Opinion Flash

October 14, 2004
Volume 10 — Number 199

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


WILLIAM  R. VARNER d/b/a FOUNTAIN CITY AUTO SALES v. THE CITY OF
KNOXVILLE, TENNESSEE

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          

Sharon E. Boyce, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the Appellant, The City of
Knoxville, Tennessee

David Lee Bacon, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the Appellee, William R.
Varner

Judge: LEE

First Paragraph:

This appeal arises from an inverse condemnation suit filed by a
landowner against the City of Knoxville.  When the landowner purchased
the property at issue from a church, it was zoned for residential use
and was subject to restrictions set forth in a development plan
previously approved by the Knoxville/Knox County Metropolitan Planning
Commission. The landowner filed a motion for partial summary judgment
which asserted that the City's refusal to remove the property from the
development plan precluded use of the property for any economically
feasible purpose and, therefore, constituted a taking for which he was
entitled to be compensated.  The trial court granted the landowner's
motion for partial summary judgment and decreed the City liable for a
taking.  A jury subsequently returned a verdict awarding the landowner
damages in the amount of $125,500.00 which the trial court remitted to
$40,000.00.   We conclude that a genuine factual issue exists as to
whether there is any economically beneficial use of the property
consistent with its current zoning and, therefore, we vacate the
judgment of the trial court and remand.

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

JAMES D. ALDER v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Mickey Hall, Winchester, Tennessee, for the appellant, James D. Alder.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Helena Walton
Yarbrough, Assistant Attorney General; J. Michael Taylor, District
Attorney General; and Steve Strain, Assistant District Attorney
General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WELLES

First Paragraph:

This is an appeal from the denial of post-conviction relief.  The
Defendant, James D. Alder, was convicted by jury verdict of attempted
second degree murder, aggravated assault, and reckless endangerment. 
This Court upheld the Defendant's convictions on direct appeal.  The
Defendant subsequently filed a Petition for Post-Conviction Relief. 
The trial court denied this petition and the Defendant now appeals to
this Court arguing the single issue of ineffective assistance of trial
counsel.  We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

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

LESLIE LAMONT COLEMAN, PRO SE v. STATE OF TENNESSEE 

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Leslie Lamont Coleman, pro se.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Elizabeth T. Ryan,
Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, State of  Tennessee.

Judge: WEDEMEYER

First Paragraph:

The Petitioner, Leslie Lamont Coleman, appeals the trial court's
dismissal of his petition for post conviction relief.  The State has
filed a motion requesting that this Court affirm the trial court's
denial of relief pursuant to Rule 20, Rules of the Court of Criminal
Appeals.  The Petitioner filed his petition outside the statute of
limitations.  Accordingly, the State's motion is granted, and the
judgment of the trial court is affirmed.

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

MICHAEL S. NEELY v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Michael S. Neely, Nashville, Tennessee, Pro Se.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; John H. Bledsoe,
Assistant Attorney General; and William C. Whitesell, Jr., District
Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WELLES

First Paragraph:

The Defendant, Michael S. Neely, appeals from the order of the trial
court dismissing his petition for post-conviction relief as
time-barred.  The State has filed a motion requesting that this court
affirm the judgment of the trial court pursuant to Rule 20 of the
Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals.  We grant the State's motion
and affirm the judgment of the trial court.

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

CHARLES RITTER v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Brandt Davis, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Charles Ritter.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Seth P. Kestner,
Assistant Attorney General; Randall E. Nichols, District Attorney
General; and Philip H. Morton, Assistant District Attorney General,
for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: GLENN

First Paragraph:

The petitioner, Charles Ritter, appeals the post-conviction court's
summary dismissal of his petition for post-conviction relief, arguing
that the court erred in allowing the State to argue its motion to
dismiss on the date scheduled for the evidentiary hearing, in
dismissing the petition without a full evidentiary hearing, and in
failing to issue either oral or written findings of fact and
conclusions of law in support of its dismissal of the petition. 
Following our review, we conclude that the post- conviction court
erred in summarily dismissing the petition based, apparently, on the
lengthy passage of time between the filing of the original
post-conviction petition in 1992 and the dismissal of the petition in
2003, and in failing to make appropriate findings of fact and
conclusions of law.  Accordingly, we reverse the dismissal of the
petition and remand to the post-conviction court for an appropriate
evidentiary hearing.

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

DONZEL A. WATSON v. STATE OF TENNESSEE 

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Lonnie E. Maze, III, for the appellant.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; John H. Bledsoe,
Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, State of  Tennessee.

Judge: WEDEMEYER

First Paragraph:

The Petitioner, Donzel A. Watson, appeals the trial court's dismissal
of his petition for post conviction relief.  The State has filed a
motion requesting that this Court affirm the trial court's denial of
relief pursuant to Rule 20, Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals. 
The Petitioner filed his petition outside the statute of limitations. 
Accordingly, the State's motion is granted, and the judgment of the
trial court is affirmed.

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

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