Juvenile court clerk arrested in Nashville

Davidson County Juvenile Court Clerk Vic Lineweaver was booked into Metro Jail today, having been arrested at the direction of Juvenile Court referees Scott Rosenberg, William Griffin and Sophia Crawford, the Nashville Post reports. The three referees ordered the arrest for "willful civil contempt of a court order," the paper said. The order comes on the heels of Lineweaver's repeated refusal to produce court documents related to scheduled dismissal dockets, the paper says, citing courthouse sources. Read the Nashville Post's account.
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. To search all opinions in the TBALink database or to obtain a text version of each opinion, go to our OpinionSearch page. If you have forgotten your password or need to obtain a password, you can look it up on TBALink at the TBA's Membership Central.

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KENNETH BARRETT v. FRANK VANN dba FRANK VANN CONSTRUCTION COMPANY, ET AL

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Karen G. Crutchfield and Joshua A. Wolfe, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Frank Vann dba Frank Vann Construction Company.

William Allen, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, for the appellee, Kenneth Barrett.

Judge: SUSANO

The plaintiff, Kenneth Barrett, entered into a written contract with Frank Vann, doing business as Frank Vann Construction Company ("Vann"), for Vann to construct a parking area on the plaintiff's property and to re-pave the plaintiff's driveway. It was later discovered that a retaining wall would be necessary to support the parking area due to the steep slope of the plaintiff's property. Vann suggested to the plaintiff that he use Matt Johnson, doing business as ProGreen Landscaping & Lawn Maintenance ("Johnson"), to build the wall. Johnson agreed to build it. After the wall was completed, it began to collapse. This prompted the plaintiff to file suit. A jury returned a money verdict against Vann and Johnson for violating the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act, T.C.A. section 47-18-101 (Supp. 2006) ("the TCPA"). The jury also found Vann guilty of breach of contract. When, as to Vann, the jury returned separate monetary verdicts for the TCPA violation and the breach of contract, the trial court required the plaintiff to elect between the two monetary awards. Under compulsion, the plaintiff chose the damage award under the TCPA. The trial court then trebled the TCPA damages and awarded the plaintiff a part of his request for attorney's fees. The plaintiff and Vann both raise issues on appeal. We modify the trial court's judgment. As modified, it is affirmed. This case is remanded to the trial court with instructions.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2007/Barrettk_082907.pdf


EDWINNA RUTH BLACKBURN v. HEATH BRADLEY BLACKBURN

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

John W. Cleveland, Sweetwater, Tennessee, for the appellant, Edwinna Ruth Blackburn.

Keith H. Grant, Dunlap, Tennessee, for the appellee, Heath Bradley Blackburn.

Judge: SUSANO

In this divorce case, Edwinna Ruth Blackburn ("Wife") challenges the validity of the judgment of divorce entered nunc pro tunc following the death of her spouse, Heath Bradley Blackburn ("Husband"). The trial court held that the divorce was granted on June 6, 2005, i.e., before Husband's death on October 30, 2005, when the parties announced their settlement to the court. Wife appeals and argues that this case was still pending when Husband died. She claims that his death abated her complaint for divorce. We affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2007/blackburne_082907.pdf


ARTHUR CREECH and wife, GLENDA CREECH, CLAUDE HATFIELD and wife, DEBORAH HATFIELD, WAYNE MARTIN and wife, ALICE MARTIN, BRENT CHITWOOD and MARVIN B. CHITWOOD, JR., d/b/a TRIAD PARTNERS, DARLENE REINIER , VICKI JACOBS, JOANN L. (MADDY) WOLFE, LAUREL GROUP, INC., and GOLDEN GIRLS, INC., v. ROBERT R. ADDINGTON, et al., including D.C. PARKER and RICHARD FLOWERS

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Rick L. Powers and Dan D. Rhea, Knoxville, Tennessee, for appellants D.C. Parker and Richard Flowers.

David H. Parton, Gatlinburg, Tennessee, for appellees.

Judge: FRANKS

The Trial Court affirmed jury verdicts returned in favor of the Plaintiffs on the grounds that agents of the non-resident Defendants had made false representations to Plaintiffs at a meeting in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. On appeal, we affirm the Trial Court's Judgment as to the Plaintiffs attending the meeting.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2007/creecha_082907.pdf


JOHNNY D. HALL v. MIKE BRYANT, ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Johnny D. Hall, Pro Se.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; Joshua D. Baker, Assistant Attorney General, for Defendants-Appellees, Mike Bryant, et al.

Judge: CRAWFORD

The pro se Appellant, an inmate in the custody of the Tennessee Department of Correction, appeals the trial court's dismissal on a 12.02 motion of his U.S.C. section 1983 complaint for alleged violation of his right of access to the courts. Finding no error, we affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2007/hallj_82907.pdf


THE METROPOLITAN GOVERNMENT OF NASHVILLE AND DAVIDSON COUNTY v. ALFRED O. HIBLER, II

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Karl F. Dean, Kevin C. Klein, and John L. Kennedy, Nashville, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County.

Frank J. Scanlon, Nashville, Tennessee, for the Appellee, Alfred O. Hibler, II.

Judge: LEE

The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County ("Metro") brought this action alleging that Alfred O. Hibler, II, had failed to report earned income as required in order to avoid a reduction in the amount of his Metro disability pension, resulting in significant pension overpayments to Mr. Hibler. The income in dispute consisted of distributions of excess earnings of an S corporation owned by Mr. Hibler. The issue is whether this income is properly characterized as "earned income," defined by the Metro Code as including "wage or salary – not rent, interest, dividends or capital gains." After a trial, the trial court ruled that the distributions, labeled "draws" by the S corporation, were not earned income required to be reported to Metro for purposes of calculating Mr. Hibler’s disability pension, and distrial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2007/hiblera_082907.pdf


RAYMOND CLAYTON MURRAY, JR. v. JES BEARD, ESQUIRE

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Arvin Reingold, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jes Beard, Esquire.

John T. Rice, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellee, Raymond Clayton Murray, Jr.

Judge: SUSANO

This is a legal malpractice case. Raymond Clayton Murray, Jr. ("the Client") sued his former attorney, Jes Beard ("the Attorney"), in connection with the Attorney's representation of the Client in the latter's action to modify child support. In the present case, after the Attorney failed to answer interrogatories regarding his experts, the Client filed a motion pursuant to Tenn. R. Civ. P. 37 seeking to prevent the Attorney from offering any expert testimony. The court entered an order granting the Client's motion and barring the Attorney from introducing expert testimony at trial. The Client subsequently filed a second motion for Rule 37 sanctions, this time seeking a default judgment against the Attorney. The motion sought this further sanction as punishment for the Attorney's alleged failure to cooperate in the discovery process. The court granted this motion and announced its decision in a fax to counsel on the day before trial. An order was never entered memorializing this ruling. The Attorney filed a motion to reconsider, which the court denied. After a hearing solely on the issue of damages, the trial court entered a judgment against the Attorney for $16,697.38. He appeals. After review, we hold that the trial court abused its discretion when it granted a default judgment against the Attorney as a Rule 37 sanction. We vacate the trial court's judgment and remand for a new trial, but solely on the issue of liability.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2007/murrayr_082907.pdf

SWINEY Concurring and Dissenting
http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2007/murrayr_dis_082907.pdf


TRAVELERS PROPERTY CASUALTY COMPANY OF AMERICA, v. UNITRAC RAILROAD MATERIALS, INC.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Joseph L. Broy, Germantown, Tennessee, for appellants.

Malcolm L. McCune, Nashville, Tennessee, for appellee.

Judge: FRANKS

Plaintiff sought to recover payment of workers compensation benefits via subrogation against the defendant. The Trial Court entered Judgment for defendant. We affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2007/travelers_082907.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. MARTY MICHELLE CLARK

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

J. Colin Morris, Jackson, Tennessee for the appellant, Marty Michelle Clark.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Sophia S. Lee, Assistant Attorney General; Jerry Woodall, District Attorney General; and Jody S. Pickens, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: MCLIN

The defendant, Marty Michelle Clark, was convicted of attempted aggravated burglary, a Class D felony, and was sentenced by the trial court as a Range II offender to six years in confinement. The defendant appeals his conviction, arguing that the trial court lacked sufficient evidence to sustain his conviction. Upon review of the full record and the applicable law, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/ClarkM_82907.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. SCOTT CHRISTOPHER MAGNESS

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Chadwick G. Hunt, Savannah, Tennessee, for the appellant, Scott Christopher Magness.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Cameron L. Hyder, Assistant Attorney General; Robert "Gus" Radford, District Attorney General; and John W. Overton, Jr., Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: MCLIN

The defendant, Scott Christopher Magness, appeals as of right from the sentence of confinement imposed by the Hardin County Circuit Court for his conviction of attempted aggravated sexual battery, a Class C felony. As a Range I, standard offender, the defendant received a sentence of six years in the Tennessee Department of Correction. On appeal, the defendant contends that the trial court erred by denying alternative sentencing. We affirm the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/MagnessS_82907.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JACK N. TAYLOR

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Joe H. Walker, District Public Defender, and Walter B. Johnson, II, Assistant Public Defender, for the appellant, Jack N. Taylor.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Renee W. Turner, Assistant Attorney General; Scott McCluen, District Attorney General; and John Bledsoe, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: GLENN

The defendant, Jack N. Taylor, was convicted of robbery, a Class C felony, and sentenced to three years in the community corrections program. On appeal, he argues that the evidence was insufficientto support his conviction. Following our review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/taylorj_082907.pdf


LARAIEL WINTON v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Mark Stephens, District Public Defender; Aubrey L. Davis, Assistant District Public Defender (at trial); Laraiel Winton, pro se, Wartburg, Tennessee.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General & Reporter; Rachel West Harmon, Assistant Attorney General; Randall E. Nichols, District Attorney General; and Leon Franks, Assistant District Attorney General, for appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: THOMAS

The petitioner, Laraiel Winton, pro se, appeals the Knox County Criminal Court's denial of his petition for post-conviction relief which alleged that he was denied the effective assistance of counsel on direct appeal. On appeal, he alleges that the trial court erred in denying him relief and that the trial court failed to make sufficient findings of fact in its order denying relief. Following our review, we agree that the trial court failed to make sufficient findings of fact and further conclude that the trial court's erroneous restriction of the presentation of evidence resulted in a denial of the petitioner's right to a full and fair hearing regarding the allegation of ineffective assistance of appellate counsel. Therefore, the judgment of the trial court is reversed and the case is remanded for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2007/wintonl_082907.pdf


Growth of Appropriations under Article II, Section 24, of the Tennessee Constitution

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2007-08-27

Opinion Number: 07-126

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/AG/2007/ag_07-126.pdf

DCS Reports of Delinquency Adjudications to Schools

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2007-08-27

Opinion Number: 07-127

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/AG/2007/ag_07-127.pdf

Use of Emergency Communications District Funds for Purposes Other Than 911

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2007-08-27

Opinion Number: 07-128

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/AG/2007/ag_07-128.pdf

Requirement of Indemnity Bond by Sheriff for Execution of Writ of Possession

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2007-08-27

Opinion Number: 07-129

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/AG/2007/ag_07-129.pdf

Copyright Status of Photographs Taken by Tennessee's Photographic Services Personnel

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2007-08-27

Opinion Number: 07-130

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/AG/2007/ag_07-130.pdf

TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News
Legislative News
Upcoming
BPR Actions
TBA Member Services

Legal News
Barker: look for Supreme Court battle to continue
Tennesseans haven't heard the end of who should be on the state Supreme Court and how they should be selected, Chief Justice William "Mickey" Barker told Chattanooga Kiwanis Club members Tuesday. Barker predicted the issue will be revived when the legislature convenes early next year. Already, some lawmakers have called for changes in the Tennessee Plan, the state's current judicial selection process.
The Chattanoogan.com reports
Selection process begins for 6th Judicial District judge
The Judicial Selection Commission will meet soon to initiate the process of filling the vacancy on the 6th Judicial District Criminal Court created by the death of Judge Ray Jenkins. Those interested in applying for consideration should submit a completed applicant questionnaire and Tennessee Bureau of Investigation background application no later than 4:30 p.m. CDT on Sept.19.
Both applications are available on the AOC website
Summers says time from verdict to execution too long
Former state Attorney General Paul G. Summers writes in today's Tennessean that the time between a guilty verdict and execution of the sentence must be shortened, otherwise states are just wasting resources. He defends the expediting of cases based on federal review, saying states will have to show that their processes are constitutionally adequate.
Read his opinion
Witness implicates judge in extortion plot
An FBI informant testified today that Cocke County Circuit Court Judge Ben Hooper II revoked his license to write bail bonds in 1999 after he refused to pay then-sheriff D.C. Ramsey extortion money. Richard Spriggs made the allegation during the trial of five men accused of cockfighting and illegal gambling. The case is part of the ongoing "Rose Thorn" corruption probe, which began in 2001 and is focused on corruption in the sheriff's department.
For more on the story visit the News Sentinel online
Will Ford stand trial in Nashville?
Legal observers wonder whether former state Senator John Ford will be able to cut a deal with prosecutors to avoid a second federal trial in Nashville. Ford is scheduled to appear there on Sept.18 in a case involving alleged kickbacks from state contractors.
Read about his chances from WMC TV News 5
Status of Tennessee Waltz defendants
The Knoxville News Sentinel has a recap of each of the 11 Tennessee Waltz defendants and their status under the law.
Check it out here
Rutherford awarded funds to start mental health court
The Rutherford County Sheriff's Office has received a $25,241 federal grant to plan for a mental health court. A 2003 state survey found that half of the youth in juvenile facilities and 19 percent of the total inmate population experienced mental health problems.
Read more in the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal
Judges say courtroom dress code effective
Hamilton County General Sessions judges said this week that the courtroom dress code they enacted last week has been well received. One jurist, Judge Bob Moon, revealed that on several occasions he had to ask people to leave the courtroom to change into something more appropriate. None of the judges reported complaints though, according to the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Thompson's dual role as government counsel
The New York Times ran a lengthy profile of expected Republican presidential candidate Fred D. Thompson today, including a review of his decades of service as a government lawyer.
Read it here
Legislative News
Cohen and ministers meet about hate crimes
Tempers flared and emotions erupted Tuesday at a meeting between U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Memphis, and a group of black ministers, stemming from the congressman's support for a federal hate crimes bill. More than 100 ministers and guests attended the session and many commented that Cohen, who is white, cannot adequately represent the primarily black Ninth District. Cohen claims the backlash is politically motivated.
The Commercial Appeal has more
Upcoming
Johnson to speak in Oak Ridge
Michele Johnson, managing attorney of the Tennessee Justice Center, will address the Oak Ridge League of Women Voters on Sept. 4, on the causes and impact of the state's current health care situation. The meeting will begin at 11:45 a.m. at the Oak Ridge Unitarian Universalist Church.
Find details in the Oakridger
BPR Actions
Crutchfield disbarred
On Aug. 27, the Supreme Court of Tennessee disbarred Chattanooga attorney William Ward Crutchfield from the practice of law, and he accepted the disbarment by consent. The court also ordered Crutchfield to pay the costs of his disciplinary proceedings and comply with all rules regarding the obligations and responsibilities of a disbarred attorney.
Read the BPR release
TBA Member Services
Guide to pro bono assistance
The TBA YLD has released a new resource to help volunteer attorneys provide meaningful legal services to victims of natural disasters. The 83-page document addresses a wide range of legal and social service issues disaster victims most frequently face. And unlike other resources that have been used in the past, this manual is Tennessee specific.
Download a copy today

 
 
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