Opinion FlashOctober 23, 2003
Volume 9 Number 194
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
KASSANDRA GREENE v. TARRY GREENE Court:TCA Attorneys: Tarry L. Greene, Chattanooga, Tennessee, pro se. Alan R. Beard, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for Appellee. Judge: FRANKS First Paragraph: The Trial Court granted divorce, divided the marital assets, and assigned debts. The husband has appealed. We affirm. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/greenek.wpd
JOSEPH W. HOUSTON, ET AL. v. CHARLES D. MOUNGER, ET AL. Court:TCA Attorneys: Charles D. Mounger, Kingston, Tennessee, Pro Se. John W. Cleveland, Sweetwater, Tennessee, for appellees, Joseph Houston and Joyce Houston. Jimmie D. Turner, Oliver Springs, Tennessee, for appellees, Jimmie D. Turner, Weldon Webb, Harvey Lowe and Edith Lowe. Judge: INMAN First Paragraph: After judgment was entered, certain inaccuracies, deemed to be clerical errors in an engineering survey of extensive properties, were discovered which were resolved by the trial court following hearings, and the judgment was corrected or amended over the appellant's objections. This appeal followed, but no transcript of the proceedings was filed, and the appellant's purported Statement of the Evidence did not receive the approbation of the Chancellor. Consequently, the appellant court must assume that the evidence was sufficient to support the judgment, and the appeal is dismissed. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/houston.wpd
CLARENCE "AL" MATZ and wife, JOANN L. MATZ, v. QUEST DIAGNOSTICS CLINICAL LABORATORIES, INC., D/B/A SMITH KLINE BEECHAM CLINICAL LABORATORIES, ASSOCIATED PATHOLOGISTS, PLC., ESTELLE E. MAY, M.D., and JARVIS LELAND HUGHES, M.D. Court:TCA Attorneys: John H. Cocke, Clarksdale MS, for Appellants. Wynne C. Hall, Knoxville, Tennessee, for Appellees, Estelle E. May, M.D., and Associated Pathologists, PLC. Judge: FRANKS First Paragraph: Defendants granted summary judgment in medical malpractice action on grounds the statute of limitation had run. On appeal, we vacate and remand. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/matzc.wpd
IN THE MATTER OF THE ADOPTION OF DPM by DONNA RAE MICKLES, and husband, PAUL ED MICKLES, v. BRENDA SUE JOHNSON, and husband, STEVE JOHNSON, and CHADWICK EARL SCHUBERT Court:TCA Attorneys: John S. Anderson, Rogersville, Tennessee, for Appellants. D. Vance Martin, Knoxville, Tennessee, for Appellees. Wayne Decatur Wykoff, Knoxville, Tennessee, Guardian Ad Litem for DPM. Judge: FRANKS First Paragraph: The Trial Court ordered appellants incarcerated for violation of the Court's orders, and refused to remove the Guardian ad Litem for the minor child. On appeal, we affirm. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/micklesd.wpd
KAREN THOMPSON SCOGGINS v. LARRY BROWDER SCOGGINS Court:TCA Attorneys: Mitchell A. Byrd, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Larry Browder Scoggins. Phillip C. Lawrence, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the Appellee, Karen Thompson Scoggins. Judge: SWINEY First Paragraph: Karen Thompson Scoggins ("Plaintiff") and Larry Browder Scoggins ("Defendant") were divorced in 2000. The divorce judgment ordered Defendant to use funds from his 401(k) plan to pay off certain marital debts and then to convey the remainder of the 401(k) to Plaintiff. Defendant did not do this. Instead, Defendant filed for bankruptcy, listed Plaintiff as a creditor, and was granted a discharge in bankruptcy. Plaintiff filed a complaint in Chancery Court ("Trial Court") seeking to enforce the divorce judgment. Defendant claimed the debt to Plaintiff was discharged in bankruptcy. The Chancery Court held that the discharge in bankruptcy does not bar Plaintiff from enforcing her rights in Defendant's 401(k) plan. Defendant appeals. We reverse and remand. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/scogginskt.wpd
DANIEL B. TAYLOR v. DONAL CAMPBELL, ET AL. CORRECTED OPINION WITH ORDER Court:TCA Attorneys: Daniel B. Taylor, Only, Tennessee, Pro Se. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; and Kimberly J. Dean, Deputy Attorney General, for the appellees, Donal Campbell, Commissioner, Tennessee Department of Correction, Williams Keeling, Roland Colson, Faye Cloud, Dinna Wilson, Wyema Helms, and Shirley Pluckett. Judge: KOCH First Paragraph: This appeal involves a dispute between a prisoner and the Department of Correction regarding the prisoner's sentence credits. After his request for a declaratory order was denied, the prisoner filed suit in the Chancery Court for Davidson County against the Commissioner of Correction and others seeking a declaration that the Department had miscalculated his sentence and had erroneously refused to classify him as a Range I especially mitigated offender. The trial court granted the Department's motion for summary judgment and dismissed the petition. We concur with the trial court's conclusion that the Department is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law and, accordingly, affirm the summary judgment. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/taylordb_opn.wpd
JAMES C. WILKERSON, ET AL. v. PFC GLOBAL GROUP, INC, ET AL. Court:TCA Attorneys: C. Allen Ragle, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the Appellants PFC Global Group, Inc., Leslie Don Dorris, and Brenda L. Dorris. David R. Duggan, Maryville, Tennessee, for the Appellees James C. Wilkerson and Judith A. Wilkerson. Judge: SWINEY First Paragraph: On May 3, 2002, James and Judith Wilkerson ("Plaintiffs") filed this lawsuit against PFC Global Group, Inc. ("PFC") claiming PFC had defaulted on a Promissory Note. Plaintiffs also sued Don and Brenda Dorris who had personally guaranteed PFC's debt to Plaintiffs. All three Defendants were served with process on May 16, 2002, and their attorneys entered an appearance on Defendants' behalf the following day. Plaintiffs' counsel informed defense counsel that Plaintiffs would move for a default judgment if an answer was not filed by September 6, 2002. When no answer was filed by that date, Plaintiffs moved for and were granted a default judgment. After hearing testimony from Plaintiff James Wilkerson regarding the amount due under the various contracts, the Trial Court granted Plaintiffs a judgment against each Defendant in the total amount of $1,492,353.52, plus an additional $15,000 in attorney fees. Thereafter, Defendants filed a motion to have the default judgment set aside under Tenn. R. Civ. P. 60. After a hearing, the Trial Court determined Defendants were not entitled to relief from the default judgment. We affirm. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/wilkerson.wpd
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. MARCUS ANTWONE GILLARD Court:TCCA Attorneys: Didi Christie, Brownsville, Tennessee (on appeal); George Morton Googe, District Public Defender; and Vanessa D. King, Assistant Public Defender (at trial), for the appellant, Marcus Antwone Gillard. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Kathy D. Aslinger, Assistant Attorney General; James G. (Jerry) Woodall, District Attorney General; and Shaun A. Brown, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee. Judge: WILLIAMS First Paragraph: The defendant was convicted of aggravated robbery, facilitating aggravated kidnapping, and aggravated burglary. He now appeals these convictions contending that the (1) evidence was not sufficient to support the convictions, (2) trial court erred in refusing to dismiss the charge of aggravated kidnapping or in refusing to merge the charge of aggravated kidnapping with his aggravated robbery charge, (3) trial court erred by denying him his right to effective cross- examination by stating that questions regarding the prior inconsistent statements of the victim would allow the admission of more damaging testimony against the defendant, and (4) trial court erred in sentencing. We hold that the trial court erred in applying enhancement factor four; however, the error was harmless. We affirm the judgments of the trial court in all other respects. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/gillardm.wpd
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. ZELLBURGE GLEAVES Court:TCCA Attorneys: Ross E. Alderman, District Public Defender; Jeffrey A. DeVasher, Assistant Public Defender, Nashville, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Zellburge Gleaves. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Michael Moore, Solicitor General; Renee W. Turrner, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. (Torry) Johnson III, District Attorney General; and Roger Moore, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee. Judge: HAYES First Paragraph: The Appellant, Zellburge Gleaves, appeals the sentencing decision of the Davidson County Criminal Court following his guilty plea to one count of aggravated assault. Under the terms of the plea agreement, Gleaves agreed to an eight-year sentence as a Range II multiple offender. The plea agreement further provided that the manner of service of the sentence was to be determined by the trial court. Following a sentencing hearing, the trial court ordered total confinement. Gleaves appeals, contending that the trial court erred in failing to grant a sentence of split confinement. After review of the record, we affirm. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/gleavesz.wpd
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. THADDAEUS MEDFORD WITH DISSENTING OPINION Court:TCCA Attorneys: J. Thomas Cadlwell, Ripley, Tennessee; and Charles S. Kelly Sr., Dyersburg, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Thaddaeus Medford. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; John H. Bledsoe, Assistant Attorney General; Elizabeth T. Rice, District Attorney General; and Tracey A. Brewer, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee. Judge: WITT First Paragraph: Before us are the consolidated appeals of Thaddaeus Medford who, in his first trial, was convicted of Class E felony evading arrest. The jury in that trial deadlocked on the companion charges of cocaine possession with intent to deliver and drug paraphernalia possession. Upon retrial, the defendant was convicted of the two possession offenses. He appeals the legal sufficiency of his evading arrest and cocaine possession convictions, complains that testimony about the street value of cocaine and money found in his automobile was erroneously admitted, and argues that his constitutional right to be free from Aunreasonable searches and seizures@ was violated. Based on our review of the record, the briefs of the parties, and applicable law, we affirm the defendant's evading arrest conviction. As to the cocaine possession conviction, we affirm the trial court's evidentiary rulings and rejection of the defendant's motion to suppress, but we, nevertheless, reverse the conviction because the evidence is legally insufficient. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/medfordt_opn.wpd
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. ABDULLAH MORRISON Court:TCCA Attorneys: Robert Wilson Jones, District Public Defender; Michael Johnson and W. Mark Ward, Assistant Public Defenders, for the appellant, Abdullah Morrison. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; J. Ross Dyer, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; Jennifer Nichols and Steve Jones, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee. Judge: WILLIAMS First Paragraph: The defendant was convicted of first degree (premeditated) murder. He now contends that the evidence of premeditation was insufficient for a rational trier of fact to find the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. We hold that the evidence was sufficient to support the jury's verdict. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/morriso.wpd
MITCHELL TARVER v. STATE OF TENNESSEE Court:TCCA Attorneys: Mitchell Tarver, pro se, Clifton, Tennessee. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; R. Robin Dixon, Jr., Assistant Attorney General; and Thomas A. Thomas, District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee. Judge: SMITH First Paragraph: The pro se petitioner, Mitchell Tarver, appeals from the denial of his petition for a writ of habeas corpus. We conclude that the circuit court erred in summarily dismissing the habeas petition under the peculiar circumstances presented in the instant case. We therefore reverse the judgment of the circuit court and remand for proceedings consistent with this opinion. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/tarverm.wpd
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. WILLIAM WILSON Court:TCCA Attorneys: Juni S. Ganguli, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, William Wilson. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Helena Walton Yarbrough, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; Jennifer Nichols and Glen Baity, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee. Judge: SMITH First Paragraph: On May 19, 2001, a jury in Memphis convicted the defendant, William Wilson, of aggravated robbery and first degree felony murder. The trial court sentenced him as a Range I Standard Offender to life in prison for the first degree felony murder conviction and to eight (8) years for the aggravated robbery to be served consecutively. The defendant appeals these convictions. He argues four issues on appeal: (1) He was not criminally responsible for his co-defendant's actions, and therefore, not guilty of first degree murder; (2) the evidence was insufficient to support his convictions for aggravated robbery and first degree murder; (3) the trial court erred by failing to charge the affirmative defense of duress; and (4) the trial court erred by sentencing him to eight (8) years consecutive to his life sentence with the possibility of parole. We affirm the trial court's actions with regard to these issues. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/wilsonw.wpd
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