Opinion Flash

March 9, 2004
Volume 10 — Number 046

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
01 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Court of Appeals
06 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


JAMES ROY SMITH, JR. v. MARY ELIZABETH SMITH AND AIR DRAULICS
ENGINEERING COMPANY, INC., GARNISHEE

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          

Howard B. Hayden, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Air Draulics
Engineering Company, Inc.

Valerie Corder, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellee, James Roy Smith,
Jr.

Terese B. Deboo, Guardian Ad Litem, Memphis, Tennessee, appellee, pro
se.

Judge: KIRBY

First Paragraph:

This is a garnishment case.  In the underlying child custody
proceedings, the father obtained primary custody of the parties' minor
child, and the mother was ordered to pay child support.  The father
and the child's guardian ad litem subsequently obtained judgments
against the mother for child support, attorney's fees, and guardian ad
litem fees.  To collect on the judgments, the father and the guardian
ad litem filed four garnishments against the mother's wages.  After
the fourth garnishment was filed, the garnishee failed to answer.  A
hearing was set to determine whether a conditional judgment should be
against the garnishee for the entire debt.  On the eve of the hearing,
the garnishee filed an answer to the garnishment, admitting liability.
 Nevertheless, the trial court entered a conditional judgment against
the garnishee for the entire amount of the mother's debt.  After a
subsequent scire facias hearing, the trial court made the conditional
judgment a final judgment for the entire amount of the debt.  The
garnishee now appeals.  We reverse, concluding that, because the
garnishee filed an answer, albeit untimely, the trial court was
without authority to enter a conditional judgment against the
garnishee.

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. ROBERT ALLEN CRAWFORD

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

A. Scott Pratt, Johnson City, Tennessee, for the appellant, Robert A.
Crawford.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Helena Walton
Yarbrough, Assistant Attorney General; Joe C. Crumley, Jr., District
Attorney General; and Steven R. Finney, Assistant District Attorney
General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: GLENN

First Paragraph:

The defendant was convicted by a Washington County Criminal Court jury
of first degree felony murder in the perpetration of an aggravated
burglary; criminally negligent homicide, a Class E felony; aggravated
burglary, a Class C felony; aggravated assault, a Class C felony; and
reckless endangerment, a Class E felony.  The trial court merged the
conviction for criminally negligent homicide with the conviction for
first degree murder, and the defendant received concurrent sentences
of life for the first degree murder conviction, four years for the
aggravated burglary conviction, three years for the aggravated assault
conviction, and one year for the reckless endangerment conviction.  He
raises two interrelated issues on appeal:  whether the evidence was
sufficient to support his felony murder conviction and whether the
aggravated burglary count of the indictment was fatally defective for
failing to name a victim for the underlying intended assault, thereby
invalidating his convictions for aggravated burglary and first degree
murder.  Following our review, we affirm the judgments of the trial
court.

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

TRACY LYNNETTE GLENN v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Tom W. Crider, District Public Defender; and Periann S. Houghton,
Assistant District Public Defender, for the appellant, Tracy Lynnette
Glenn.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Jennifer L. Bledsoe,
Assistant Attorney General;  and John C. Zimmerman, District Attorney
General Pro Tem, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: RILEY

First Paragraph:

The petitioner originally entered an open guilty plea to aggravated
robbery and child neglect and received concurrent sentences of eight
years and eleven months and twenty-nine days, respectively, to be
served in incarceration.  She timely sought post-conviction relief,
which was denied.  In this appeal, the petitioner asserts defense
counsel was ineffective and, thus,  her guilty plea resulted from
defense counsel's ineffectiveness.  We affirm the judgment of the
post-conviction court.

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

DEXTER P. JONES v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Jack D. Lowery, Lebanon, Tennessee, for the appellant, Dexter P.
Jones.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Kathy D. Aslinger,
Assistant Attorney General; Tom P. Thompson, Jr., District Attorney
General; and Robert N. Hibbett, Assistant District Attorney General,
for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: TIPTON

First Paragraph:

The petitioner, Dexter P. Jones, appeals from the Wilson County
Criminal Court's denial of post-conviction relief from his four
convictions for assault, a Class A misdemeanor, and resulting
consecutive eleven-month, twenty-nine-day sentences.  He contends that
his guilty pleas were not knowingly, voluntarily, and intelligently
made because the trial court did not advise him that he was waiving a
double jeopardy claim.  We affirm the trial court's denial of the
petition.

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

WILLIAM ROMERO PADILLA v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Harold R. Gunn, Humboldt, Tennessee, for the appellant, William Romero
Padilla.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; J. Ross Dyer,
Assistant Attorney General; Garry G. Brown, District Attorney General;
and Elaine Gwinn Todd, Assistant District Attorney General, for the
appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: OGLE

First Paragraph:

The petitioner, William Romero Padilla, was convicted in the Haywood
County Circuit Court of rape of a child and was sentenced to
twenty-five years incarceration in the Tennessee Department of
Correction.  Subsequently, he filed for post-conviction relief,
alleging that counsel was ineffective and that "fundamental fairness"
dictated that a different prosecutor should have represented the State
at trial.  After an evidentiary hearing, the post-conviction court
dismissed the petition, and the petitioner appealed.  Upon our review
of the record and the parties' briefs, we affirm the judgment of the
post-conviction court.

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JARED SINGLETON

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Quenton Scott Horton, McMinnville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jared
Singleton.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Christine M. Lapps,
Assistant Attorney General; and Larry Bryant, Assistant District
Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WADE

First Paragraph:

The petitioner, William Romero Padilla, was convicted in the Haywood
County Circuit Court of rape of a child and was sentenced to
twenty-five years incarceration in the Tennessee Department of
Correction.  Subsequently, he filed for post-conviction relief,
alleging that counsel was ineffective and that "fundamental fairness"
dictated that a different prosecutor should have represented the State
at trial.  After an evidentiary hearing, the post-conviction court
dismissed the petition, and the petitioner appealed.  Upon our review
of the record and the parties' briefs, we affirm the judgment of the
post-conviction court.

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. WILLIAM HERBERT STITTS

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Clifford K. McGown, Jr., Waverly, Tennessee (on appeal); George Morton
Googe, District Public Defender (at trial and on appeal); and Vanessa
D. King, Assistant District Public Defender (at trial), for the
appellant, William Herbert Stitts.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Jennifer L. Bledsoe,
Assistant Attorney General; James G. Woodall, District Attorney
General; and Shaun A. Brown, Assistant District Attorney General, for
the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: OGLE

First Paragraph:

The appellant, William Herbert Stitts, was convicted by a jury in the
Madison County Circuit Court of two counts of robbery, Class C
felonies.  Following a sentencing hearing, the trial court sentenced
the appellant on each count as a Range II multiple offender to ten
years incarceration in the Tennessee Department of Correction, to be
served consecutively to one another and consecutively to sentences for
previous, unrelated convictions.  On appeal, the appellant asserts
that (1) the evidence was insufficient to sustain his conviction of
robbery as charged in count one of the indictment, and (2) the
sentence imposed by the trial court was excessive.  Upon review of the
record and the parties' briefs, we affirm the judgments of the trial
court.

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

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