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Today's Opinions: December 27, 2004
Volume 10 — Number 246
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.
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
03 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Court of Appeals
00 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

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


CUSTOM LAND DEVELOPMENT, INC.  v. TOWN OF COOPERTOWN and COOPERTOWN
BOARD OF ZONING APPEALS

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          

James L. Murphy and Austin L. McMullen, Nashville, for the appellant
Custom Land Development, Inc.

George A. Dean, Nashville, for appellees Town of Coopertown and
Coopertown Board of Zoning Appeals.

Judge: KIRBY

First Paragraph:

This is a zoning case.  The appellant landowner owns a tract of land
that it sought to resume using as a sanitary landfill.  The appellees
are the newly-incorporated town in which the landfill is located and
the town's zoning board.  In 1996, the landowner and the county in
which the town and landfill are located resolved a dispute in which
the landfill was deemed a legally permitted nonconforming use under
the county zoning ordinance.  In 2002, the landowner sought a building
permit from the town planning commission.  The town planning
commission refused to grant the permit until the landowner obtained a
determination from the town zoning board that the landfill was a
legally permitted non-conforming use under the town's newly-enacted
zoning ordinances.  The town zoning board determined that the landfill
was not a legally permitted nonconforming use under the town zoning
ordinances because the landowner had discontinued its nonconforming
use of the landfill for longer than one year.  Consequently, no permit
was issued.  The landowner unsuccessfully appealed the ruling to the
town zoning appeals board.  The landowner then appealed the decision
of the zoning appeals board to the trial court.  The trial court
affirmed the ruling of the zoning appeals board.  We affirm, finding
that the use of the property as a landfill had been discontinued for
more than one year and thus the landfill did not fall within  the
nonconforming use exception to the town's zoning ordinance. Rule 3
Appeal; Judgment of the Chancery Court is affirmed

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

IN RE CONSERVATORSHIP OF MICHAEL THOMAS JONES AND TIMOTHY ALAN JONES
BEVERLY ANNE JONES v. KEVIN THOMAS JONES

Court:TCA

Attorneys:

Vicky V. Klein, Madison, Tennessee, for the appellant, Beverly Anne
Jones.

Phillip Robinson, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Kevin Thomas
Jones.

Judge: KIRBY

First Paragraph:

This appeal involves the court's authority to order a parent to pay
support for an adult disabled child.  The parties were married with
two severely disabled adult sons.  In 1995, while the parties were
still married, the probate court established them as co-conservators
for their sons.  In June 2001, the mother filed a petition for divorce
in circuit court.  Neither party informed the divorce court of the
conservatorships that had been established for their sons.  The
circuit court entered a final decree of divorce which incorporated a
parenting plan, submitted by the father, which provided for joint
custody of the sons.  The divorce decree required the mother to pay
child support to the father.  The divorce decree was not appealed. 
The mother later filed a motion requesting that the decree requiring
her to pay child support be vacated pursuant to Rule 60.02(3),
asserting that the divorce court did not have subject matter
jurisdiction to require her to pay support for the adult sons.  Rather
than rule on the mother's motion, the divorce court transferred the
case to the probate court, which had before it the conservatorship
actions.  The father then filed a motion in the probate court asking
it to confirm the divorce decree entered by the divorce court.  The
probate court, in the same order, denied the mother's motion to vacate
and granted the father's motion to confirm the decree adopting the
parenting plan, determining that the divorce decree entered by the
divorce court was valid.  The mother now appeals that order.  We
reverse, concluding that the divorce court did not have subject matter
jurisdiction to order the parent to pay support for the adult disabled
children, but finding that the probate court is permitted to consider
requiring the parents to pay support in the context of the
conservatorship proceedings.

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

In Re:  ESTATE OF MURREY LOUIS WAKEFIELD, DECEASED; AMSOUTH BANK AND
JUDITH WAKEFIELD SANDLIN, CO-EXECUTORS, LINDA WAKEFIELD MELVIN AND
JUDITH SANDLIN V. ESTATE OF NANCY WAKEFIELD COLEMAN, TED R. BROWNING,
EXECUTOR, MICHAEL KURT WAKEFIELD, ELIZABETH CHEREE W. ROSS, RENEE
WAKEFIELD MACDONALD, NATHAN MURREY GREEN, TIMOTHY LEWIS WAKEFIELD,
DOUG SANDLIN, KEN MELVIN, AND KRISTINA M. SANDFORD

Court:TCA

Attorneys: 

Douglas J. Brown and Gary C. Shockley, Nashville, for the
appellant Estate of Nancy Wakefield Coleman, Ted R. Browning,
Executor.

Charles Trost, Joseph A. Woodruff, Stephanie J. Edwards, Nashville,
for appellees Estate of Murrey Louis Wakefield, AmSouth Bank and 
Judith Wakefield Sandlin, Co-Executors,  Linda Wakefield Melvin, and
Judith W. Sandlin.

Daniel C. Paulus and Michael P. Dolan, Nashville, for additional
respondents Michael Kurt Wakefield, Elizabeth Cheree W. Ross, Renee
Wakefield MacDonald, Nathan Murrey Green, Timothy Lewis Wakefield,
Doug Sandlin, Ken Melvin, and Kristina M. Sandford.

Judge: KIRBY

First Paragraph:

This case involves the construction of a will.  The will established a
trust for the benefit of the decedent's children that provided income
for eleven years.  At the end of the eleven year term, the trust was
to be terminated and the trust assets distributed to the
beneficiaries.  During the eleven-year term, one of the decedent's
children died, leaving no spouse, children or surviving parent.  The
beneficiary under the deceased child's will sued, seeking that child's
share of the trust assets.  At issue was whether the trust assets
vested in the beneficiaries when the testator died or when the trust
terminated.  The probate court held that the decedent intended for the
trust corpus not to vest in the beneficiaries until the trust
terminated, and that the beneficiary under the child's will would not
receive her share of the trust assets.  We affirm, finding that the
language of the will indicates that the testator intended for the
corpus of the trust to vest when the trust terminated.

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

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