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


Court: TCA


Morris A. Ray, Nashville, Tennessee, Pro Se

Jean Ann Ray, appellee


Husband appeals the dismissal of his Complaints for Divorce. In a confusing series of pleadings created by Husband, his two separate Complaints for Divorce were dismissed. One was dismissed for failing to pay the filing fee and the other for procedural deficiencies. We affirm the dismissal of the matter in which Husband failed to pay the requisite filing fee. We, however, reverse the dismissal of the first Complaint for Divorce, which was dismissed for alleged procedural deficiencies, and remand for further proceedings.



Court: TCA


Randle S. Davis, Nashville, TN, for Appellants

Michael E. Moore, Acting Attorney General and Reporter; Pamela A. Hayden-Wood, Senior Counsel, Nashville, TN, for Appellee


This case involves a church that operates a "Bible School" program on weekdays for approximately twelve hours, which cares for many children. The church operated its Bible School for four years without a license, until the Department of Human Services investigated and informed the church of Tennessee's child care licensing requirements. The church still did not seek a license, and it continued to operate its Bible School despite an injunction prohibiting the church from operating without a license. The church and certain members were eventually held in contempt of the court's injunction. The trial court entered a permanent injunction preventing the church from operating its Bible School unless or until it obtained a license. The church appeals, claiming that the licensing requirement and certain regulations applicable to licensed child care centers violate its constitutional right to free exercise of religion. For the following reasons, we affirm.


Reduction of Local School Funding by County Commission

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2006-06-25

Opinion Number: 07-95



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Supreme Court Wrap Up
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Legal News
Applicants file for criminal court seat
The Tennessee Judicial Selection Commission is accepting applications through July 3 to fill a vacancy on the 30th Judicial District criminal court. Individuals who have filed to date are: Glen C. Baity of Cordova, a trial assistant in the Shelby County District Attorney's office; Garland Ingram Erguden of Memphis, an assistant Shelby County public defender; Michelle Kimbril-Parks of Cordova, an assistant Shelby County district attorney; and David Michael Zak Jr. of Germantown, an assistant Shelby County district attorney. The vacancy on the court was created when Judge W. Fred Axley announced his intention to retire at the end of the month.

Hispanic group charges racial profiling in arrests
More than 120 Hispanics and members of the NAACP gathered in Columbia over the weekend to express concerns that the sheriff's department is engaging in racial profiling. Residents alleged that the department has engaged in a pattern of mistreatment in conjunction with a string of arrests targeting illegal aliens.
Read more in the Daily Herald
DUI laws need full review, paper says
The Murfreesboro Daily editorialized this week that state DUI laws need to be fully reviewed to stop the cycle of multiple offenses. The paper called on judges to deal with one case at a time, instead of using "cookie-cutter justice" to determine whether defendants should go to jail for years or get out after a short stay.
Read the piece
Peanut butter fallout continues
The fallout from the peanut butter scare a few months ago is only beginning to be realized in Tennessee: a Franklin lawyer said in the midstate alone, he has documented four deaths, 10 serious cases and 80 total cases stemming from salmonella poisoning.
WSMV-TV has the news
Woman claiming mayoral plot is arrested
A nightclub waitress claiming to be part of a plot to snag Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton in a sex scandal was arrested Friday for smoking marijuana while on probation for an unrelated forgery conviction. Her allegations of a plot have led to the appointment of a special prosecutor. WMC-TV Memphis reported the latest news.

Judge rejects suit over missing pants
A judge ruled Monday that no pair of pants is worth $54 million, rejecting a lawsuit that took a dry cleaner's promise of "Satisfaction Guaranteed" to the extreme. The judge ordered the plaintiff, who is an attorney and administrative law judge, to pay approximately $1,000 in court costs for the dry cleaner. A motion by the business owner to recover tens of thousands of dollars in attorney fees is pending.
Learn more from WMC-TV Memphis
Chambliss books available
Chattanooga lawyer Jac Chambliss has two new books out. At 93, Chambliss has lots of stories to tell from his long legal career. In one of the books, "Persuasion: Memoirs of a Trial Advocate," he writes essays about "The Case of the Falling Panties," "My Favorite Jury Story," "The Case of the Wrong Witnesses" and "Drunk in the Ditch."
Find out more about the books on the Chattanoogan.com
Judge now critical of wiretaps
A federal judge who previously authorized wiretaps in terrorist and espionage cases is now criticizing President Bush's decision to order warrantless surveillance. Royce Lamberth, a district court judge in Washington, said Saturday it was proper for executive branch agencies to conduct surveillance, "but what we have found in the history of our country is that you can't trust the executive." The News Sentinel carried the AP's report on his remarks, which were delivered at the American Library Association's convention.
Read the story
Supreme Court Wrap Up
'Bong Hits 4 Jesus' ruling restricts student speech
The U.S. Supreme Court tightened limits on student speech yesterday, ruling against a high school student and his 14-foot-long "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" banner. The court's 5-4 ruling stated that schools may prohibit expression that could be interpreted as advocating drug use. A concurring opinion by Justices Alito and Kennedy specified that the ruling provides no support for restrictions on speech related to political or social issues.
Read about it in the News Sentinel
Faith-based programs protected from some suits
In another ruling issued yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court found that ordinary taxpayers can not sue the government to stop it from encouraging religious charities to apply for federal grants. The ruling gave a boost to the Bush administration's faith-based initiatives, as well as faith-based organizations in Tennessee and across the country. Opponents of the decision were disappointed but argued that its effect would be limited.
The Ashland City Times reports
Products liability case to be heard next term
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday agreed to consider whether federal regulatory approval of medical devices shields manufacturers from product liability lawsuits in state court. A number of appellate courts have ruled that FDA approval generally does protect companies from lawsuits. The case will be taken up during the court's next term, which begins in October.
The Memphis Daily News has more
Longtime DA dies
William Bradley Lockert Jr. of Ashland City passed away on June 24. For 25 years, Lockert served as District Attorney General for the 21st Judicial Circuit (now the 23rd) and served three terms as president of the Tennessee Attorney General Conference. He earned his law degree from the Cumberland Law School. Visitation will be held tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with a funeral service following at 2 p.m. in the chapel of the Cheatham County Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Parkinson's Research Fund, Dr. Thomas L. Davis, Dept. of Neurology, A-1108 MCN, Nashville, TN 37232.

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