Opinion Flash

December 08, 2003
Volume 9 — Number 223

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
01 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Supreme Court Workers' Compensation Panel
01 New Document(s) or Proposed Rule(s) from the Tennessee Supreme Court
03 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Court of Appeals
14 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


LINDA MEADOWS v. WAUSAU INSURANCE COMPANY

Court:TSC - Workers Comp Panel

Attorneys:                          

David C. Nagle, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellant, Wausau
Insurance Company

Michael A. Wagner, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellee, Linda
Meadows

Judge: BYERS

First Paragraph:

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 defendant, Wausau Insurance Company, insists that the
trial court erred in determining Wausau was liable for the plaintiff's
compensation, and that the trial court erred in allowing the plaintiff
to voluntarily dismiss co-defendant, Legion Insurance Company.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC_WCP/meadowsl.wpd

SUPREME COURT OF TENNESSEE
SUPREME COURT DISCRETIONARY APPEALS

Court:TSC - Rules

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC_Rules/certlist_1208.wpd

CHARLES F. KNIGHT v. RAMONA D. KNIGHT

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          

Betty Stafford Scott, Jackson, Tennessee, for the Appellant Ramona D.
Knight.

Bob G. Gray, Selmer, Tennessee, for the Appellee Charles F. Knight.

Judge: KIRBY

First Paragraph:

This is a child custody case.  The mother alleged abuse by the father
and the father alleged that mother had psychological problems, failed
to prepare nourishing meals, and had difficulty establishing her
authority as a parent.  The trial court designated the father as the
primary residential parent for the parties' minor son.  We affirm,
finding no abuse of discretion by the trial court.

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

LARRY JOE MANUS v. COUNTY OF OBION FACILITY ADMINISTRATOR WILLIAM
SUDBURY, ET AL.

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          

Larry Joe Manus, Pro Se.

James I. Pentecost and Brandon O. Gibson, Jackson, Tennessee, for the
appellees, William Sudbury and Sheriff Danny Cunningham.

Judge: FARMER

First Paragraph:

The Plaintiff broke a tooth while an inmate in the Obion County Jail. 
He sued the Defendants alleging that he was deprived of medical care. 
The trial court granted the Defendants' motion for summary judgment
and Plaintiff appeals.  We affirm.

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

RUSSELL A. SIEGFRIED v. THE GRAND KREWE OF SPHINX, ET AL.

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          

Louis R. Lucas, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Russell A.
Siegfried.

B. J. Wade and C. Michael Becker, Memphis, Tennessee, for the
appellees, The Grand Krewe of Sphinx, Donald M. Keith, Gary
Bilderback, Nancy Bilderback, Eric Bogenschneider, Lois
Bogenschneider, Tom Broderich, Travis Burlison, Dianne Burlison,
Virginia Byrd, Barney Byrum, Jim Crow, Shirley Crow, Martha Cruz,
Larry Dagan, Leanna Dagan, Timothy Decent, Kathleen Decent, Bobby
Deshields, Mary Deshields, Judy Finley, Mack Fulwood, Richard
Gallaher, Teresa Gallaher, Ron Storm Hendren, Barbara Keith, Henry
Littleton, Jr., Jeanne Littleton, Bob Lowry, Paul Mattila, Margaret
Mattila,  Jere Orman, Ronald Ray, Dianne Ray, Robert Richey, Linda
Richey, Annelle Roachell, Allen Roberts, Darleen M. Russ, Bob Smith,
Barbara Smith, Tammy Turner and Beth Vaughn.

Judge: FARMER

First Paragraph:

This case involves an appeal from the trial court's grant of
defendants' motion for summary judgment.  The trial court dismissed
the plaintiff's complaint for failing to meet the publication element
required for a prima facie claim of defamation/libel. We affirm.

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. BOBBY BLAIR

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

William B. Lockert, III, District Public Defender; and Richard D.
Taylor, Jr., Assistant District Public Defender, for the appellant,
Bobby Blair.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Helena Walton
Yarbrough, Assistant Attorney General; Dan Mitchum Alsobrooks,
District Attorney General; and Lisa Carol Donegan, Assistant District
Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: TIPTON

First Paragraph:

The defendant, Bobby Blair, appeals as of right the sentence imposed
by the Humphreys County Circuit Court following his plea of nolo
contendere to the sale of methamphetamine, a Class B felony.  The
trial court sentenced him as a Range I, standard offender to ten years
in the Department of Correction consecutive to an effective
sixteen-year sentence for prior convictions for manufacturing
methamphetamine and felonious possession of methamphetamine.  The
defendant contends that the trial court erroneously imposed
consecutive sentences.  We affirm the trial court's judgment of
conviction.

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. CARLOS CURRY

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Virginia Lee Story, Franklin, Tennessee, for the appellant, Carlos
Curry.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Kim R. Helper, Assistant
Attorney General; Ron Davis, District Attorney General; and Mary
Katharine White, Assistant District Attorney General, for the
appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: SMITH

First Paragraph:

The Appellant, Carlos A. Curry, was convicted by a jury of first
offense driving under the influence of an intoxicant.  However, the
jury acquitted the Appellant of four counts of vehicular homicide. 
Following a sentencing hearing, the trial court ordered the Appellant
to serve eleven months and twenty-nine days in the county jail. 
Because we find that the trial court did not err in sentencing the
Appellant, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

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

THOMAS E. DUNN v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Thomas E. Dunn, Brushy Mountain Regional Correctional Facility,
Wartburg, Tennessee, Pro Se.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; John H. Bledsoe,
Assistant Attorney General; and Randall E. Nichols, District Attorney
General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: GLENN

First Paragraph:

The petitioner appeals the summary dismissal of his petition for
post-conviction relief as time- barred, arguing that he made out a
prima facie case of mental incompetence and should therefore have been
granted an evidentiary hearing to determine whether due process
required that the statute of limitations be tolled.  Based on our
review, we affirm the post-conviction court's dismissal of the
petition.

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. SYLVESTER GAILES, JR.

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Randall B. Tolley, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Sylvester
Gailes, Jr.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Jennifer L. Bledsoe,
Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney
General; and Perry S. Hayes and Kimkea Lashea Harris, Assistant
District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: RILEY

First Paragraph:

The defendant pled guilty to fourth offense driving under the
influence (DUI-fourth offense), a felony, and received a two-year
sentence with all but 150 days suspended.  Pursuant to a plea
agreement reserving a certified question of law, he contends that
Tennessee Code Annotated section 55-10-403(a)(3), the statute setting
forth the method of determining prior convictions, is unconstitutional
as applied to his case.  We dismiss the appeal for lack of
jurisdiction after concluding the certified question of law is not
dispositive of the case.

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JOSEPH SCOTT HAYES

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

John H. Henderson, District Public Defender; Eugene J. Honea,
Assistant Public Defender, for the appellant, Joseph Scott Hayes.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; P. Robin Dixon, Jr.,
Assistant Attorney General; Ronald L. Davis, District Attorney
General; and Mary Katherine Harvey, Assistant District Attorney
General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WOODALL

First Paragraph:

Defendant, Joseph Scott Hayes, was indicted for two counts of
aggravated assault, one count of stalking and one count of coercion of
a witness.  Following a bench trial, Defendant was convicted of two
counts of aggravated assault and one count of coercion of a witness. 
The trial court found the evidence insufficient to sustain a
conviction on the charge of stalking.  The trial court sentenced
Defendant to four years imprisonment on each count of aggravated
assault and three years imprisonment for his conviction for coercion
of a witness.  The trial court ordered Defendant's sentences for
aggravated assault to run consecutively, and his sentence for coercion
of a witness to run concurrently with his aggravated assault
convictions for an effective sentence of eight years.  Defendant now
appeals challenging the sufficiency of the convicting evidence. 
Following a review of the record, we affirm the trial court's
judgments.

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. SHAWN HODGE

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Brandt Davis, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Shawn Hodge.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Braden H. Boucek,
Assistant Attorney General; Randall E. Nichols, District Attorney
General; and Marsha Mitchell, Assistant District Attorney General, for
the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WITT

First Paragraph:

Convicted by a jury of first degree murder, the defendant, Shawn
Hodge,  appeals and claims (1) the evidence is insufficient to support
the conviction, (2) the trial court erred in denying a jury view of
the crime scene, (3) the trial court erroneously excluded evidence of
a threat made against a defense witness, (4) the defendant was
prejudiced by an attempt by the state to pay a prosecution witness,
(5) the court inadequately instructed the jury on the elements of the
offense, and (6) the court erroneously admitted the testimony of an
allegedly incompetent defense witness.  We affirm the lower court's
judgment.

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. FRED ELLIOT HUNTER

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Tony L. Maples, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for the appellant, Fred
Elliot Hunter.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; P. Robin Dixon, Jr.,
Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, District Attorney
General; and John Zimmerman, Assistant District Attorney General, for
the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: SMITH

First Paragraph:

The appellant, Fred Elliot Hunter, was convicted by a jury of
conspiracy to possess with the intent to deliver three hundred (300)
grams or more of a substance containing cocaine, a Class A felony. 
The appellant was sentenced to twenty-one (21) years as a Range I
Standard Offender and  fined $2,000.  The trial court denied the
appellant's motion for new trial, and he appeals, arguing: (1) that
the trial court erred in failing to grant the appellant's motion for
judgment of acquittal; (2) that the trial court erred in failing to
grant the appellant's motion to dismiss for want of a speedy trial;
(3) that the evidence was insufficient to sustain the conviction; (4)
that the trial court erred in admitting the appellant's manslaughter
conviction; (5) that the trial court erred in failing to consider
appropriate mitigating factors in sentencing; and (6) that the trial
court failed to order alternative sentencing.  We affirm the judgment
of the trial court.

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. CHARITY H. KEITH

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

John H. Henderson, District Public Defender; Eugene J. Honea,
Assistant Public Defender, for the appellant, Charity H. Keith.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Jennifer L. Bledsoe,
Assistant Attorney General; Ronald L. Davis, District Attorney
General; and Derek K. Smith, Assistant District Attorney General, for
the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WOODALL

First Paragraph:

Defendant, Charity H. Keith, appeals from the revocation of her
probation, arguing that the trial court erred in ordering her original
sentence to run consecutively to her subsequent sentences in Davidson
County.  We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. DEWAYNE M. McDANIEL a/k/a ANTHONY McDANIEL

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Lee A. Filderman, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, DeWayne M.
McDaniel.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Thomas E. Williams, III,
Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney
General; and Steve Jones, Assistant District Attorney General, for the
appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: SMITH

First Paragraph:

The appellant, Dewayne A. McDaniel, a/k/a Anthony McDaniel, was
convicted by a jury of theft of property.  Specifically, the jury
convicted the appellant of the second charge contained in the
indictment, exercising control over property with a value of $10,000
but less than $60,000 without the consent of the owner, a Class C
felony.  The trial court sentenced the appellant to fifteen years as a
Range III, persistent offender.

The appellant's motion for new trial was denied by the trial court in
an order entered May 10, 2001.  The trial court entered an order
granting a delayed appeal on June 28, 2002.  The trial court's order
granting the delayed appeal indicates that the request for the delayed
appeal was made by the appellant's attorney, even though no motion for
a delayed appeal appears in the technical record before this Court. 
The notice of appeal was not filed until September 13, 2002.   Because
of the untimeliness of the filing of the notice of appeal the appeal
is dismissed.

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. RASHE MOORE

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Mark Mesler and Howard B. Manis, Memphis, Tennessee, for the
appellant, Rashe Moore.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; John H. Bledsoe,
Assistant Attorney General; Robert Wilson Jones, District Attorney
General; and Stephen P. Jones, Assistant District Attorney General,
for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WILLIAMS

First Paragraph:

The defendant was found guilty of six counts of aggravated rape, seven
counts of especially aggravated kidnapping, five counts of aggravated
robbery, and one count of aggravated burglary.  The defendant contends
on appeal that (1) the trial court erred in denying his motion to
suppress the photographic identification, (2) the evidence was
insufficient to support the convictions, (3) the trial court erred in
excluding evidence of a scar upon the defendant's abdomen, (4) the
trial court erred in not requiring the State to make an election of
offenses as to the aggravated rape convictions, (5) the trial court
did not properly instruct the jury on lesser included offenses, and
(6) the sentence was improper.  Finding no reversible error, we affirm
the judgments of the trial court.

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. MORGAN L. RAY

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Donna Leigh Hargrove, District Public Defender, and Andrew Jackson
Dearing, III, Assistant Public Defender, for the appellant, Morgan L.
Ray.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Jennifer L. Bledsoe,
Assistant Attorney General; William Michael McCown, District Attorney
General; and Michael D. Randles, Assistant District Attorney General,
for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WILLIAMS

First Paragraph:

The defendant pled guilty to driving while under the status of a
habitual motor offender; two counts of driving under the influence,
seventh offense; two counts of driving on a revoked license, eighth
offense; and violation of the implied consent law.  The trial court
gave the defendant an effective sentence of nine years in the
Tennessee Department of Correction.  The defendant contends on appeal
that the trial court erred by not granting him alternative sentencing.
 Plain error requires us to vacate the judgment of conviction for
driving on a revoked license (count three) because of double jeopardy
prohibitions.  The other judgments from the trial court are affirmed
in all respects.

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

DAVID L. ROBINSON, JR. v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Kevin R. Bryant, Crossville, Tennessee, for the appellant, David L.
Robinson.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Christine M. Lapps,
Assistant Attorney General; William Edward Gibson, District Attorney
General; and Eric D. Christiansen, Assistant District Attorney
General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: TIPTON

First Paragraph:

The petitioner, David L. Robinson, appeals the Putnam County Criminal
Court's denial of his petition for post-conviction relief from his
conviction for first degree murder and resulting sentence of life
imprisonment.  He claims he received the ineffective assistance of
counsel because his trial attorneys (1) failed to challenge the fact
that no African-Americans were on the jury, (2) failed to appeal an
issue properly regarding a state witness's testimony, (3) failed to
file a motion to sever his case from his codefendant's case, and (4)
failed to call a potential defense witness to testify.  We affirm the
trial court's denial of the petition.

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JAMIE JOHN SCHRANTZ

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Michael D. Rasnake, Jackson, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Jamie John
Schrantz.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Elizabeth B. Marney,
Assistant Attorney General; James G. Woodall, District Attorney
General; and Jody S. Pickens, Assistant District Attorney General, for
the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WITT

First Paragraph:

The defendant, Jamie John Schrantz, appeals from his Madison County
Circuit Court jury conviction of assault.  He claims that the evidence
is insufficient to support the conviction, that the trial court erred
in limiting the defendant's cross-examination of a prosecution
witness, and that the trial court erred in ordering the assault
sentence served consecutively to prior sentences.  We affirm the lower
court's judgment.

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. TRENT STARK

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Garland Ergueden (on appeal) and William Johnson (at trial), Memphis,
Tennessee, for the appellant, Trent Stark.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Kathy D. Aslinger,
Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney
General; and Patience Branham, Assistant District Attorney General,
for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: SMITH

First Paragraph:

The appellant, Trent Stark, was convicted by a jury of first degree
murder.  As a result, the jury sentenced the appellant to life in
prison without the possibility of parole.  The appellant appealed
after the denial of a motion for new trial.  The only issue raised on
appeal is the sufficiency of the evidence.  We conclude that the
evidence was sufficient to support a finding of guilt and therefore
affirm the decision of the trial court.

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

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