Opinion Flash

July 15, 2004
Volume 10 — Number 135

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
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


RONNIE GALE MARTIN v. DEBORAH ELAINE KENT MARTIN

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          

J. Thomas Caldwell, Ripley, Tennessee, for the appellant, Ronnie Gale
Martin.

Julie D. Byrd, Bartlett, Tennessee, for the appellee, Deborah Elaine
Kent Martin.

Judge: FARMER

First Paragraph:

Husband filed present divorce action against Wife alleging
irreconcilable differences and inappropriate marital conduct.  Wife
answered denying the inappropriate marital conduct and subsequently
counter-complained for divorce alleging adultery.  Wife amended her
counter- complaint to request a legal separation or in the alternative
an absolute divorce.  The trial court granted Wife an absolute divorce
based upon its finding of HusbandÕs inappropriate marital conduct. 
The trial court awarded Wife alimony by requiring Husband to pay for
WifeÕs health insurance for three years and, thereafter, pay Wife
$50.00 a month.  The trial court ordered a property division and
required Husband to pay WifeÕs attorneyÕs fees.  We affirm the award
of divorce, distribution of marital property and debt, and award of
attorneyÕs fees.  We affirm the award of alimony in the amount of
$50.00 a month but vacate the award of health insurance and remand for
further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. MICHAEL RAY McGILL

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Mark E. Stephens, District Public Defender, and Randall J. Kilby,
Assistant Public Defender, for the appellant, Michael Ray McGill.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Brent C. Cherry,
Assistant Attorney General; Randall E. Nichols, District Attorney
General; Marsha Mitchell, Assistant District Attorney General, for the
appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: TIPTON

First Paragraph:

The defendant, Michael Ray McGill, pled guilty in the Knox County
Criminal Court to violating a motor vehicle habitual offender order, a
Class E felony.  Pursuant to a plea agreement, the defendant received
a four-year sentence with the manner of service to be determined by
the trial court.  After a sentencing hearing, the trial court denied
the defendantÕs request for an alternative sentence and ordered that
he serve his sentence in the Department of Correction.  The defendant
appeals, claiming that the trial court erred by sentencing him to
confinement.  We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

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

STEPHEN OTIS NICELY v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Kristi M. Davis, Knoxville, Tennessee (on appeal); Gerald L. Gulley,
Jr., Knoxville, Tennessee (at post-conviction hearing), for the
appellant, Stephen Otis Nicely.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Michelle Chapman
McIntire, Assistant Attorney General; Randall E. Nichols, District
Attorney General; and Leland L. Price, Assistant District Attorney
General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: TIPTON

First Paragraph:

The petitioner, Stephen Otis Nicely , appeals the Knox County Criminal
CourtÕs denial of his petition for post-conviction relief from his
rape of a child conviction, his aggravated sexual battery conviction,
and his resulting effective sentence of twenty-two years.  The
petitioner claims that he received the ineffective assistance of
counsel because his attorney (1) refused to let him testify at trial;
(2) failed to challenge the admissibility of evidence of the victimÕs
post-traumatic stress disorder; (3) failed to prepare and investigate
adequately for trial; and (4) failed to instruct the petitioner on the
range of punishment if convicted.  We affirm the trial courtÕs denial
of the petition.

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

CHRISTA GAIL PIKE v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Donald E. Dawson and Catherine Y. Brockenborough, Nashville,
Tennessee, for the appellant, Christa Gail Pike.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Alice B. Lustre,
Assistant Attorney General; and Leland Price and S. Jo Helm, Assistant
District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WADE

First Paragraph:

The petitioner, Christa Gail Pike, appeals as of right from an order
denying her motion to reinstate a petition for post-conviction relief.
 Her counsel had previously appealed an order approving the withdrawal
of the post-conviction claim.  In this appeal, the petitioner asserts
(1) that an inmate under a sentence of death should not be permitted
to waive post-conviction review of a capital case; (2) that the
hearing conducted by the post-conviction court to determine whether
her decision to waive further challenges to her conviction and
sentence did not comply with due process requirements; and (3) that
the post-conviction relief petition was not properly withdrawn.  This
court concludes that the petitioner, under a capital sentence, may
waive post-conviction review; that the hearing was in compliance with
due process standards; and that the evidence supported the findings
that the petitioner was competent to withdraw her post-conviction
petition and that her decision to do so was voluntarily and knowingly
made.  The judgment of the post-conviction court allowing the
withdrawal of the post-conviction petition is affirmed.  The order
denying the motion to reinstate the petition is also affirmed.

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. ANTHONY J. RAMEY

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Stephen M. Wallace, District Public Defender, and Terry Jordan and
Joseph F. Harrison, Assistant Public Defenders, Blountville, Tennessee
(at trial), and Julie A. Rice, Knoxville, Tennessee (on appeal), for
the Appellant, Anthony J. Ramey.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Brent C. Cherry,
Assistant Attorney General; H. Greeley Wells, Jr., District Attorney
General; and James F. Goodwin, Assistant District Attorney General,
for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WITT

First Paragraph:

The defendant, Anthony J. Ramey, appeals his jury conviction of
aggravated sexual battery, a lesser- included offense of rape of a
child with which he was originally charged.  He claims (1) that the
evidence presented at trial was insufficient to find him guilty of
aggravated sexual battery; (2) that the trial court should have
granted his motion for judgment of acquittal; (3) that the length of
his sentence is excessive; (4) that the jury should have been
instructed on the lesser-included offense of child abuse; and (5) that
Code section 40-18-110(c), which requires a written request for an
instruction on a lesser-included offense, is unconstitutional.  Upon
review, we are unpersuaded by the defendantÕs arguments and,
accordingly, affirm his conviction and sentence.

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

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. MICHAEL ROGERS

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Didi Christie, Brownsville, Tennessee (on appeal) and Julie K. Pillow,
Somerville, Tennessee (at trial), for the appellant, Michael Rogers.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Elizabeth T. Ryan,
Senior Counsel, Elizabeth T. Rice, District Attorney General; and
Tracey A. Brewer, Assistant District Attorney General, for the
appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: OGLE

First Paragraph:

The appellant, Michael Rogers, was found guilty by a jury in the
Lauderdale County Circuit Court of possession of more than one-half
ounce of marijuana with the intent to deliver.  He was sentenced to
six years incarceration in the Tennessee Department of Correction.  On
appeal, the appellant challenges the sufficiency of the evidence
supporting his conviction.  Upon review of the record and the partiesÕ
briefs, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

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

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