIS GALLAHER v. CURTIS J. ELAM
Wayne Decatur Wykoff and Judith A. DePrisco, Knoxville, Tennessee, for
the Petitioner-Appellant, Dee Ann Curtis Gallaher.
L. Caesar Stair III and Margo J. Maxwell, Knoxville, Tennessee, for
the Respondent-Appellee, Curtis J. Elam.
Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore,
Solicitor General; and Stuart F. Wilson-Patton, Assistant Attorney
General, Nashville, Tennessee, for the Intervenor, State of Tennessee.
In this appeal, the appellant challenges the constitutionality of the
Tennessee Department of Human Services Child Support Guidelines ("the
Guidelines"). The Court of Appeals upheld the trial court's
determination that chapter 1240-2-4-.03(4) of the Guidelines violates
the equal protection provisions of the federal and state
constitutions. We granted permission to appeal. After careful
consideration, we conclude that: (1) chapter 1240-2-4-.03(4) of the
Guidelines, which prohibits consideration of non-court-ordered child
support in calculating child support, and chapter 1240-2-4-.03(2) of
the Guidelines, which requires consideration only of the obligor's
income in calculating child support, do not violate the equal
protection and due process provisions of either the United States or
Tennessee Constitutions; and (2) the promulgation of the Guidelines
does not constitute an impermissible delegation of rulemaking
authority by the General Assembly to the Department of Human Services.
We reverse the judgment of the Court of Appeals and remand the cause
for proceedings consistent with this opinion.
RODNEY R. HARDIN v. ROYAL & SUNALLIANCE INSURANCE
Christopher J. Oldham, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Rodney
J. Timothy Bobo and Judith A. DePrisco, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the
appellee, Royal & Sunalliance Insurance.
We granted the plaintiff's motion for review as provided by Tennessee
Code Annotated section 50-6- 225(e) (1999 & Supp. 2002) to determine
whether a trial court may reconsider an award pursuant to Tennessee
Code Annotated section 50-6-241(a)(2) (1999) when an employee resigns
and, if so, under what circumstances may the prior award be increased.
After receiving a workers' compensation award and returning to his
pre-injury employment, Rodney R. Hardin voluntarily resigned.
Thereafter, he filed a motion requesting that the trial court
reconsider his award. The trial court granted this motion and
increased the plaintiff's award by 15%. The Special Workers'
Compensation Appeals Panel held that, while a trial court may
reconsider a previous workers' compensation award when the employee
resigns, it may increase the award only if the resignation was
reasonably related to the injury. The Panel found that Hardin's
resignation was not reasonably related to his injury and, therefore,
reversed the trial court's increase of the award. We agree with the
Panel's reasoning and its conclusion.
LINDSAY TAYLOR, Et Al. v. AL BEARD, Et Al.
TERESA L. CRISP v. LIBERTY MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY
Court:TSC - Workers Comp Panel
Michael A. Walker, Jamestown, Tennessee, for the appellant, Teresa L.
Joe M. Looney, Crossville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Liberty Mutual
This workers' compensation appeal has been referred to the Special
Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel of the Supreme Court in accordance
with Tenn. Code Ann. S 50-6-225(e)(3) for hearing and reporting to the
Supreme Court of findings of fact and conclusions of law. In this
appeal, the employee insists the trial court erred in summarily
dismissing her claim for insufficient evidence of a connection between
the employment and the State of Tennessee. As discussed below, the
panel has concluded there is no genuine issue of material fact and
that the employee's insurer is entitled to judgment as a matter of
ALICE KAYE BEASON v. C.A. BEASON
J. Mikel Dixon, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the Appellant Alice Kaye
Brent R. Watson and Suzanne N. Price, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the
Appellee C.A. Beason.
These appeals involve an equitable distribution of the Tier II
railroad retirement benefits of C.A. Beason ("Husband"). When Alice
Beason ("Wife") and Husband were divorced the first time in 1989, Wife
admittedly made no claim for any of Husband's Tier II benefits and was
awarded none. The parties then remarried in 1992 and were divorced
for the second time in 1996. A Qualified Domestic Relations Order
("QDRO") eventually was entered in the second divorce which awarded
Wife 100% of Husband's Tier II benefits. After Husband became
disabled, Wife began receiving all of his Tier II benefits which had
accumulated during Husband's 31 years of employment with the railroad.
Husband claims he then realized for the first time the true effect of
the QDRO and filed a Tenn. R. Civ. P. 60.02(5) motion seeking relief
from the judgment. Husband's Rule 60.02(5) motion was granted and the
Trial Court entered a new QDRO awarding Wife only 100% of the Tier II
benefits which had accrued during the second marriage. Wife then
sought relief by Rule 60.02(5) from the judgment entered in the first
divorce in 1989, asking that Trial Court to award her an equitable
distribution of the Tier II benefits which had accrued during the
first marriage. Wife's motion was denied. Wife appeals both
decisions. On appeal, we affirm the Trial Court's decision to grant
Husband relief from the judgment in the second divorce, and we also
affirm the Trial Court's refusal to grant Wife relief from the
judgment in the first divorce.
RONNIE BROWN, et al. v. STATE OF TENNESSEE, et al.
Andy L. Allman, Hendersonville, Tennessee, for the appellants, Joanne
Johnson, Ronnie Brown and Tonya Bailey.
Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Michael E. Moore,
Solicitor General, and Sarah T. Chambers, for the appellee, State of
Claimants appeal the action of the Tennessee Claims Commission in
dismissing their claims based upon the expiration of the statute of
limitations. We affirm the action of the Claims Commission.
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. CHARLES NATHAN WADDLE
Douglas L. Payne, Greeneville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Charles
Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Thomas E. Williams,
III, Assistant Attorney General; C. Berkeley Bell, Jr., District
Attorney General; and Cecil C. Mills, Jr., Assistant District Attorney
General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.
A Greene County jury convicted the Defendant of aggravated burglary
and theft of property. The trial court imposed an effective sentence
of six years to be served in the Tennessee Department of Correction.
On appeal, the Defendant challenges the sufficiency of the convicting
evidence and the appropriateness of the sentences imposed. He also
argues that the trial court should have declared a mistrial when
evidence of other crimes by the Defendant was introduced at trial.
Because we conclude that the evidence is sufficient, the sentences are
appropriate, and a mistrial was not required, we affirm the
Prohibiting an Attorney from Appearing in Court
Date: April 30, 2003
Opinion Number: 03-053
Constitutionality of proposed legislation granting judges the
authority to order a cash deposit bond in certain cases.
Date: April 30, 2003
Opinion Number: 03-054
Limitations on Contributions by Major Lottery Contractors
Date: April 30, 2003
Opinion Number: 03-055
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