Opinion FlashJanuary 28, 2004
Volume 10 Number 018
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
DENNIS LEE BEEDLE v. STEPHANIE J. BEEDLE Court:TCA Attorneys: J. Hilton Conger, Smithville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Dennis Lee Beedle. Shawn McBrien, Lebanon, Tennessee, for the appellee, Stephanie J. Beedle. Judge: First Paragraph: In this divorce appeal the Husband challenges the distribution of the only significant marital asset, the Husband's retirement benefit. The trial court divided that benefit by ordering the Husband to pay $530.82 of each monthly payment to the Wife. We affirm. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/beedle.wpd
LISA D. HUCKABEE v. MICHAEL E. MAGILL, COMMISSIONER OF THE TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT, ET AL. Court:TCA Attorneys: Stephen S. Duggins, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the Appellant Watkins & Son, Inc. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter, and Warren A. Jasper, Assistant Attorney General, Nashville, Tennessee, for the Appellee Michael E. Magill, Commissioner, Department of Labor and Workforce Development. Brian C. Frye, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the Appellee Lisa D. Huckabee. Judge: SWINEY First Paragraph: This appeal involves a claim for unemployment compensation benefits by Lisa Huckabee ("Claimant"). When Claimant was hired by Watkins & Son, Inc. (the "Employer"), the Employer's policy prohibiting fraternization between employees was explained to her. Nevertheless, Claimant began a consensual affair with a coworker. The coworker's employment was terminated when the Employer learned of the affair. It is disputed as to whether Claimant was discharged or quit before she could be discharged. The Board of Review concluded that Claimant was disqualified from receiving benefits regardless of whether she quit or was discharged. The Trial Court reversed after concluding, inter alia, that the issue of whether Claimant was discharged for work related misconduct was not an issue the Board of Review could properly consider because the Employer did not raise that issue at the previous two administrative levels. The Trial Court also concluded that the decision by the Board of Review was not supported by substantial and material evidence. We reverse the judgment of the Trial Court and reinstate the judgment of the Board of Review. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/huckabeel.wpd
INTERNATIONAL MERCHANT SERVICES, INC. v. ATM CENTRAL, L.L.C., ET AL. Court:TCA Attorneys: John B. Philip, Memphis, For Appellant, International Merchant Services, Inc. Eugene J. Podesta, Jr., Memphis, For Appellee, ATM Central, L.L.C. Judge: CRAWFORD First Paragraph: Appellant appeals the order of the trial court dismissing the appeal apparently pursuant to Tenn. R. Civ. P. 12.02(6) for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. The record reflects that, although the trial court considered extraneous evidence in ordering the dismissal, the court refused to treat the matter as a Tenn. R. Civ. P. 56 motion for summary judgment and to allow additional time for disposal of such a motion. We reverse and remand. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/internat.wpd
TODD JONES, ET AL. v. TENNESSEE FARMERS MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY Court:TCA Attorneys: Steven A. Dix, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for the appellant, Tennessee Farmers Mutual Insurance Company. Paul A. Bates, Charles M. Bates, Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, for the appellees, Todd Jones and Michelle Jones. Judge: CAIN First Paragraph: By pre-complaint Petition under Tennessee Rule of Civil Procedure 27, insureds seek to obtain from their insurer copies of previous unsworn oral statements given to an adjuster before they will submit to a statement under oath pursuant to their obligations under the policy. The trial court granted the Petition, and insurer appeals. The judgment of the trial court is reversed, and the case is remanded with instructions to dismiss the Petition. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/jonest.wpd
MICHAEL W. LAMBERSON v. KATHY SUE LAMBERSON Court:TCA Attorneys: Clark Lee Shaw, John David Moore, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Michael W.Lamberson. David Lyle, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Kathy Sue Lamberson. Judge: CAIN First Paragraph: In this appeal, the ex-husband challenges the trial court's order denying his post-divorce petition to modify alimony and finding him in "technical contempt." We find that the proof is inadequate to establish willful efforts to defeat alimony obligations, that his change of employment was not voluntary and that a substantial and material change of circumstances has occurred, justifying some relief from the alimony obligation. The trial court did not err in holding the ex-husband to be in contempt. We reverse the judgment in part, affirm the judgment in part, and remand the case for further proceedings. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/lambers.wpd
MICKIE R. McBEE v. J. LYNN NANCE Court:TCA Attorneys: Mickie R. McBee, pro se Appellant. Kenneth W. Holbert, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the Appellee J. Lynn Nance. Judge: SWINEY First Paragraph: Mickie R. McBee ("Plaintiff") signed a Promissory Note evidencing an indebtedness to J. Lynn Nance ("Defendant") in the amount of $15,000. The Promissory Note ("Note") was secured by a Deed of Trust on Plaintiff's house. After Plaintiff failed to make any payments on the Note, Defendant foreclosed on the house. Plaintiff then filed this lawsuit challenging the adequacy of the consideration supporting the Note. At trial, Defendant testified to various cash loans he made to Plaintiff which he claimed constituted adequate consideration for the Note. Plaintiff claimed these were gifts, not loans. The Trial Court concluded the Note was supported by adequate consideration and dismissed the complaint. Plaintiff appeals. We affirm. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/mcbeem.wpd
EVELEAN MORGAN v. STATE OF TENNESSEE Court:TCA Attorneys: David H. Dunaway, LaFollette, Tennessee, for the appellant, Evelean Morgan. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; and Christopher Michael Fancher, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee. Judge: KOCH First Paragraph: This appeal involves a fatal accident at the Colditz Cove State Natural Area in Fentress County. The mother of a woman who fell to her death from the bluff surrounding Northrup Falls filed a claim with the Tennessee Claims Commission. The State of Tennessee denied liability based on (1) the recreational use defense in Tenn. Code Ann. S 70-7-102 (1995), (2) its lack of actual or constructive notice of a dangerous condition, and (3) its assertion that the decedent's fault exceeded its own. The commissioner granted the State's motion for summary judgment. While he did not rely on the statutory recreational use defense, the commissioner determined that the State had no notice of a dangerous condition at the natural area, it was not reasonably foreseeable that intoxicated persons who were unfamiliar with the natural area would hike into the area of the falls in the middle of the night, and the decedent's actions were the sole proximate cause of her death. The decedent's mother has appealed. We have determined that the commissioner properly granted the summary judgment because, as a matter of law, (1) the State established a defense under Tenn. Code Ann. S 70-7-102, (2) the decedent's estate presented no evidence that the State had actual or constructive notice of an allegedly dangerous condition on the trail in the natural area, and (3) the decedent's fault far exceeded whatever fault could be attributed to the State. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/morgane.wpd
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. LARRY K. BOMBAILEY Court:TCCA Attorneys: Steve McEwen, Mountain City, Tennessee (on appeal); Stephen M. Wallace, District Public Defender, and Terry L. Jordan, Assistant Public Defender (at trial), for the appellant, Larry K. Bombailey. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Braden H. Boucek, Assistant Attorney General; H. Greeley Wells, Jr., District Attorney General; and Joseph E. Perrin, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee. Judge: TIPTON First Paragraph: The defendant, Larry K. Bombailey, pled guilty in the Sullivan County Criminal Court to violating a motor vehicle habitual offender order, a Class E felony; theft of property valued at $500 or less, a Class A misdemeanor; and public intoxication, a Class C misdemeanor. The defendant agreed to a sentence as a Range I offender of eleven months, twenty-nine days for the theft; thirty days for the public intoxication, to be served concurrently to the theft; and eighteen months for violating a motor vehicle habitual offender order, to be served consecutively to the theft. The parties stipulated that the trial court would determine the manner of service for the defendant's conviction for violating a motor vehicle habitual offender order. After a sentencing hearing, the trial court denied the defendant's request for an alternative sentence for the motor vehicle habitual offender violation. The defendant appeals, claiming that the trial court erred by denying him an alternative sentence. We affirm the trial court's denial of an alternative sentence but remand the case for entry of a corrected judgment for the theft conviction. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/bombaileylarryk.wpd
ROGER L. HICKMAN VS. STATE OF TENNESSEE Court:TCCA Attorneys: Doug Trant, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Roger L. Hickman. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; David H. Findley, Assistant Attorney General; and Randall E. Nichols, District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee Judge: WELLES First Paragraph: The Defendant, Roger L. Hickman, appeals from the trial court's dismissal of his petition for post- conviction relief, in which he alleged that, in 1986, he entered a guilty plea to a misdemeanor without the assistance of counsel and without waiving his right to counsel. We affirm the dismissal of the Defendant's post-conviction petition because it was time-barred. Furthermore, we conclude that the Defendant is not entitled to habeas corpus relief. We affirm the judgment of the trial court. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/hickmanrl.wpd
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. MICHAEL D. MARTIN Court:TCCA Attorneys: George Todd East, Kingsport, Tennessee, for the appellant, Michael D. Martin. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Brent C. Cherry, Assistant Attorney General; H. Greeley Wells, Jr., District Attorney General; and B. Todd Martin, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee. Judge: TIPTON First Paragraph: The defendant, Michael D. Martin, pled guilty in the Sullivan County Criminal Court to violating a motor vehicle habitual offender order, a Class E felony. After a sentencing hearing, the trial court sentenced the defendant as a Range II, multiple offender to four years in the Department of Correction (DOC) and ruled that despite the general prohibition on probation contained in T.C.A. S 55-10-616(c) of the Motor Vehicle Habitual Offenders (MVHO) Act, trial courts can consider probation for defendants who violate motor vehicle habitual offender orders. Nevertheless, the trial court denied the defendant's request for probation. The defendant appeals, claiming that his sentence is excessive and that he should have received full probation. We conclude that the defendant's sentence should be reduced to three years. We conclude that the Criminal Sentencing Reform Act of 1989 repealed by implication the MVHO Act's prohibition of probation in T.C.A. S 55-10-616(c). However, we also conclude that the trial court erred in denying any form of alternative sentencing, and we remand the case for the entry of an appropriate sentence. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/martinm.wpd
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. MICHAEL D. MARTIN Court:TCCA WADE CONCURRING http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/martinm_con.wpd
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