Opinion FlashJuly 25, 2003
Volume 9 Number 133
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):
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Howard H. Vogel
CEDRIC ARNETT, ET AL. v. DOMINO'S PIZZA I, L.L.C., d/b/a DOMINO'S PIZZA, and DOMINO'S PIZZA, INC., d/b/a DOMINO'S PIZZA Court:TCA Attorneys: James W. Hodges, Jr., Regina Morrison Newman, Gregory D. Cotton and Kathleen L. Caldwell, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellants, Cedric Arnett. Jonathan C. Hancock and Katherine P. Griffin, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellee, Domino's Pizza, L.L.C. Judge: FARMER First Paragraph: Ninety-two plaintiffs filed a claim against Domino's Pizza alleging violations of Tenn. Code Ann. S 4-21-101, et seq. (The Tennessee Human Rights Act), 42 U.S.C. 2000a (Title II), 42 U.S.C. S1981, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Domino's Pizza removed the cause to Federal District Court, which retained the 42 U.S.C. S1981 claim and remanded the remaining claims to the circuit court. The trial court awarded summary judgment to Domino's Pizza and dismissed the action. We affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand for further proceedings. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/arnettc.wpd
SHIRLEY S. DANIEL v. JAMES E. DANIEL Court:TCA Attorneys: James H. Bradberry, Dresden, Tennessee, for appellant, James E. Daniel. Steve Conley, Union City, Tennessee, for appellee, Shirley S. Daniel. Judge: KIRBY First Paragraph: This is an alimony case. At the time of the divorce, the parties had been married for almost thirty- one years. The husband was fifty-one years old, and the wife was forty-five years old. The husband owned his own backhoe/trackhoe company. The wife was a homemaker and raised the parties' three children. She has a sixth-grade education and earned her GED in 1997. Since the parties' separation, the wife had held five jobs but had not been able to maintain her employment. The parties agreed on the division of personal and real property, but disagreed over the value of the husband's business property. The trial court found that the husband made it difficult to ascertain the parties' financial situation. The trial court also found that the wife was economically disadvantaged and could not be rehabilitated. The wife was awarded alimony in futuro and attorney's fees. On appeal, the husband argues that the trial court erred in awarding the wife alimony in futuro and attorney's fees. We affirm, finding that the trial court did not err in concluding that the wife cannot be rehabilitated and in awarding alimony in futuro and attorney's fees. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/danielje.wpd
FIRST STATE BANK OF HOLLY SPRINGS, MISSISSIPPI, ET AL. v. BILL WYSSBROD, ET AL. Court:TCA Attorneys: James R. Garts, Jr.; Michael F. Rafferty, Memphis, For Appellant, Martin Aussenberg Robert P. Chamberlin; Tamara B. Rowsey, Hernando, Mississippi, For Appellee, First State Bank of Holly Springs, Mississippi Ivan D. Harris, Jr., Collierville, For Appellee, Jackson H. Wittjen Judge: CRAWFORD First Paragraph: This case involves the enrollment of Mississippi judgments pursuant to the Uniform Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act, T.C.A. S 26-6-101 et seq. Appellant, a Tennessee attorney, was admitted, pro hac vice by a Mississippi trial court, to represent a plaintiff client in a civil suit. Appellees-defendants in the Mississippi proceeding were, inter alia, awarded judgments against appellant and his client for attorney fees and expenses pursuant to the Mississippi Litigation Accountability Act of 1988, Miss. Code Ann. S 11-55-1, et seq. Appellees' petition to enroll the foreign judgments against appellant were granted by the trial court, and appellant appeals. We affirm. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/firststate.wpd
JOHN C. IOVINELLI, ET AL. v. STEADMAN H. ESTES, ET AL. Court:TCA Attorneys: John L. Ryder, Brett A. Hughes, Memphis, TN, for Appellants Carol M. Hayden, Memphis, TN, for Appellee Steadman H. Estes E. Patrick Lancaster, Olive Branch, MS, for Appellee Ashworth-Vaughan, Inc. Judge: HIGHERS First Paragraph: This is an appeal of the grant of summary judgment. The Appellants contend that the trial judge granted the Appellees summary judgment, sua sponte, and that they did not have notice or an opportunity to respond to the issues decided by the judge. We disagree and, for the following reasons, we affirm. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/Iovinelli.wpd
IN THE MATTER OF L.J.C., A.L.C. AND J.R.C. STATE OF TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN'S SERVICES V. TABITHA STEWART Court:TCA Attorneys: Didi Christie, Brownsville, TN, for Appellant Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter, Elizabeth C. Driver, Assistant Attorney General, Nashville, TN, for Appellee Judge: HIGHERS First Paragraph: This is an appeal of a termination of parental rights. For the following reasons, we vacate the portion of the juvenile court's ruling finding Mother willfully failed to support her children and affirm all other findings of the court below, thus terminating Mother's parental rights. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/jjc.wpd
IN RE: ADOPTION OF KRISTINA MARIE McCRONE AND JAMES EDWARD McCRONE Court:TCA Attorneys: Anthony Helm, Bartlett, Tennessee, for the appellant, Joan Rutledge McCrone. Barbara B. Johnson, Bartlett, Tennessee, for the appellee, Jason Lee Richardson. Judge: KIRBY First Paragraph: This case involves the termination of parental rights and awarding custody to a non-parent. The parents of the minor children at issue were divorced on February 7, 2001. The father did not appear in the divorce proceedings. The court found that the father had abandoned the children and awarded the mother full custody. The next day, on February 8, 2001, the mother died. After her death, the petitioner (the children's maternal grandmother) took physical custody of the children. On February 14, 2001, the grandmother filed a petition to adopt the children. On the same day, the father filed a petition for custody of the children. After a bench trial, the trial court denied the grandmother's petition for adoption and granted the father's petition for custody, determining that the father had not abandoned the children and that substantial harm would not result from his having custody. The grandmother now appeals that order. We reverse, finding that undisputed evidence establishes that the father willfully abandoned his children, and we remand to the trial court for further proceedings. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/mccrone.wpd
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. TYRONE CUNNINGHAM, AKA TYRONE CUMMINGHAM Court:TCCA Attorneys: Didi Christie, Brownsville, Tennessee (on appeal); Gary F. Antrican, District Public Defender; and David S. Stockton, Assistant District Public Defender (at trial), for the appellant, Tyrone Cunningham, aka Tyrone Cummingham. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Peter M. Coughlin, Assistant Attorney General; Elizabeth T. Rice, District Attorney General; and Tracey Anne Brewer, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee. Judge: TIPTON First Paragraph: The defendant, Tyrone Cunningham, appeals from his conviction by a Lauderdale County Circuit Court jury of second degree murder. The trial court sentenced him as a career, violent offender to the maximum sentence of sixty years. The defendant contends that (1) the evidence is insufficient to support his second degree murder conviction, (2) the trial court erroneously denied his pretrial motion for a continuance, and (3) the trial court erred in sentencing him as a career offender. We affirm the trial court's judgment of conviction. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/cunnin.wpd
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. TOMMY LEE MIDGETT Court:TCCA Attorneys: Didi Christie, Brownsville, Tennessee (on appeal); George M. Googe, District Public Defender; and Vanessa D. King, Assistant District Public Defender (at trial), for the appellant, Tommy Lee Midgett. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; David H. Findley, Assistant Attorney General; James G. Woodall, District Attorney General; and Shaun A. Brown and Stacy M. McEndree, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee. Judge: GLENN First Paragraph: The defendant was tried on two counts of first degree premeditated murder and convicted of two counts of facilitation of first degree murder for which he received consecutive twenty-four-year sentences. In his appeal, he presents the following claims: (1) the evidence was insufficient to support his convictions; (2) the trial court erred in excluding evidence of others having motives to kill the victims; (3) the State made an improper statement during its closing argument that constituted plain error; and (4) the trial court erred in sentencing. Following our review, we affirm the judgments of the trial court. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/midgett.wpd
EDWARD LEE TUCKER v. STATE OF TENNESSEE Court:TCCA Attorneys: Edward L. Tucker, Henning, Tennessee, Pro se. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; J. Ross Dyer, Assistant Attorney General; Elizabeth T. Rice, District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee. Judge: OGLE First Paragraph: The petitioner, Edward Lee Tucker, filed a motion to withdraw his guilty plea to the charge of criminal attempt to commit first degree murder due to the invalidity of the plea. The trial court found that the motion should be considered as a petition for post-conviction relief and dismissed the petition as barred by the statute of limitations. Upon review of the record and the parties' briefs, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/tuckerel.wpd
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