Opinion Flash

June 25, 2003
Volume 9 — Number 113

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
03 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Court of Appeals
00 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals
07 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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Click the URL at end of each Opinion paragraph below. This option will allow you to download the original document.

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Howard H. Vogel
Knoxville, Tennessee
Editor-in-Chief, TBALink


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. RODNEY M. BUTLER
WITH CONCURRING AND DISSENTING OPINION

Court:TSC

Attorneys: 

Nathan B. Pride,  Jackson, Tennessee, for the appellant, Rodney M.
Butler.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Michael Moore,
Solicitor General; J. Ross Dyer, Assistant Attorney General; Jerry
Woodall, District Attorney General; and Shaun A. Brown, Assistant
District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.                         

Judge: BARKER

First Paragraph:

The defendant, Rodney M. Butler, was convicted in the Criminal Court
for Madison County of: 1) unlawfully driving or being in physical
control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of an intoxicant;
2) unlawfully driving or being in physical control of a motor vehicle
with a blood or breath alcohol concentration of .10% or more; and 3)
driving under the influence, fourth offense.  At the sentencing
hearing, after merging the first two counts into count three, the
trial judge reduced the  $15,000 fine assessed by the jury to $10,000
and sentenced Butler to four years in the Department of Correction as
a Range II offender.  We granted this appeal to determine whether the
evidence was sufficient to support the defendant's convictions and
also to determine whether the defendant was properly sentenced.  After
an examination of the facts and the law pertinent to the issues, we
hold that the evidence was sufficient to support the defendant's
convictions.  Additionally, we hold that the defendant's sentence was
proper.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC/butlerrm_opn.wpd

CONCURRING AND DISSENTING OPINION
http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC/butlerrm_con_dis.wpd

BILLY CULP AND LOIS CULP v. BILLIE GRINDER AND HELEN GRINDER

Court:TCA

Attorneys: 

W. Andrew Yarbrough, Waynesboro, Tennessee, for the appellants, Billy
Culp and Lois Culp.

George Gray, Waynesboro, Tennessee, for the appellees, Billie Grinder
and Helen Grinder.

Judge: COTTRELL

First Paragraph:

The Culps brought suit against their neighbors, the Grinders, for
removal of a septic tank solid line located on their property.  The
Culps argued that the ten foot easement reserved by the subdivision
for "utilities" did not include personal septic tanks.  The trial
court dismissed the suit and found that the septic tank solid line
placement was a type of "utility" and was within the ten foot
easement; further, the court found no damages had been suffered by the
Culps.  We affirm the decision of the trial court.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/culpb.wpd

SYNTHIA M. HOPKINS v. VICTOR L. HOPKINS

Court:TCA

Attorneys: 

Mark A. Rassas and Julia P. North, Clarksville, Tennessee, for the
appellant, Synthia M. Hopkins.

Sharon T. Massey, Clarksville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Victor L.
Hopkins.                         

Judge: CANTRELL

First Paragraph:

The trial court granted the wife an absolute divorce, and fashioned a
parenting plan that gave the husband primary physical custody of their
three children during the school year, with the wife to exercise
primary physical custody during the summer.  The wife argues on appeal
that the trial court's plan gave the husband more custodial time than
he had asked for, and far more than he was entitled to.  She also
argues that the trial court erred in its division of marital property,
by giving the husband the benefit of an offset for a purported loan
from his parents.  We reverse the trial court's custody order, but
affirm its property division.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/hopkinssm.wpd

KATHY MARIE PARKER v. BOBBY LEE PARKER, JR.

Court:TCA

Attorneys:  

Bobby Lee Parker, Jr., Shelbyville, Tennessee, Pro Se.

Michelle M. Benjamin, Winchester, Tennessee, for the appellee, Kathy
Marie Parker.

Judge: CANTRELL

First Paragraph:

The trial court granted the parties a divorce, and awarded them joint
custody of the three children of their marriage, with the mother to
exercise primary custody.  The court's order included a detailed
visitation schedule, which did not mention Mother's Day.  After the
children spent their first post- divorce Mother's Day with the father,
the mother moved the court to be granted Mother's Day visitation.  The
court granted the motion, and assessed attorney fees against the
father.  The father appeals the award of attorney fees.  We affirm the
trial court.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/parkerkm.wpd

"John Doe" Right to a Jury Trial; Waiver

Date: June 16, 2003

Opinion Number: 03-074                         

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/AG/2003/OP74.pdf

Inmate labor benefiting private party

Date: June 18, 2003

Opinion Number: 03-075                         

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/AG/2003/OP75.pdf

West Tennessee Examiner as a "newspaper" and/or "newspaper of general
circulation"

Date: June 20, 2003

Opinion Number: 03-076                          

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/AG/2003/OP76.pdf

Use of Compensatory Time to Attend Meeting

Date: June 20, 2003

Opinion Number: 03-077                         

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/AG/2003/OP77.pdf

Process Servers Appointed under Tenn. Code Ann. S 8-8-108(b) and (c)

Date: June 20, 2003

Opinion Number: 03-078                         

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/AG/2003/OP78.pdf

Per Diem for Fire Fighting Personnel Board Members

Date: June 20, 2003

Opinion Number: 03-079                         

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/AG/2003/OP79.pdf

Apportioning TVA Revenue Funds Between County and Special School
District

Date: June 20, 2003

Opinion Number:  03-080                        

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/AG/2003/OP80.pdf

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