UNDERSTANDING THE NEW CHILD SUPPORT GUIDELINES
This new TennBarU course will help you learn just what the new Child
Support Guidelines will mean to your clients and your practice. Each
seminar location features presentations by the most knowledgeable
people in the field and will also include two panel discussions
involving local judges and practitioners. Leading the programs will be
Laura Morgan, who literally wrote the book on child support
guidelines, economist Jane Venohr, who designed Tennessee's new Income
Shares Guidelines, and DHS Assistant General Counsel Kim Beals.

Dec. 6 in Memphis
Dec. 7 in Jackson
Dec. 8 in Nashville
Dec. 9 in Chattanooga
Dec. 10 in Knoxville
Dec. 14 in Johnson City

Today's Opinions: November 18, 2004
Volume 10 — Number 223
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.
01 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
08 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Court of Appeals
00 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals
03 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

TBA members can get the full-text versions of these opinions three ways detailed below. All methods require a TBA username and password. If you have forgotten your password or need to obtain a password, you can look it up on-line at http://www.tba.org/getpassword.mgi .

Here's how you can obtain full-text version. • Click the URL at end of each Opinion paragraph below. This option will allow you to download the original document. • Do a key word search in the Search Link area of TBALink. This option will allow you to view and save a plain-text version of the opinion. • Browse the Opinion List area of TBALink. This option will allow you to download the original version of the opinion.
Howard H. Vogel
Knoxville, Tennessee
Editor-in-Chief, TBALink

 STATE OF TENNESSEE v. STEPHEN L. DENTON
CORRECTED OPINION

Court:TSC

Attorneys:                          

D. Mitchell Bryant, Cleveland, Tennessee, and Victoria B. Eiger, New
York, New York, for the appellant, Stephen L. Denton.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore,
Solicitor General; Mark A. Fulks, Assistant Attorney General; Jerry N.
Estes, District Attorney General; and William W. Reedy and Amy Reedy,
Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of
Tennessee.

Judge: BARKER

First Paragraph:

The defendant, a physician, was charged in three separate indictments
with a total of twenty sexual offenses involving eleven different
victims.  The counts charged in the indictments were alleged to have
occurred over a time span of six years.  The trial court denied the
defendant's pre-trial motion to sever the counts for separate trials
and granted the State's motion to consolidate all three indictments
for a single trial.  The defendant was subsequently found guilty of
one count of sexual battery by an authority figure, six counts of
sexual battery, and three counts of assault.  He was acquitted on
three counts of rape and three counts of sexual battery.  The
defendant then presented several issues on appeal, including: (1) that
the trial court erred in denying the motion to sever the offenses; and
(2) that the defendant was improperly convicted of sexual battery by
an authority figure.  The Court of Criminal Appeals held, among other
things, that the trial court erred in denying the motion to sever.
However, the Court found this error to be harmless and therefore
affirmed the convictions.  The Court of Criminal Appeals also held
that the defendant's conviction for sexual battery by an authority
figure was proper as a physician fell within the ambit of the
applicable statute.  For the reasons stated herein, we hold that the
failure to sever the counts against the defendant was reversible
error, and therefore we  reverse the convictions.  Further, we hold
that a physician is not an authority figure as contemplated under
Tennessee Code Annotated section 39-13-527 (2003) and therefore the
defendant's conviction under this statute was improper.  Accordingly,
the judgment of the Court of Criminal Appeals is reversed, and the
case remanded for new trials.

CORRECTED OPINION
http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC/dentonstephenl.wpd

LEE ANN BRASWELL v. LESLIE GRAVES, ET AL.

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          

John E. Dunlap of Memphis for Appellant, Lee Ann Braswell

Mark A. Lambert of Memphis for Appellees, Leslie Graves and Terry
Graves

Judge: CRAWFORD

First Paragraph:

Plaintiff/Appellant appeals from the trial court's grant of
Defendants/Appellees' Tenn. R. Civ. P. 12 Motion to Dismiss for
failure to secure service of process.  Finding that
Defendant/Appellees' evidence clearly and convincingly rebuts the
process server's testimony, we affirm.

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

CONLEE ENGINE REBUILDERS, INC. v. CITY OF MEMPHIS

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          

Leonard E. Van Eaton, Memphis, TN, for Appellant

Norman P. Hagemeyer, Memphis, TN, for Appellee

Judge: HIGHERS

First Paragraph:

This appeal arises out of an inverse condemnation action brought by
Appellant against Appellee.  Appellee filed a motion to dismiss for
failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, contending
that Appellant's claim was time barred by the applicable statute of
limitation.  The trial court granted Appellee's motion, and Appellant
now seeks review by this Court.  For the following reasons, we
reverse.

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

MAX DEBERRY v. ED GORE, ET AL.

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          

Max Deberry, pro se, Only, TN

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter, Michael Moore,
Solicitor General, Pamela S. Lorch, Senior Counsel, Nashville, TN, for
Appellees

Judge: HIGHERS

First Paragraph:

This case involves an inmate's petition for a writ of mandamus filed
against the Tennessee Department of Correction following an increase
in his release eligibility date.  The inmate filed the petition asking
the trial court to order the department to enforce the sentencing
range set forth in the judgment entered as a result of his plea
agreement.  The department filed a motion to dismiss which the trial
court granted.  We affirm.

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

MONICA WHITE MUELLER v. DAVID EDMOND MUELLER

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          

J. Thomas Caldwell, Ripley, TN, for Appellant

Rebecca S. Mills, Ripley, TN, for Appellee

Judge: HIGHERS

First Paragraph:

This appeal concerns the trial court's findings regarding child
custody and rehabilitative alimony in a divorce action.  Following a
bench trial, the chancery court ruled that the mother would be the
minor child's primary residential parent.  The father was awarded
standard visitation pursuant to the Permanent Parenting Plan.  The
chancellor also awarded the mother rehabilitative alimony for a period
of three years.  The father has appealed the rulings of the chancery
court to this Court.  For the following reasons, we affirm.

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

RONALD HUGH PARCHMAN v. BRENDA PARCHMAN

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          
 
M. Scott Smith, Louis W. Ringger, Jr., Jackson, TN, for Appellant

Lloyd R. Tatum, Henderson, TN, for Appellee

Judge: HIGHERS

First Paragraph:

This case involves the validity of a final divorce decree entered by
the trial court which incorporated an agreement reached by the parties
regarding alimony and property division.  The wife subsequently filed
a motion for a new trial, or in the alternative to alter and amend the
judgment, alleging that the final divorce decree was invalid.  The
wife alleged that, at the time she entered into the agreement with her
husband, she was not mentally competent.  The trial court denied the
wife's motion.  On appeal, the wife alleges that the trial court erred
in denying her post-trial motion, as well as in its division of
marital property and award of alimony in the final decree.  For the
reasons contained herein, we affirm.

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

LINDA KURTS (PARRISH) v. GREGORY PARRISH

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          

Craig B. Flood, Memphis, TN, for Appellant

Gregory A. Parrish, pro se, Marion, AR, for Appellee

Judge: HIGHERS

First Paragraph:

This case involves the trial court's denial of an upward deviation in
child support.  The chancery court issued a final decree of divorce
which incorporated the Permanent Parenting Plan approved by the
parties.  Pursuant to the plan, the mother was designated the primary
residential parent and the father was given overnight visitation.  The
plan also ordered the father to pay the mother child support pursuant
to the Tennessee Child Support Guidelines.  When the father failed to
make child support payments and exercise his visitation rights under
the plan, the mother filed a petition for contempt.  She also asked
the trial court for an upward deviation in child support due to the
father's failure to exercise his rights to overnight visitation.  The
mother also asked the chancellor to award her litigation costs
associated with bringing the petition.  The father filed a
counter-petition, asking the court for a downward deviation in his
child support obligation due to his recent loss of income.  The trial
court originally granted a downward deviation to the father finding
that a significant variance existed, but subsequently reinstated the
original child support award.  The mother filed this appeal, alleging
the chancellor erred in refusing to grant her an upward deviation in
child support and in not awarding her litigation expenses.  For the
reasons contained herein, we reverse in part and affirm in part the
decision of the chancery court.

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

R & J OF TENNESSEE, INC. v. BLANKENSHIP-MELTON REAL ESTATE, INC. and
WALDEN BLANKENSHIP, INDIVIDUALLY

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          

Kevin Carter, Lexington, TN, for Appellant

Howard F. Douglass, Lexington, TN, for Appellee

Judge: HIGHERS

First Paragraph:

This case involves a lawsuit filed by a secured party against a
guarantor seeking a deficiency judgment following a foreclosure sale. 
The guarantor argued that the secured party was not entitled to a
deficiency because he was given inadequate notice and the sale was
conducted in a commercially unreasonable manner.  Following a hearing,
the trial court awarded the secured party a deficiency judgment.  We
reverse and remand to the trial court for further action consistent
with this opinion

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

MARY ALLENE STORY v. MALCOLM EUGENE LANIER

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          

Ralph I. Lawson, Dyersburg, TN, for Appellant

Joe H. Byrd, Jr., Jackson, TN, for Appellee

Judge: HIGHERS

First Paragraph:

This case primarily involves a dispute over the proper
characterization of property held by the parties during a thirty year
relationship.  The parties lived together during their relationship,
but never married.  Mary Story filed suit against Malcolm Lanier,
alleging that a marriage by estoppel existed between the parties, or
in the alternative, that an implied partnership was created,
justifying the equal division of all bank accounts, personal property,
and real property owned by the parties.  The chancellor granted Mr.
Lanier's Motion to Dismiss Ms. Story's marriage by estoppel claim but
allowed her to proceed on an implied partnership theory.  Following a
bench trial, the chancellor found that an implied business partnership
existed in a restaurant purchased by Mr. Lanier in 1974 but not in any
real property or bank accounts.  Both parties have appealed the
chancellor's rulings regarding the division of the parties' assets. 
Ms. Story also appeals the chancellor's denial of pre- judgment
interest, the finding that no resulting or constructive trusts existed
as to the real property and bank accounts, and a ruling regarding Mr.
Lanier's pleadings.  For the reasons stated below, we affirm the
decisions of the chancery court.

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

Application of Campbell County Hotel-Motel Tax to Rental of Houseboats
on Norris Lake

Date: November 10, 2004

Opinion Number: 04-163

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/AG/2004/op163.pdf

Judicial Commissioners in Metropolitan Counties Seeking Higher Office

Date: November 10, 2004

Opinion Number: 04-164

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/AG/2004/op164.pdf

Constitutionality of Confidentiality Provisions of Tenn. Code Ann. S
17-5-303(b) and Court of the Judiciary Rule 8

Date: November 12, 2004

Opinion Number: 04-165

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/AG/2004/op165.pdf

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