WENDY D. CLIBURN, ET AL. v. FRANKIE DALE SULLIVAN
Andrea E. Phelan, Donald N. Capparella, and Phillip H. Miller,
Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Wendy D. Cliburn, et al.
C. Tracey Parks and Sharon Linville, Nashville, Tennessee, for the
appellee, Rogers Group, Inc., et al. and Frankie Dale Sullivan,
This is a dispute between divorced parents over the division of
settlement proceeds awarded for the wrongful death of their seventeen
year old son. The decedent's mother filed the wrongful death action.
She settled the claim for $325,000. Shortly thereafter, the father
sought to intervene claiming entitlement to half of the settlement.
The mother objected, asserting that Tenn. Code Ann. S 20-5-107(c)
barred the father's claim since he failed to pay court-ordered child
support, visit or contact his child for more than two years prior to
the child's death. The father countered arguing the statute became
effective after his rights vested and thus could not be applied
retrospectively. The trial court held that the father's rights vested
at the child's death, which predated the amendment to Tenn. Code Ann.
S 20-5-107(c), and therefore the statute did not apply. The trial
court awarded the father half of the settlement. We affirm.
VALERIE J. HARGIS, ET AL. v. FREDALENE FULLER, Individually and as
Executrix of the Estate of Barney Loyd Fuller, Jr.
James Robin McKinney, Jr., Nashville, TN, for Appellants
John Lee Williams, Waverly, TN, for Appellee
This appeal involves the construction of a will. The decedent died
owning farmland in excess of twenty acres in size. Wife admitted the
decedent's properly executed will, which named her as executrix, into
probate. The decedent's children by a prior marriage filed an action
in the probate court asking the probate court to construe conflicting
provisions in the decedent's will. One section of the decedent's will
purported to devise to his children the entire farm subject to the
wife's life estate, while the second provision purported to devise to
the wife a life estate in the "homeplace." The decedent's children
argued the term "homeplace" encompassed something significantly less
than the entire farm. The probate court disagreed, interpreting the
term "homeplace," as used by the decedent, to mean the entire farm.
In addition, the probate court ruled that, pursuant to section
66-1-106 of the Tennessee Code, the decedent's will created in his
wife an unlimited power of disposition as to the farm. The decedent's
children have appealed the interpretation of the decedent's will
reached by the probate court to this Court. We affirm the decision of
the probate court in all respects.
GRETHY HIRT v. ERNST H. HIRT
Robert G. Hinton, Lenoir City, Tennessee, for the Appellant Ernst H.
Loren E. Plemmons, Lenoir City, Tennessee, for the Appellee Grethy
Grethy Hirt ("Wife") filed for divorce from Ernst H. Hirt ("Husband")
after twenty-seven years of marriage. The parties had five financial
accounts. Two of these accounts clearly were marital property, were
divided evenly by the Trial Court, and are not at issue on appeal. As
to the three remaining accounts, the Trial Court concluded two were
marital property with the third being Wife's separate property. After
making these findings, the Trial Court distributed the property with
Husband receiving 54% of the marital property, and Wife receiving the
remaining 46%. Husband appeals claiming the Trial Court erred when it
classified two of the accounts as marital property and the third as
Wife's separate property. Both parties claim the Trial Court's
overall distribution of the marital property was inequitable. We
conclude the Trial Court properly classified the three accounts at
issue and did not abuse its discretion when distributing the marital
property. The judgment of the Trial Court is, therefore, affirmed.
KEVIN SCAIFE v. ADRIENNE SCAIFE
Barry L. Gold, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellant, Kevin
Lisa Z. Bowman, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellee, Adrienne
In this divorce case, the trial court designated Adrienne Scaife
("Mother") as the primary residential parent of the parties' children,
Laniesha Scaife (DOB: August 10, 1992) and Kevin Scaife, Jr. (DOB:
July 18, 1996). The children's father, Kevin Scaife ("Father"),
appeals. We affirm.
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JASON ALVIN AULT
Mark Stephens, Public Defender, and John Halstead, Assistant Public
Defender, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jason Alvin Ault.
Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Renee W. Turner,
Assistant Attorney General; Randall E. Nichols, District Attorney
General; and William Wallace, Assistant District Attorney General, for
the appellee, State of Tennessee.
The Defendant, Jason Alvin Ault, pled guilty to reckless aggravated
assault, a Class D felony. See Tenn. Code Ann. S 39-13-102(d)(1).
The Defendant agreed to a sentence of four years with the manner of
service left to the trial court's determination. After a sentencing
hearing, the trial court ordered the Defendant to serve his sentence
in the Department of Correction. The Defendant now appeals,
contending that he should have been granted an alternative sentence.
We reverse the trial court's order mandating that the sentence be
served in confinement and remand this matter for further findings.