Annual report of Tennessee Judiciary released

The 2006-2007 annual report of the Tennessee Judiciary is now available on the Administrative Office of the Court's web site. A CD version of the report also is available. Contact the AOC at (615) 741-2687 or (800) 448-7970 to request your own copy. The report is divided into two parts, which can be downloaded here: the main section and the statistical section.
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Court: TCA


William Kennerly Burger, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for the appellant, Patti T. Heaton.

Dinah G. Michael, W. Stan Bennett, Murfreesboro, Tennessee, for the appellee, Tracy L. Tyler.

Allan Mark Sowell, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Sentry Insurance Company.


In this personal injury action, the sole issue raised on appeal is whether the trial court abused its discretion when it refused to exclude the testimony of a medical expert as untrustworthy under Tenn. R. Evid. 703. We conclude that the trial court did not abuse its discretion and that the expert's opinion was based on sufficient credible facts and data to satisfy the trustworthy requirement of Tenn. R. Evid. 703. We therefore affirm the trial court judgment.


Court: TCA


Connie Reguli, Brentwood, Tennessee, for the appellant, Martha Ines Hill.

Joseph Ward Henry, Jr., Pulaski, Tennessee, for the appellee, Gary Todd Hill.


Mother appeals the trial court's modification of the custody of the parties' two minor children. Father filed a petition for modification of custody; however, he admits that he mistakenly titled the pleading "Rule 60 Motion." The trial court conducted a full evidentiary hearing wherein both parties and their counsel participated and introduced evidenced. Two witnesses called by Mother were not permitted to testify. One of the excluded witnesses was the parties' twelve-year-old daughter. After refusing to permit the parties to put their daughter through the ordeal of testifying at trial, the trial court advised Mother that she could make an offer of proof but not by questioning the child. At the conclusion of the trial, the court modified the Parenting Plan by awarding Father additional parenting time, but Mother remained the primary residential parent. We have determined the pleading filed by Father, although incorrectly titled, was in substance a petition to modify the Parenting Plan, and by considering substance over form, we have concluded the erroneous title to his petition is not fatal. We also find no reversible error with the trial court's evidentiary rulings. Accordingly, we affirm.


Court: TCA


David A. Bates and C. Nicholas Fossett, Columbia, Tennessee, for the Appellant, C. Rick Points.

W. Carl Spining and Julie Bhattacharya Peak, Nashville, Tennessee, for the Appellee, Elbert Thompson d/b/a Thompson Trucking.

Judge: LEE

In this case arising from an automobile accident, the issues presented are whether there is material evidence supporting the jury verdict in favor of the plaintiff and whether the trial court erred in denying the plaintiff's motion in limine to exclude, as inadmissibly speculative, portions of his own medical expert's testimony on cross-examination. Because we find that there is material evidence supporting the jury verdict and that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying the plaintiff's motion in limine, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.


Court: TCA


Amos E. Qualls, Fayetteville, Tennessee, Pro Se.

Kimberly M. Hinson, Linden, Tennessee, and Larry Joe Hinson, Hohenwald, Tennessee, for the appellee, H. J. Q. Klutts, Executrix.


This is the second appeal by the appellant who again has asked this court to review the Probate Court of Perry County's denial of his petition. In that petition, the appellant contested the manner in which the Executrix of his late father's estate administered the estate. We have determined the issue is res judicata and thereby affirm the trial court. We have also determined the appeal is devoid of merit and, therefore, the Executrix is entitled to recover her reasonable expenses incurred on appeal.


Court: TCCA


Terrance Lowdermilk, Pro Se.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter and Elizabeth B. Marney, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


The Petitioner, Terrance Lowdermilk, appeals the Hamilton County Criminal Court's summary dismissal of his petition for habeas corpus relief attacking his three convictions for selling more than .5 grams of cocaine. The Petitioner contends, among other things, that his 2002 judgments of conviction are void because ineffective assistance of trial counsel led him to enter a guilty plea which was not voluntary, knowing, and intelligent. The Petitioner also argues that his sentence is illegal based upon a violation of the Interstate Agreement on Dentainers Act and because the sentence was imposed in conjunction with the revocation of his illegally imposed probation in an unrelated case. The habeas corpus court dismissed the petition, finding that the Petitioner had failed to state a cognizable claim for habeas corpus relief and, insofar as the pleading was to be considered as a petition for post-conviction relief, it was time-barred. We agree and affirm the order summarily dismissing the petition.


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