Opinion Flash

June 7, 2004
Volume 10 — Number 109

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
05 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Court of Appeals
03 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals
02 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


ROBERT S. SHIPLEY v. RYDER TRUCK RENTALS, INC.

Court:TSC - Workers Comp Panel

Attorneys:                          

Daniel C. Todd, Nashville, Tennessee, for Appellant, Ryder Truck
Rental, Inc.

David H. Dunaway, LaFollette, Tennessee, for Appellee, Robert S.
Shipley

Judge: CATE

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 its findings of fact and conclusions of law.  In this
appeal the employer complains that the trial court was in error (1) by
allowing the surprise live testimony of Dr. C. M. Salekin contrary to
the agreement of the parties and the court's prior orders; and (2) in
awarding the employee 100 percent permanent disability to the left eye
when the employee was legally blind in the left eye prior to the
alleged injury and plaintiff failed to prove any loss of use.  We
disagree and affirm the trial court on these two issues.  The employer
also complains that the trial court erred in awarding prejudgment
interest.  We agree and reverse.

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

SUPREME COURT OF TENNESSEE
SUPREME COURT DISCRETIONARY APPEALS

Court:TSC - Rules

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC_Rules/certlist_0607.wpd

In re C.D.C., JR.

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          

Edward Kershaw, Greeneville, Tennessee, for appellant, Christopher
Dean Collins, Sr.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Douglas Earl Dimond,
Assistant Attorney General, for appellee, Tennessee Department of
Children's Services.

Judge: INMAN

First Paragraph:

This is a proceeding to terminate the parental relationship between
father and son.  The mother's relationship had been previously
terminated at her request.  The trial court terminated the father's
parental relationship on statutory grounds of non-support, non
visitation, and best interests.  Father essentially argues that his
son, who was born February 12, 1996 in Texas, was hidden from him,
thereby frustrating his efforts to support or visit him. The trial
court found that the Respondent had little credibility, that he had no
permanent address, and that he failed to keep anyone apprised of his
address for the last four years.  Judgment affirmed.

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

KAY GILLIAM DULIN v. MICHAEL JAY DULIN

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          

Michael J. Dulin, Pro Se

S. Denise McCrary and Stephanie M. Micheel of Memphis for Appellee,
Kay Gilliam Dulin

Judge: CRAWFORD

First Paragraph:

Father of minor child appeals the trial court's order finding him in
contempt of court, assessing arrearages of child support and attorney
fees on the ground that the court lacked personal jurisdiction in the
original divorce action and all subsequent proceedings.  We affirm.

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

SAMUEL HUMPHREYS v. RICHARD SELVEY

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          

S. Russell Headrick and Jennifer Marie Eberle, Memphis, For Appellant,
Samuel Humphreys

Bill M. Wade, Memphis, For Appellee, Richard Selvey

Judge: CRAWFORD

First Paragraph:

Plaintiff, Tennessee buyer, filed complaint in Shelby County,
Tennessee circuit court against South Carolina seller for fraudulent,
unlawful, and tortious conduct in connection with contract for
purchase of antique soda dispensers.  Seller filed motion to dismiss,
alleging as grounds lack of personal jurisdiction and improper venue,
and trial court granted motion on both grounds.  Buyer appeals trial
court's finding that there were insufficient contacts to establish
personal jurisdiction of seller.  We reverse and remand.

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

HOWARD LEVY AND SUZANNE LEVY v. JAMES C.D. AND RHONDA FRANKS, LINDSEY
BUTLER AND TENNESSEE VALLEY HOMES, INC.

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          

Peter H. Curry, Nashville, for the appellants Howard Levy and Suzanne
Levy.

James D. Kay, Jr. and Mark S. Levan, Nashville, for the appellees
James C.D. and Rhonda Franks.

Judge: KIRBY

First Paragraph:

This case involves a dispute between neighbors.  The plaintiffs owned
a one-acre parcel of property in a rural setting almost completely
surrounded by a sixteen-acre parcel of property owned by the
defendants.  The defendant larger landowners began building structures
and storing equipment in an escalating commercial use of their
property.  The plaintiff small landowners complained to county
officials that the defendants' use of their property constituted a
zoning violation.  The ensuing dispute between the two landowners was
marked by the defendants engaging in threatening and intimidating
behavior and the plaintiffs repeatedly complaining to authorities and
incessantly documenting and videotaping the defendants' activities. 
Finally, the plaintiffs sued the defendants for, among other things,
malicious harassment, outrageous conduct, civil conspiracy, and
malicious prosecution.  The trial court found in favor of the
plaintiffs on the malicious prosecution claim but declined to award
punitive damages.  The trial court dismissed the remaining claims. 
The plaintiffs appeal.  We affirm the dismissal of the plaintiffs'
claims of malicious harassment and civil conspiracy.  We reverse the
dismissal of the plaintiffs' claim for outrageous conduct, finding
that the defendants' behavior rose to the level of outrageous conduct,
and remand for an award of damages on this claim.  Finally, we reverse
the denial of an award of punitive damages on the plaintiffs'
malicious prosecution claim.

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

RITA WERNE v. ROBERT SANDERSON, ET AL.

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          

Daryl G. Hawkins, Columbia, South Carolina and Vincent K. Seiler,
Jackson, Tennessee, for the appellant, Rita Werne.

William W. Heaton and G. Patrick Arnoult, Memphis, Tennessee, for the
appellees, Protection Unlimited, Inc., Wayne Lowery and Linda Carter.

William W. Dunlap, Jr., Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellee, Blan R.
Nicholson.

James J. McMahon, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellee, Estate of Anna
Sanderson, Deceased and James T. Bland, Jr., Memphis, Tennessee, for
the appellee, Anna Sanderson Trust

Judge: FARMER

First Paragraph:

The trial court found Plaintiff was the owner of disputed stock, but
had failed to prove monetary damages.  We affirm in part and remand
for further proceedings regarding damages.

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. RONALD DOTSON

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Robert B. Gaia, Memphis, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Ronald Dotson.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Michael Moore,
Solicitor General; Michael Markham, Assistant Attorney General;
William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and Amy P. Weirich,
Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of
Tennessee.

Judge: HAYES

First Paragraph:

A Shelby County jury convicted the Appellant, Ronald Dotson, of two
counts of aggravated robbery.  Following a sentencing hearing, Dotson
was found to be a repeat violent offender and sentenced to two
consecutive sentences of life without parole.  On appeal, Dotson
argues that the trial court erred in denying his motion for
continuance based upon (1) the State's failure to provide pre-trial
discovery and (2) the court's ruling which permitted impeachment under
Tennessee Rules of Evidence 609.  As a second issue, Dotson argues
that the evidence is legally insufficient to support his convictions. 
Finding no reversible error, the judgments of conviction are affirmed.

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. TONYA LYNN JOWERS

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Carthel L. Smith, Jr., Lexington, Tennessee, for the appellant, Tonya
Lynn Jowers.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; J. Ross Dyer,
Assistant Attorney General; James G. Woodall, District Attorney
General; and William R. Martin, Assistant District Attorney General,
for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: TIPTON

First Paragraph:

The defendant, Tonya Lynn Jowers, appeals the Henderson County Circuit
Court's order upholding the prosecutor's denial of pretrial diversion
for the charge of theft of property valued more than $10,000 but less
than $60,000, a Class C felony.  She claims that the prosecutor abused
his discretion by failing to consider all the relevant factors.  We
affirm the trial court's order denying pretrial diversion.

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

MICHAEL JOHN STITTS v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Danny R. Ellis, Jackson, Tennessee, for the appellant, Michael John
Stitts.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; J. Ross Dyer,
Assistant Attorney General; James G. Woodall, District Attorney
General; and Alfred L. Earls, Assistant District Attorney General, for
the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WILLIAMS

First Paragraph:

The petitioner appeals his denial of post-conviction relief, alleging
ineffective counsel.  Upon review, we affirm the post-conviction
court's denial.

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

Contributions to Sheriff's Drug Fund

Date: May 19, 2004

Opinion Number: 04-096                        

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/AG/2004/op96.pdf

Criminal Law - - Propriety of increased law enforcement activities and
stops based on probable cause.
 
Date: June 4, 2004

Opinion Number: 04-097                         

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/AG/2004/op97.pdf

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