Opinion Flash

June 11, 2004
Volume 10 — Number 113

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


ALLEN BLANKENSHIP, D/B/A SKULLBONE MUSIC PARK, INC. v. GIBSON COUNTY
AND COUNTY COMMISSIONERS, ET AL.

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          

Mark L. Agee, Trenton, for the appellant Allen Blankenship, d/b/a
Skullbone Music Park, Inc.

James I. Pentecost and Brandon O. Gibson, Jackson, for the appellee
Gibson County.

Judge: KIRBY

First Paragraph:

This is a zoning case.  The property owner applied to re-zone the
property from agricultural to business.  The Tennessee Department of
Economic and Community Development and the county planning commission
recommended that the County Commission deny the property owner's
application.  The County Commission voted to deny the application. 
The plaintiff/appellant property owner filed a complaint for
declaratory judgment in chancery court, seeking to overturn the
decision.  The defendant/appellee County Commission filed a motion for
summary judgment, which was granted.  The property owner now appeals. 
We affirm, finding no genuine issue of material fact and that the
County Commission had a rational basis for its decision.

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

IN RE:  D.C.L. and T.H.L., CHILDREN UNDER EIGHTEEN (18) YEARS OF AGE

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          

Charles T. Webber, Jr., Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, G.L.

Judith R. Whitfield, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, for the appellee, S.P.

Wanda G. Sobieski, Knoxville, Tennessee, Guardian Ad Litem for D.C.L.
and T.H.L.

Judge: SUSANO

First Paragraph:

The trial court terminated the parental rights of G.L. and his wife,
S.L., to their children, D.C.L. and T.H.L.  The court awarded
guardianship of the children to their maternal grandmother, S.P.  The
children's father  appeals.  We affirm.

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

BARBARA ANN RODGERS (RIGGS) v. CHARLES DUANE RODGERS, JR.

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          

Richard Donald Hash, Maryville, Tennessee, for appellant, Charles
Duane Rodgers, Jr.

Jerry G. Cunningham and Melanie E. Davis, Maryville, Tennessee, for
appellee Barbara N. Rodgers Riggs.

Judge: INMAN

First Paragraph:

Appellant filed a petition to reduce his child support obligation
following his loss of employment as a mechanical engineer and his
inability to find other employment.  Relief was denied,
notwithstanding that two children had attained their majority, and the
petition was dismissed.  Judgment reversed and case remanded.

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

LLOYD RAYMOND SWEEZY v. KATHY MAE SWEEZY

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          

Liza Z. Espy, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for Appellant, Lloyd Raymond
Sweezy.

Grace E. Daniell, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for Appellee, Kathy Mae
Sweezy.

Judge: INMAN

First Paragraph:

Husband proposed that the marital residence be sold, with the proceeds
used for the payment of marital debts.  The proposal was accepted but
Husband complains on appeal that some of wife's debts were not marital
debts.  Judgment of contempt vacated.  Remained of judgment affirmed.

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

JOHNNY W. SANDERS, MELINDA THOMPSON, GAYLE SANDERS, INDIVIDUALLY AND
AS TRUSTEE OF THE MELINDA AND CHILDREN TRUST, EZ CASH I, LLC, EZ CASH
II, LLC, EZ CASH III, LLC, EZ CASH IV, LLC, AND EZ CASH V, LLC

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          

Warner Hodges, III, Germantown, Tennessee, for the appellant, Albert
Thompson.

G. Coble Caperton, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellees, Johnny W.
Sanders, Melinda Thompson, Gayle Sanders, individually and as trustee
of the Melinda and Children Trust, EZ Cash I, LLC, EZ Cash II, LLC, EZ
Cash III, LLC, EZ Cash IV, LLC, and EZ Cash V, LLC.

Judge: KIRBY

First Paragraph:

The issue in this case is whether we have subject matter jurisdiction
over this appeal.  The plaintiff sued the defendants for, among other
things, breach of contract, fraud, and intentional infliction of
emotional distress.  On July 15, 2002, the trial court entered an
order granting summary judgment in favor of the defendants. 
Thirty-two (32) days later, on August 16, 2002, the plaintiff filed a
motion to alter or amend the judgment.  The trial court denied the
motion to alter or amend, and the plaintiff now appeals.  This Court,
sua sponte, asked the parties for supplemental briefs regarding
whether the appeal was timely.  In light of the undisputed facts, we
must hold that the plaintiff's motion to alter or amend was untimely
and, consequently, that the plaintiff's notice of appeal was untimely.
 Therefore, we must dismiss this appeal for lack of subject matter
jurisdiction.

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

LUTHER HAGGARD v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Luther Haggard, Nashville, Tennessee, Pro Se.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; David H. Findley,
Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, District Attorney
General; and Kathy Morante, Assistant District Attorney General, for
the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: SMITH

First Paragraph:

The petitioner, Luther Haggard, filed a petition for the writ of
habeas corpus in the Davidson County Criminal Court. In the petition
he alleges that various Bradley County, Tennessee, convictions he
received pursuant to guilty pleas entered in 1997 are illegal and
void.  The Davidson County Criminal Court summarily dismissed the
petition.  We affirm.

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. RANDY JAMES

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Michael J. Flanagan, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Randy
James.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Helena Walton
Yarbrough, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, District
Attorney General; and Lisa Donegan; Assistant District Attorney
General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WELLES

First Paragraph:

The Defendant, Randy James, pled guilty to felony possession of
marijuana.  As part of his plea agreement, he expressly reserved with
the consent of the trial court and the State the right to appeal a
certified question of law pursuant to Tennessee Rule of Criminal
Procedure 37(b)(2)(i).  The issue before us is whether the trial court
erred by not suppressing the fruits of a search where there were
alleged false statements in the affidavit supporting the search
warrant.  We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE  v.  KENNETH H. LAWS

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

David L. Leonard, Greeneville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Kenneth
H. Laws.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Elizabeth B. Marney,
Assistant Attorney General; Joe C. Crumley, Jr., District Attorney
General; and Dennis Brooks, Assistant District Attorney General, for
the appellee, the State of Tennessee.

Judge: WOODALL

First Paragraph:

Defendant, Kenneth H. Laws, was indicted by the Washington County
Grand Jury for aggravated assault, a Class C felony, and false
imprisonment, a Class A misdemeanor.  Following a jury trial,
Defendant was convicted of aggravated assault and acquitted of false
imprisonment.  Defendant was sentenced to serve ten years in
confinement.  Defendant appeals, arguing that the evidence is
insufficient to support his conviction and that his sentence is
excessive.  After reviewing the record before us, we affirm the
judgment of the trial court.

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

JAMES R.W. REYNOLDS v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Thompson G. Kirkpatrick, Manchester, Tennessee, for the appellant,
James R.W. Reynolds.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Helena Walton
Yarbrough, Assistant Attorney General; and C. Michael Layne, District
Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: GLENN

First Paragraph:

The petitioner  appeals the summary dismissal of his petition for writ
of habeas corpus, arguing that the indictment, which charged him with
two counts of aggravated rape but which cited the statute for
aggravated sexual battery, failed to give him sufficient notice of the
charges he would be required to defend, thereby depriving the
convicting court of jurisdiction and rendering his judgments void. 
The petitioner further argues that the judgments failed to satisfy the
requirements of Rule 32(e) of the Tennessee Rules of Criminal
Procedure because they failed to reference the aggravated rape
statute.  Having reviewed the entire record, we conclude that the
petitioner has failed to state a claim for habeas corpus relief. 
Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the trial court dismissing the
petition for writ of habeas corpus.

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. BRIAN DOUGLAS WILLIAMS

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

David W. Camp, Jackson, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Brian Douglas
Williams.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Michael Moore,
Solicitor General; Jennifer L. Bledsoe, Assistant Attorney General;
James G. Woodall, District Attorney General; and James W. Thompson,
Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of
Tennessee.

Judge: HAYES

First Paragraph:

The Appellant, Brian Douglas Williams, appeals the decision of the
Madison County Circuit  Court revoking his probation. In August 2002,
Williams entered "best interest" pleas to stalking, harassment, and
aggravated assault and received an effective eight-year sentence. 
These sentences were suspended, and he was placed on supervised
probation.  On October 18, 2002, a warrant was issued, alleging that
Williams had violated a condition of his probation by contacting the
victim.  After a hearing, Williams was found to be in violation of his
probation, and his original consecutive sentences to the Department of
Correction and the County Workhouse were reinstated.  On appeal,
Williams argues that the evidence fails to establish that he violated
his probation.  After review, the judgment of the trial court is
affirmed.

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

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