State reaches agreement on Fairfield Glade development

Circuit Court Judge Amanda McClendon has approved a $2.2 million agreement between the state and the Fairfield Glade Community Club regarding allegations the Club claimed future community development, which never occurred.

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Howard H. Vogel
Knoxville, Tennessee
Editor-in-Chief, TBALink


Court: TCA


Terry R. Clayton, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellants Terry R. Clayton and Sheryl Clayton.

Sharon E. England, Franklin, Tennessee, for the appellee, Camille M. Hernandez.


Trial court granted dismissal for failure of service of process although defendant failed to raise the defense timely by motion or in her answer. We reverse.


Court: TCA


Mark C. Scruggs, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, William King d/b/a Kustom Roofing & Consultants.

Blakeley D. Matthews, Brian W. Holmes, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, CNA (Continental Casualty).


A roofing contractor applied for workers compensation insurance, declaring in his application that he had no employees. He paid a $750 minimum premium, and the insurance company issued a policy. The company subsequently audited his records and assessed an additional premium of over $14,700 for roofers who worked under contract with him or his subcontractors, but who were not covered by their own workers compensation policies. The contractor refused to pay, and the insurance company brought suit. The contractor claimed at trial that all the workers were independent contractors and, thus, that he was not obligated to insure them. The trial court ruled against him. We affirm the trial court.


Court: TCA


James Bryan Moseley, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Tosha Miller.

Karl F. Dean, Director of Law, Andrew D. McClanahan, Lora Barkenbus Fox, and John L. Kennedy, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County.

Judge: KOCH

This appeal involves a parent who fell on the aggregate concrete steps while leaving her children's elementary school. The parent filed a negligence action against the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County in the Circuit Court for Davidson County. Following a bench trial, the trial court determined that the sealed steps did not constitute a dangerous or defective condition and that the parent was at least fifty percent at fault for her injuries. The parent appealed. We have determined that the evidence supports the trial court's conclusion that the condition of the school's steps was not a dangerous or defective condition.


Court: TCA


Cynthia Hazelwood Moore, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Randall B., Sr.

M. Allen Ehmling, Gallatin, Tennessee, for the appellee, The Association for Guidance, Aid, Placement and Empathy, Inc. Linda M. Anderson, Nashville, Tennessee, Guardian Ad Litem.

Judge: KOCH

This appeal involves the termination of a biological father's parental rights with regard to his seven-year-old son. Both of the child's parents have serious substance abuse issues. After the child's mother voluntarily placed him and four of his siblings with the Association for Guidance, Aid, Placement and Empathy, Inc. (AGAPE), an AGAPE social worker prescribed tasks that the father would be required to complete before assuming parental responsibility for his son. Approximately ten months later, AGAPE filed a petition in the Davidson County Juvenile Court to terminate the father's parental rights. Following a bench trial, the juvenile court determined (1) that the father had abandoned his son by failing to visit him regularly, (2) that the father had failed to comply with the requirements of his parenting plans, and (3) that the conditions that had led to placing the child in foster care persisted and would not, in all reasonable probability, be remedied at an early date. Thereafter, having concluded that terminating the father's parental rights would be in the child's best interests, the juvenile court terminated the father's parental rights and named AGAPE the child's custodian and guardian. The father has appealed. We have determined that AGAPE was obligated to make reasonable efforts to help the father address his serious drug addiction and that the record does not contain clear and convincing evidence that AGAPE's efforts in that regard were reasonable.


Court: TCCA


Robert Louis Jolley, Jr., Knoxville, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Matthew Carfi.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Elizabeth B. Marney, Assistant Attorney General; Ray Whitley, District Attorney General; and Thomas Dean, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


The Defendant, Matthew Carfi, was convicted of official misconduct, aggravated assault, and aggravated burglary. The Defendant was sentenced to an effective sentence of fifteen years in prison as a Range I offender. On appeal, the Defendant contends that: (1)the trial court erred when it denied his motion to exclude testimony about the Defendant's prior bad acts; (2) the trial court erred when it rejected the Defendant's application for pre-trial diversion; (3) the trial court erred when it rejected the Defendant's claim that the State had to elect between the offenses of especially aggravated burglary and aggravated assault; (4) Tennessee Code Annotated section 39-14-402 (2003) is unconstitutional in that it fails to give notice of prohibited conduct (5) the trial court erred when it allowed the prosecution to amend the indictment; (6) the evidence presented at trial is insufficient to support the Defendant's convictions; (7) that the trial court erred when it allowed the State to introduce evidence at trial despite the fact that the State failed to comply with Tennessee Rule of Criminal Procedure16(a)(1)(c); (8) the trial court erred when it allowed entire pre-trial statements into the evidence; (9) the trial court improperly allowed hearsay testimony into the evidence; (10) the trial court allowed the State to present an improper closing argument; (11) the trial court erred when it failed to require the State to elect for which co-defendant's commission of aggravated assault the Defendant was being held responsible; and (12) the trial court erred when it sentenced the Defendant. After throughly reviewing the record and applicable authorities, we affirm the Defendantís convictions. We, however, conclude that the trial court committed reversible error when sentencing the Defendant, and we remand the case for a new sentencing hearing.


Legal News
Election 2006
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Legal News
Gingrich: Other branches should be able to override court
Supreme Court decisions that are "so clearly at variance with the national will" should be overridden by the other branches of government, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said during a Georgetown University Law Center conference on the judiciary. "What I reject, out of hand, is the idea that by five to four, judges can rewrite the Constitution, but it takes two-thirds of the House, two-thirds of the Senate and three-fourths of the states to equal five judges," Gingrich said.
Read the Associated Press report
Franklin leaders divided on how to pay for legal aid
Questions about the costs of setting up Franklin's first in-house legal department continue to be raised by some aldermen even as the deadline for finding new legal services creeps closer. A decision about the matter could come early next month when aldermen will vote on an ordinance that, if approved, would create a legal department with the city attorney installed as a department head. But while an in-house legal department would appear to be a savings to the city (according to documents), the cost connected to it is causing resistance from some aldermen.
The Tennessean has the story.
Musician, attorney faces domestic charges
An influential Nashville attorney and famous musician is answering to charges of domestic violence. Fiddler and lawyer Blaine Sprouse is accused of beating his fourth wife inside their home last month,
Channel 4 news reports.
Vanderbilt wins grant to study habeas corpus cases
Vanderbilt University has received a grant of approximately $250,000 from the National Institute of Justice, which is the research, development and evaluation arm of the U.S. Department of Justice, to complete a study of the processing of habeas corpus cases in U.S. District Courts.
Read more about the study
Father can tell daughter about belief in polygamy
A father may teach his young daughter about his religious belief in polygamy despite his ex-wife's objections, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court said Thursday. The 5-1 decision by the state's highest court said Stanley M. Shepp has a constitutional right to express his beliefs about plural marriages and multiple wives even though bigamy is illegal.
Read more in the News Sentinel.
Election 2006
GOP candidate pulls out of state senate race
Attorney Michael Floyd has withdrawn as the Republican Party nominee in the race for state Senate Dist. 33, the seat formerly held by Democrat Kathryn Bowers, the Memphis Commercial Appeal reports. The withdrawal all but assures a victory for Democrat Reginald Tate, 52, who was chosen by the Democratic Party to replace Bowers on the ballot.
Read the full story
Sells' chances of retaining judgeship are dwindling; ruling favors Patterson
Lillie Ann Sells was denied her request to void the 13th Judicial District criminal court judge Aug. 3 election, but it is unclear when David Patterson will be able to take the bench. Janet Kleinfelter, representing the seven election commissions named in the suit, said Sells would have 30 days from the time the order is filed to appeal the decision. Until then, appointed Judge John Roberts will remain on the bench. If Sells does appeal, Kleinfelter said she was unsure if Patterson could take office while the appeal moved forward.
The Crossville Chronicle has more.
Services set for Chattanooga attorney
Funeral services for prominent Chattanooga attorney William L. "Bill" Taylor Jr. have been set for Monday, the reports. Taylor and his wife, Bettye, were at their time share in Gatlinburg Thursday, when he left in his car at about 10:30 a.m. When he did not return after several hours, his wife called the police, who later found him in his car at the foot of a ravine after suffering a possible heart attack. Taylor was a partner in the firm of Spears, Moore, Rebman & Williams.

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