Conservatorship Victim Wins Suit Against Group Home

A Hendersonville woman who was placed in a conservatorship without her knowledge while recovering from a head injury has won her suit against a group home that made her clean and care for other residents while charging her $850 a month in rent. Circuit Court Judge C.L. Rogers ruled that Ginger Franklin was the victim of “egregious and intentional abuse” while she was confined at a Nashville facility providing care for disabled adults. He awarded her $12,000 for mental anguish and abuse and $11,050 for exploitation. An additional hearing to determine punitive damages is yet to be scheduled. Franklin, who eariler detailed her story during a TBA-sponsored hearing on conservatorship law reform, also has filed suit against her former conservator Jeanan Stuart. That case is pending in Davidson County Circuit Court. The Tennessean has more on the story.

Today's Opinions

Click on the category of your choice to view summaries of today’s opinions from that court, or other body. A link at the end of each case summary will let you download the full opinion in PDF format.

01 - TN Supreme Court
00 - TN Workers Comp Appeals
00 - TN Supreme Court - Rules
03 - TN Court of Appeals
01 - TN Court of Criminal Appeals
00 - TN Attorney General Opinions
00 - Judicial Ethics Opinions
00 - Formal Ethics Opinions - BPR
00 - TN Supreme Court - Disciplinary Orders

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TN Supreme Court


Court: TN Supreme Court

TN Court of Appeals


Court: TN Court of Appeals


Heather G. Inman, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Linda J.M.A.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; and Marcie E. Greene, Assistant Attorney General for the appellee, State of Tennessee Department of Children’s Services.


The State of Tennessee Department of Children’s Services (“DCS”) filed a petition seeking to terminate the parental rights of Linda J.M.A. (“Mother”) to the minor child Alicia K.A. (“the Child”). After a trial, the Juvenile Court entered its Termination of Parental Rights and Final Decree of Guardianship finding and holding, inter alia, that clear and convincing evidence had been proven that grounds existed to terminate Mother’s parental rights under Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 36-1-113(g)(1), (g)(3), and (g)(8), and that the termination was in the Child’s best interest. Mother appeals the termination of her parental rights to this Court. We affirm.


Court: TN Court of Appeals


Sharon Greta Locklear, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellant, Samuel B. Phillips.

Glenna M. Ramer, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellee, Susan W. Phillips.


This is an interlocutory appeal as of right pursuant to Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 10B from the denial of a motion to recuse the Trial Court Judge from presiding over post-divorce contempt proceedings initiated by Susan W. Phillips (“Former Wife”) against Samuel B. Phillips (“Former Husband”). Having reviewed Former Husband’s Petition for Recusal Appeal pursuant to Rule 10B of the Rules of the Tennessee Supreme Court, and upon consideration of Former Wife’s motion to dismiss the appeal, we deny Former Wife’s motion to dismiss this appeal and affirm the Trial Court’s denial of Former Husband’s motion to recuse.


Court: TN Court of Appeals


Laquita R. Stokes and Felicia Corbin Johnson, Memphis, Tennessee for Respondent/Appellant A.J.S., II.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr. and Warren Jasper, Nashville, Tennessee for Petitioner/Appellee State of Tennessee ex rel. B.S.T.

Judge: KIRBY

This appeal involves disestablishment of paternity. The putative father allegedly signed a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity and the child’s birth certificate when the child at issue was born. The mother did not tell him at the time that she had had sexual relations with another man during the time period in which the child was conceived. The State of Tennessee, on behalf of the mother, obtained an order against the putative father, establishing parentage and setting child support. After a private DNA test showed that the putative father was not the biological father of the child, he filed a petition in juvenile court to disestablish paternity and set aside under Tenn. R. Civ P. 60. The juvenile court denied the petition, holding that the putative father did not offer proof of fraud in the procurement of his signature on the alleged voluntary acknowledgment of paternity. The putative father now appeals. On appeal, we find no voluntary acknowledgment of paternity in the record, and no evidence regarding the alleged voluntary acknowledgment of paternity, and so cannot consider it in the appeal. We reverse the trial court’s denial of the putative father’s petition to set aside the order establishing parentage and child support under Rule 60.02, and remand for further proceedings.

TN Court of Criminal Appeals


Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals


Jason R. McLellan, Kingsport, Tennessee, for the appellant, Dustin A. Hubman.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Clarence E. Lutz, Assistant Attorney General; Barry P. Staubus, District Attorney General; and Joseph E. Perrin, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


The Defendant, Dustin A. Hubman, pleaded guilty to possession of marijuana, 1 a Class A misdemeanor, possession of drug paraphernalia, a Class A misdemeanor, and public intoxication, a Class C misdemeanor. Pursuant to the plea agreement, the Defendant received concurrent sentences of eleven months, twenty-nine days for the Class A misdemeanors and thirty days for the Class C misdemeanor. The trial court ordered that the Defendant serve his sentences in confinement. In this appeal, the Defendant contends that the trial court erred in denying him an alternative sentence. We affirm the judgments of the trial court.

State Offers Automated System for Probation, Parole Fees

The Tennessee Department of Correction has launched an automated fee collection system that allows offenders on probation or parole to pay their supervision and other fees online through wire transfer or by phone. Family and friends also may make deposits into individual accounts through the automated system. The department reports the system should streamline services and enhance accountability while freeing up probation and parole officers to spend more time in the community supervising offenders. reports.

DUI Checkpoint Video Goes Viral

A video of Rutherford County deputies stopping a Middle Tennessee State University student at a DUI checkpoint and searching his car after he refused to roll the window all the way down, is nearing two million hits on YouTube, The Tennessean reports. Libertarians nationwide have been recording interactions with police in a campaign to demonstrate what they say are violations of constitutional rights. Nashville criminal defense lawyer David Raybin has offered his take on the episode to the media and in his blog.

Judge Faulk Takes Oath of Office

Newly appointed Third Judicial District Circuit Court Judge Mike Faulk was sworn in last week in front of the Hawkins County Courthouse with his faithful hunting dog "Rueban" by his side. Judge John Wilson administered the oath of office to Faulk, who was appointed by Gov. Bill Haslam to complete the term of retiring Judge Kindall Lawson. Other dignitaries present for the ceremony included Judge Thomas Wright, former attorney general and Hawkins County mayor Heiskell Winstead and former U.S. Rep. Bill Jenkins. The Times News has a photo from the ceremony.

Area Officials Express Interest in Trustee Post

With the resignation of former Knox County Trustee John Duncan III, a number of area officials are expressing interest in the position. So far, prospective candidates include Missy Wallen, who recently retired as president of BB&T Bank; County Commissioner Ed Shouse; former Trustee Fred Sisk; and former Commissioner Craig Leuthold, who is now the information director for the property assessor. Since Duncan resigned last week over charges of official misconduct, Kristin Phillips, a 20-year employee in the office, has been acting trustee. The county commission will interview candidates on July 15 and is expected to name a replacement by July 22, reports. Applicants have until noon July 15 to apply. In related news, the Knoxville paper calls on county commissioners to conduct an open process, arguing that the Trustee’s Office “has been in disarray for some time,” while another article looks at the history of the trustee’s office and those who have served at its head.

Drug Task Force Tries to Recoup Missing Funds

The state’s First Judicial District Drug Task Force is attempting to recoup more than $2,000 from its insurance company after the money was discovered missing by an audit earlier this year, the Johnson City Press reports. The review showed irregular receipting and depositing of funds, improperly maintained records on seizures, inadequate documentation of confidential expenses and possible time sheet violations. The task force director says the insurance policy covers employee dishonesty but if the claim is not paid, area law enforcement agencies will be asked to share the burden of reimbursing the funds. Meanwhile, the employee involved has been fired and the case has been turned over to the local district attorney for possible criminal charges.

Juvenile Judge Launches Parenting Class

Williamson County Juvenile Judge Sharon Guffee says she sees it every day: parents and teens in her court struggling to communicate with each other. So she is doing something about it. Guffee has partnered with psychologist and author Dr. James Wellborn to offer a parenting course one Saturday a month. Classes will be held from 8 a.m. to noon beginning July 20 and running through December. “Raising teenagers can be challenging…” Guffee said. “This seminar will provide parents with valuable tools to improve communication.” Her hope is that the effort will improve relationships in troubled situations and prevent others from ever being involved with the juvenile system. The Williamson Source reports.

Mental Health Records in Custody Proceedings Featured in July TBJ

Nashville lawyer Siew-Ling Shea looks at how mental health records come into play in divorce custody proceedings in the July Tennessee Bar Journal. Knoxville lawyer Don Paine does double duty in this issue with a column on substitutes for dead plaintiffs and defendants and a feature story about the late Chief Justice William J. Harbison.

Volunteers Needed for Memphis Homeless Clinic

Volunteer lawyers are needed to help with two initiatives at the next Project Homeless Connect in Memphis. The event, which brings together a variety of resources and services in one place for the day, will include a “street clinic” offered by the Shelby County Public Defender’s Office to help those with unpaid court costs and fines, and a civil legal clinic to help those with child support, collections and landlord/tenant issues. The event takes place Aug. 22 at the Memphis Cook Convention Center. For more information or to volunteer contact the Memphis Bar Association at (901) 527-3575 or


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About this publication: Today's News is a compilation of digests of news reports of interest to Tennessee lawyers compiled by TBA staff, links to digested press releases, and occasional stories about the TBA and other activities written by the TBA staff or members. Statements or opinions herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Tennessee Bar Association, its officers, board or staff.

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