Middle district proposes renumbering of rules
The United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee proposes renumbering of its local rules to conform with the numbering of the Federal Rules of Civil and Criminal Procedure. This change will not affect the substance of the rules, but will affect only their form. The proposed changes are to be effective June 1. To view the proposed changes, along with a conversion table to indicate where the current rules can be found under the new numbering scheme,
download the pdf.
Comment should be sent to Clerk of Court Keith Throckmorton
by May 18.
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Howard H. Vogel
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JERRY W. HAYES, JR.
Ardena J. Garth, District Public Defender; Donna Robinson Miller (on appeal) and Steven D. Brown
(at trial), Assistant District Public Defenders, for the Appellant/Defendant, Jerry W. Hayes, Jr.
Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; John H.
Bledsoe, Assistant Attorney General; William H. Cox, III, District Attorney General; and David
Denny, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee/Plaintiff, State of Tennessee.
Judge: CORNELIA A. CLARK
After being stopped for an identification check at the street entrance to a public housing
development, Defendant, Jerry W. Hayes, Jr., was charged with driving on a suspended license and
being a minor in possession of alcohol. Defendant moved to suppress the evidence collected as a
result of the stop, arguing that the stop was an unconstitutional seizure. The trial court granted
Defendant’s motion to suppress, and the State obtained permission to appeal. The Court of Criminal
Appeals reversed the trial court, and Defendant sought permission to appeal to this Court. We
granted this appeal to answer a question of first impression: whether an entry identification
checkpoint at which police officers stop and question persons attempting to enter a public housing
development, whose conduct is unremarkable and free from suspicion, is an unreasonable seizure
in violation of the United States Constitution and article I, section 7 of the Tennessee Constitution.
Under the facts presented in this case, we answer that question in the affirmative. Accordingly, we
reverse the judgment of the Court of Criminal Appeals and reinstate the trial court’s judgment
granting Defendant’s motion to suppress. The case is remanded to the trial court for further
proceedings consistent with this opinion.
LORITA BRACKETT v. STEVE BRACKETT
J. Reed Dixon, Sweetwater, Tennessee, for the appellant, Steve Brackett.
Randy G. Rogers, Athens, Tennessee, for the appellee, Lorita Brackett.
Judge: CHARLES D. SUSANO, JR.
This is a divorce case. The trial court granted Lorita Brackett (“Wife”) a divorce from Steve
Brackett (“Husband”), set aside to the parties their respective separate property interests, divided the
net marital estate, and awarded attorney’s fees to Wife. Husband appeals, claiming that the trial
court erred in its classification and division of the marital residential property. Husband also
challenges the propriety of the court’s award of attorney’s fees to Wife. The trial court’s award of
fees is reversed. The court’s judgment regarding the division of the net marital estate is modified,
and, as such, is affirmed.
PARRISH JONES v. JAMES M. DAVIS, WARDEN
Tracey Robinson-Coffee, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Parrish Jones.
Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General, and Mary
M. Bers, Senior Counsel, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.
Judge: FRANK G. CLEMENT, JR.
A former inmate, Parrish Jones, appeals the dismissal by the Claims Commission of his claim for
compensation against the Tennessee Department of Correction. He contends he was incarcerated
beyond his lawful sentence for which the State is liable pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. § 9-8-
307(a)(1)(E) for negligent care, custody and control. While incarcerated in the state penitentiary,
Jones contended he was being unlawfully detained as a consequence of an unlawful sentence. He
filed a petition for declaratory relief with the Department of Correction pursuant to the
Administrative Procedures Act. The Department timely responded to the petition, advising Jones
it refused to issue a declaratory order on the basis it believed his sentence was legal, and dismissed
his petition. Thereafter, and pursuant to a writ of habeas corpus filed by Jones, the Court of Criminal
Appeals ruled the sentence was illegal and remanded for re-sentencing, after which Jones was
released. Subsequently, Jones filed this claim with the Claims Commission, seeking compensation
for the time he was unlawfully incarcerated. The Claims Commission dismissed Jones’ claim,
finding the Department of Correction’s refusal to issue a declaratory order was not the result of
negligence. We affirm.
CATHERINE EMILE LANTHORN, A MINOR, ET AL. v. SOBIESKI, MESSER & ASSOCIATES, ET AL.
David C. Lee, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Catherine Emile Lanthorn, a minor, by her
next friend, Alpha Bridger, her guardian.
David T. Black, Maryville, Tennessee, for the appellees, Sobieski, Messer & Associates, Diane M.
Messer, and Wanda G. Sobieski.
Judge: CHARLES D. SUSANO, JR.
The plaintiff, a minor acting through a representative, filed this legal malpractice action against her1
former attorneys, alleging that the attorneys were guilty of negligence in their handling of a suit
seeking damages for the wrongful death of the plaintiff’s father, Craig Wayde Lanthorn.
Specifically, she claims that the defendants were negligent in filing the lawsuit outside the period
of the applicable statute of limitations. The underlying wrongful death action was dismissed by the
trial court because the court determined that the suit was time-barred. In the instant case, the
plaintiff filed a motion to recuse, predicated upon the fact that the judge presiding over the trial court
– the Honorable Thomas J. Seeley, Jr. – was the same judge who had earlier dismissed the wrongful
death case. The trial court denied the motion to recuse. Later, the defendants filed a motion for
summary judgment, contending that they had, in fact, filed the wrongful death action in a timely
manner. They relied upon a recent decision of the United States Supreme Court. The plaintiff did
not file a response to the motion. The trial court granted the defendants’ motion. The plaintiff
appeals the trial court’s denial of her motion to recuse, but does not challenge the propriety of the
grant of summary judgment. We affirm.
WILLIAM B. McCULLEY and JEAN McCULLEY, n/o/k and Administrators of the Estate of ROBIN McCULLEY, v. DR. BRIAN GARBER, M.D.
Brandon K. Fisher, Clinton, Tennessee, for appellants.
Robert M. Stivers, Knoxville Tennessee, for appellee.
Judge: HERSCHEL PICKENS FRANKS
In this action based on defendant’s alleged medical malpractice, the Trial Court granted defendant
summary judgment on the grounds the statute of limitations had run on the claim. On appeal, we
RICHARD S. PARKER v. MARGARET MARY BRENNAN
Charles J. Williams and Erik O. Thorngren, Nashville, Tennessee, for Appellant, Richard S. Parker.
Noel F. Stahl and Jeffrey Zager, Nashville, Tennessee, for Appellee, Margaret Mary Brennan.
Judge: DONALD P. HARRIS, SR.
On this appeal, the Appellant challenges the award by the trial court of expenses totaling $2,611.42,
for videotaping discovery depositions and other related video services as discretionary costs pursuant
to Rule 54.04, Tennessee Rules of Civil Procedure. This amount was awarded in addition to
expenses for stenographic transcripts of the same depositions. Finding expenses related to
videotaping and video related services not specifically identified as allowarule, we modify the trial court's award to delete those expenses.
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