Second judge approved for Shelby juvenile court

Over the vehement objections of juvenile court officials, a divided Shelby County Commission voted yesterday to approve a second judge for the court and asked the county attorney's office to provide a legal opinion regarding the process for implementation. The court's lone juvenile judge also argued against the move saying it would result in competing personalities and conflicting philosophies that would create chaos. The Commercial Appeal has details on the debate:

http://www.commercialappeal.com/mca/local/article/0,2845,MCA_25340_5123740,00.html

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SHELBY ABBOTT, ET AL. v. BLOUNT COUNTY, TENNESSEE, ET AL.

Court: TSC

Attorneys:

Joe Costner, Maryville, Tennessee, for the Appellants, Shelby Abbott and Charles Abbott.

Norman H. Newton and LaJuana G. Atkins, Maryville, Tennessee, for the Appellee, Blount County.

Judge: BIRCH

This Court granted permission to appeal in this case pursuant to Rule 11 of the Tennessee Rules of Appellate Procedure to determine whether summary judgment was appropriately granted by the trial court. Upon review, we affirm the holding of the Court of Appeals that genuine issues of material fact exist regarding whether the plaintiffs were made whole by the amounts paid by Blount County and the tortfeasors. As part of this determination, we find that issues of material fact also exist regarding whether Blount County has a right to reimbursement. Additionally, we affirm the holding of the Court of Appeals that genuine issues of material fact exist regarding whether Blount County waived its claim to subrogation. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the Court of Appeals that summary judgment was inappropriate and remand the case to the trial court for further proceedings.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC/2006/abbotts_110706.pdf


LINDA SMALLWOOD, ET AL. v. JESSICA MANN

Court: TSC

Attorneys:

Mark L. Agee and Jason C. Scott, Trenton, Tennessee, for the Appellants, Linda Smallwood and William Smallwood, on behalf of John Smallwood.

William D. Bowen, Milan, Tennessee, for the Appellee, Jessica Mann.

Judge: BIRCH

In this case, the paternal grandparents of a minor child whose parents were not married petitioned the Juvenile Court of Gibson County for an order of visitation for the father. After a hearing, the trial court granted the petition and entered an order awarding visitation to the grandparents conditioned on the father's unavailability. We accepted review of this matter pursuant to Rule 11 of the Tennessee Rules of Appellate Procedure in order to determine whether the trial court's "conditional" order is governed by the statute allowing visitation rights to grandparents. Upon consideration, we have determined that the order entered by the trial court is, indeed, an order granting visitation to the grandparents and that the grandparents are not entitled to visitation under either the grandparents' visitation statute or through an "assignment" of the father's rights. Because Section 36-6-306 of the Tennessee Code Annotated vests only the circuit and chancery courts with jurisdiction in grandparents' visitation matters, the Juvenile Court of Gibson County had no authority to adjudicate the issue of grandparent visitation. Accordingly, the judgment of the Court of Appeals is affirmed, the judgment of the juvenile court is reversed to the extent it awarded visitation to the grandparents, and the case is remanded to the juvenile court for dismissal.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC/2006/smallwoodl_110706.pdf


DENNIS WILSON v. BLOUNT COUNTY, TENNESSEE, ET AL.

Court: TSC

Attorneys:

LaJuana G. Atkins, Norman H. Newton, and Robert Newton Goddard, Maryville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Blount County, Tennessee.

Charles Buford Dungan, Maryville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Dennis Wilson.

Judge: BARKER

We granted this appeal to determine the requirements for notice in a tax lien suit. The property owner filed suit in the Chancery Court for Blount County to set aside a default judgment in a suit for the enforcement of a tax lien. The property owner argued that Blount County failed to comply with Tennessee Code Annotated Sections 67-5-2415 and 21-1-203 and the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment in providing notice of the tax lien suit. The trial court dismissed the property owner's suit, finding that the Blount County Sheriff's Department exercised due diligence in attempting to serve process. The Court of Appeals reversed. We now affirm the judgment of the Court of Appeals.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC/2006/wilsond_110706.pdf


LLOYD W. MOORE, ET AL. v. DR. RONALD D. TEDDLETON, ET UX.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Michael U. King, Huntingdon, TN, for Appellants.

Dwayne D. Maddox, III, Huntingdon, TN, for Appellee Dr. Ronald D. Teddleton.

Mark L. Agee, Trenton, TN, for Appellee Karen Teddleton.

Judge: HIGHERS

This case began as a breach of warranty and misrepresentation action against a husband and wife as sellers of property. The buyers had been sued in a separate action by adjoining landowners who disputed the boundary between their land and the property purchased by the buyers. After a judgment was entered against the buyers ordering them to convey a portion of the property to their neighbors, they filed suit against the sellers, who had since divorced. The trial court entered a default judgment against the wife after she failed to defend the case. The court then dismissed the husband from the case pursuant to Tenn. R. Civ. P. 19, finding that he had been an indispensable party to the previous boundary dispute lawsuit between the buyers and their neighbors, and that failure to join him in that lawsuit required that he be dismissed from this subsequent suit. The buyers timely filed their notice of appeal. The trial court subsequently entertained and granted the wife's motion to set aside the default judgment and ultimately dismissed her from the suit as well, finding that she had also been an indispensable party to the boundary dispute action and was not joined in the lawsuit. For the following reasons, we vacate the trial court's order which set aside the default judgment, reverse the trial court's order dismissing the claims against the husband, and remand the cause for further proceedings.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/moorel_110706.pdf


KELVIN SANDERS v. HOMECOMINGS FINANCIAL and DYCK & O'NEAL INCORPORATED

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Plaintiff/Appellant Kelvin Sanders, Bethel Springs, Tennessee, pro se.

D. Christopher Carson, Birmingham, Alabama, for Defendant/Appellee Homecomings Financial.

Judge: KIRBY

This is a tort action. The defendant mortgage company serviced the mortgage loans on two homes owned by the plaintiff. After one of the plaintiff's two homes burned down, the plaintiff received insurance proceeds for the destroyed home. The proceeds were mistakenly applied to the mortgage on the wrong property, and a deed of release was prepared on the intact home. Subsequently, the defendant mortgage company recorded an affidavit to reinstate the trust deed and the funds were paid to satisfy the mortgage on the destroyed home. The plaintiff filed suit against the defendant. Liberally construed, the plaintiff's complaint asserted claims for deprivation of civil rights, tortious interference with business relationships, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The trial court granted the defendant's motion to dismiss, ruling that the plaintiff failed to properly serve process on the defendants and the plaintiff's complaint failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted. The plaintiff appeals. We dismiss the appeal, finding that the plaintiff has not appealed from a final judgment.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/sandersk_110706.pdf


TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News
Election 2006
BPR Actions
Upcoming
TBA Member Services

Legal News
Clarksville lawyer suspended
The Tennessee Supreme Court suspended attorney Van Lewis Riggins from the practice of law after finding that he had misappropriated funds for his own use and abandoned his law practice. In addition to his private law practice, Riggins is the Dover city attorney and legal counsel for the Stewart County Board of Education. He was reported missing by his wife on Oct. 14.
The Leaf Chronicle has the story
Read the BPR's release
Shelby County juvenile court faces new lawsuit
Advocates for 13-year old Braxton Moore are outraged by recent actions of the Juvenile Court of Memphis and Shelby County. They argue, in a suit filed yesterday, that Moore, who has been diagnosed with a mental disorder, was sent to an adult jail in March and then transferred to a juvenile facility that did not have the resources to handle his disability. They also fault the juvenile court judge for appointing referees as "special judges" instead of hearing cases himself.
Read more from WREG-TV
Sells suffers apparent stroke
Former Judge Lillie Ann Sells suffered an apparent stroke on Saturday and is being treated in the intensive care unit of Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville. Sells, who lost her bid for re-election as criminal court judge in the 13th Judicial District, had recently taken a job as assistant district attorney in Warren County. She is still appealing the results of the August election, which she lost by 10 votes. The Cookeville Herald Citizen reported the story.

Voter fraud case from 2005 back in court
While news of ballot troubles and potential fraud plagued Shelby County voters heading to the polls today, an older and very real case of alleged voting fraud quietly headed back to court. Three former county poll workers charged with faking votes from dead people were scheduled to be in criminal court today, when the role of a fourth, uncharged poll worker could become clearer.
The Commercial Appeal has the story
School desegregation status up for vote later this week
On Thursday, the Jackson-Madison County School Board is scheduled to vote on whether to petition for partial unitary status for the local school district. Board members have expressed mixed opinions about whether the school system has lived up to the spirit and intent of a November 2000 desegregation agreement.
Read more in the Jackson Sun
Election 2006
Allegations of irregularities in Shelby County early voting
Tennessee's Republican Party chairman Bob Davis Jr. complained to Shelby County election officials that electronic voting machine cards used in early voting are missing from at least one site in Memphis. Davis sent his letter one day after District Attorney Bill Gibbons asked the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation to investigate allegations that two people each cast two ballots during early voting in the county.
Read more at WSMV.com
BPR Actions
Kingsport attorney's law license suspended
The law license of Thomas Martin Browder Jr. was suspended pursuant to Section 4.3, Rule 9, Rules of the Tennessee Supreme Court on Nov. 2. This rule provides that when a lawyer has entered into a contract or agreement with the Tennessee Lawyers Assistance Program and has failed to substantially comply with that contract, the court may immediately suspend that lawyer’s law license.
Read the BPR release
Upcoming
Law school plans movie night
The UT College of Law Sports and Entertainment Law Society will host a free movie screening of "Up for Grabs," a feature-length docu-comedy that exposes the custody fight that erupted over Barry Bonds' record-setting 73rd home run ball. The program begins at 7:30 p.m. Thursday in Room 132. Following the screening, movie director and producer Mike Wranovics will answer questions about the film, which delves into property, sports and entertainment law issues.

TBA Member Services
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A career service for Tennessee attorneys and law students, TBA JobLink is a job seeking and recruitment tool available at no charge. Whether you have a position to fill or are seeking employment, this site will guide you through a simple process to post your information.
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