Opinion Flash

July 8, 2003
Volume 9 — Number 120

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
03 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Court of Appeals
09 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


	CINDY R. LOURCEY, ET AL. v. ESTATE OF CHARLES SCARLETT 

Court:TCA

Attorneys:

David L. Cooper, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellants, Cindy R.
Lourcey and Vernon B. Lourcey.

W. Bryan Brooks and Michele M. Brubaker, Nashville, Tennessee, for the
appellee, Estate of Charles Scarlett.
                          
Judge: CANTRELL

First Paragraph:

Charles Scarlett, in the middle of a domestic dispute with his wife,
flagged down a postal worker, Cindy Lourcey, and asked for help. 
Without warning, and in the presence of Mrs. Lourcey, Mr. Scarlett
shot his wife in the head and then killed himself.  Mrs. Lourcey sued
Mr. Scarlett's estate alleging negligent and intentional infliction of
emotional distress.  Mr. Lourcey also sued for loss of consortium. 
The estate filed a Motion to Dismiss pursuant to Rule 12.02(6) of the
Tennessee Rules of Civil Procedure for failure to state a cause of
action.  The trial court granted the Motion to Dismiss.  We hold that
the Lourceys did in fact state a cause of action.  Therefore, we
reverse the decision of the trial court and remand for further
proceedings in accordance with this opinion.

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

VANESSA MANNING v. CITY OF LEBANON, ET AL.

Court:TCA

Attorneys: 

Mary Byrd Ferrara and J. Russell Farrar, Nashville, Tennessee, for the
appellants City of Lebanon, Board of Adjustment, and Board Members
Nelson Steed, Mike Manous, Hobart O. Tisdale, Jr., Gary Renfro, and
Jerry Mangrum, and All Other Current Members of Such Board.

James R. Stallings, Jr., Lebanon, Tennessee, for the appellee, Vanessa
Manning.
                         
Judge: CANTRELL

First Paragraph:

The Chancery Court of Wilson County invalidated the City of Lebanon's
ordinance governing the demolition of unsafe structures, reasoning
that it was inconsistent with state law and that it denied property
owners the right to be heard before a demolition order issues.  We
hold that the ordinance is not inconsistent with the general law and
that the post-order hearing provisions of the ordinance comply with
the property owner's rights to due process.  Therefore, we reverse and
remand the cause for further proceedings.

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

ANGELA D. SIEFKER v. GARY C. SIEFKER

Court:TCA

Attorneys:

D. Scott Parsley, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Gary C.
Siefker.

Phillip Robinson, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Angela D.
Siefker
                         
Judge: CAIN

First Paragraph:

This case is before the Court for the second time on a post-divorce
Petition to reduce alimony.  The trial judge denied the Petition, and
we affirm the action of the trial court.

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JAMES STANLEY BECKMAN, SR.

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:

Andrew Jackson Dearing, III, Shelbyville, Tennessee, for appellant,
James Stanley Beckman.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Kim R. Helper, Assistant
Attorney General; J. Michael Taylor, District Attorney General; and
Michael Randles, Assistant District Attorney General, for appellee,
State of Tennessee.
                          
Judge: SMITH

First Paragraph:

The appellant, James Stanley Beckman, Sr., was indicted by the Bedford
County Grand Jury on one count of theft over $10,000 in July 2001. 
After a jury trial, the defendant was convicted as a Range I offender,
and sentenced to four years at thirty percent in the Tennessee
Department of Correction.  On January 4, 2002, the appellant filed a
motion for a new trial which was denied on February 22, 2002.  In this
appeal, the appellant raises the issue of whether the evidence is
sufficient for a conviction of theft of property over $10,000.  After
a review of this record we find that the evidence is sufficient. 
Accordingly, the judgment of the trial court is affirmed.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/beckmanjames.wpd

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. WILLIAM E. EAKES, III

Court:TCCA

Attorneys: 

James O. Martin, III, Nashville, Tennessee (on appeal); and Rayburn
McGowan, Nashville, Tennessee (at trial), for the appellant, William
E. Eakes, III.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Jennifer L. Bledsoe,
Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney
General; Lisa A. Naylor and Pamela Anderson, Assistant District
Attorney Generals, for the appellee, State of Tennessee
                         
Judge: WEDEMEYER

First Paragraph:

The Davidson County Grand Jury indicted the Defendant for one count of
first degree felony murder and for one count of second degree murder. 
A Davidson County jury convicted the Defendant of both offenses.  The
trial court merged the second degree murder conviction into the felony
murder conviction and sentenced the Defendant to life imprisonment. 
The Defendant now appeals, arguing that insufficient evidence was
presented at trial to convict him of first degree felony murder and of
second degree murder.  Concluding that sufficient evidence was
presented to convict the Defendant for felony murder and second degree
murder, the judgment of the trial court is affirmed.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/eakeswe.wpd

CHARLES WESTON ELSEA, JR. v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:

Bill Speek, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellant, Charles Weston
Elsea, Jr.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Brent C. Cherry,
Assistant Attorney General; and Barry A. Steelman, Assistant District
Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee
                          
Judge: WADE

First Paragraph:

The petitioner, Charles Weston Elsea, Jr., appeals the trial court's
denial of post-conviction relief.  The single issue presented for
review is whether he was denied the effective assistance of counsel at
trial and on appeal.  The judgment of the trial court is affirmed.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/elsea.wpd

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. DENNIS R. JENKINS

Court:TCCA

Attorneys: 

Kenneth Dale Quillen, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Dennis
R. Jenkins.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Elizabeth T. Ryan,
Assistant Attorney General; William C. Whitesell, Jr., District
Attorney General; and Paul A. Holcombe, III, Assistant District
Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.
                         
Judge: OGLE

First Paragraph:

The appellant, Dennis R. Jenkins, pled guilty in the Rutherford County
Circuit Court to possession of methamphetamine, a Schedule II
controlled substance, with intent to deliver.  The trial court
sentenced the appellant to three years to be served on probation and
imposed a two thousand dollar ($2,000) fine.  Pursuant to the plea
agreement, the appellant reserved the right to appeal as a certified
question of law the trial court's denial of his motion to suppress. 
Upon review of the record and the parties' briefs, we affirm the
judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/jenkinsdr.wpd

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JOSEPH HAROLD RUCKER

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Joe H. Walker, Harriman, Tennessee (on appeal); and Walter B. Johnson,
II, Harriman, Tennessee (at trial and on appeal); for the Appellant,
Joseph Harold Rucker.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Brent C. Cherry,
Assistant Attorney General; J. Scott McCluen, District Attorney
General; and Frank Harvey, Assistant District Attorney General, for
the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WITT

First Paragraph:

The defendant, Joseph Harold Rucker, appeals the Roane County Criminal
Court's imposition of a 23-year Department of Correction sentence for
the second-degree murder of his girlfriend, Tommy Jean Trinkle. 
Because we determine that the length of the Class A, Range I sentence
is supported in the record, we affirm.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/ruckerjosephh.wpd

ANTHONY JEROME STOKES v. STATE OF TENNESSEE
WITH DISSENTING OPINION

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Julie Hall Baker, Columbus, Ohio, for the appellant, Anthony Jerome
Stokes.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Angele M. Gregory,
Assistant Attorney General; and Rodney C. Strong, Assistant District
Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WADE

First Paragraph:

The petitioner, Anthony Jerome Stokes, appeals the trial court's
denial of post-conviction relief.  The petitioner argues (1) that he
is entitled to a delayed application for permission to appeal to our
supreme court based upon his post-conviction counsel's failure to
either notify him of the results of his appeal or withdraw as counsel;
and (2) that the trial court erroneously declined to rule on issues
presented on remand from this court.  Our opinion and judgment entered
April 23, 1999, in Anthony Jerome Stokes v. State, No.
03C01-9710-CR-00477, are vacated and re-entered as of this date. 
Because all other issues are beyond the scope of our remand, the
judgment of the trial court is affirmed.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/stokes_opn.wpd

DISSENTING OPINION
http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/stokes_dis.wpd

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. TRACY WASHINGTON

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

J. Shannon Garrison, Dayton, Tennessee, for appellant, Tracy
Washington.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Renee W. Turner,
Assistant Attorney General; J. Michael Taylor, District Attorney
General; and Will Dunn, Assistant District Attorney General, for
appellee, State of Tennessee

Judge: SMITH

First Paragraph:

A Rhea County grand jury indicted the defendant on one count of sexual
battery. At the conclusion of a trial, the jury convicted him as
charged and fined him one thousand dollars.  The trial court
subsequently imposed a sentence of one year and six months, of which
the defendant was ordered to serve thirty days.  After unsuccessfully
pursuing a judgment of acquittal or alternatively a new trial in the
trial court, the defendant brings this appeal.  Herein, he asserts
that the record lacks sufficient evidence to sustain his conviction,
that the trial court erred in failing to give the jury a curative
instruction to disregard a hearsay statement made by the victim in
court, and that the trial court erred in permitting the victim's
brother to testify regarding a hearsay statement made  by the victim.
After reviewing the record and relevant authorities, we find that the
defendant has waived one of these claims and that the remaining issues
merit no relief. We, therefore, affirm the defendant's conviction.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/washingt.wpd

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. LESLIE BRIAN WILLIS

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                           

Paul J. Bruno and Rayburn McGowan, Jr., Nashville, Tennessee, for the
appellant, Leslie Brian Willis.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Kim R. Helper,
Assistant Attorney General; John Wesley Carney, Jr., District Attorney
General; and Arthur F. Bieber and Dent Morriss, Assistant District
Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WILLIAMS

First Paragraph:

Following the reversal of his first degree felony murder conviction
due to insufficient evidence to support the predicate felony, the
defendant, upon remand, was convicted by a jury of second degree
murder. On this appeal, he raises the following issues: (1) Whether
the evidence was sufficient to sustain a conviction for second degree
murder; (2) Whether second degree murder is a lesser included offense
of first degree felony murder; (3) Whether the trial court erred in
allowing the State to recall witness William Alley during its case in
chief; (4) Whether the trial court erred in allowing the testimony of
TBI Agent Mike Breedlove, in violation of Tenn. R. Crim. P. 404(b),
that the defendant threatened to break his neck; and (5) Whether the
trial court erred in sentencing the defendant to the maximum twenty-
five years. We affirm the defendant's conviction for second degree
murder.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/willislb.wpd

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. FRANKIE LEE WOODARD

Court:TCCA

Attorneys: 

William F. Kroeger, Springfield, Tennessee, for the appellant, Frankie
Lee Woodard.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Renee W. Turner,
Assistant Attorney General; John Carney, District Attorney General;
and Dent Morriss, Assistant District Attorney General, for the
appellee, State of Tennessee.
                         
Judge: SMITH

First Paragraph:

The appellant, Frankie Lee Woodard, was indicted on October 29, 1999,
by the Robertson County Grand Jury on one count of theft of property
over $500.  The appellant was found guilty as charged and sentenced to
four years in the Tennessee Department of Correction. The appellant
now appeals contending that the evidence was not sufficient to support
his conviction for theft of property over five hundred dollars and
that the trial court improperly instructed the jury regarding the
value of the stolen item.  After a review of the record before this
Court we find these issues have no merit and therefore affirm the
judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/woodardfrankie.wpd

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