Legislative Report: Committee gives OK to disaster recovery bill

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 8-0 to support TBA legislation (SB3660/HB3060) that allows for extending the statute of limitations when appellate courts declare a natural or human-made disaster. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Jamie Woodson, R-Knoxville, and Rep. Henry Fincher, D-Cookeville, originated with the TBA Emergency Preparedness Committee appointed in the wake of hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

The committee rolled two bills addressing crisis intervention. A bill (SB2635/HB2662) that would create a testimonial privilege for people involved in group crisis counseling, raised some concern about whether privilege was appropriate in such circumstances. The other bill (SB2636/HB2661) would grant immunity to volunteers involved in the process. Follow legislation of interest to the Tennessee legal community with the TBA's Bill Tracking Service.
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Court: TCA


Loriann Deuel, Eagleville, Tennessee, Pro Se.

Frank Dalton, Rensselaer, New York, Pro Se.


A mother appeals from an order of the Juvenile Court of Rutherford County dismissing or denying the mother's second motion to vacate an order of that court domesticating an order of the Family Court of Rensselaer County, New York, which awarded custody of the mother's ten year old daughter to the girl's putative father, a resident of New York State. The motion to vacate, which was dismissed in the order that is the subject of this appeal, was filed approximately eighteen months after the order of domestication, and the domestication order was not appealed. The mother's motion to vacate the trial court's order was untimely filed and the mother has not established any other procedural basis upon which the domestication order could be set aside. Accordingly, we affirm.



Court: TCA


Leslie A. Muse, Morristown, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Philip Latiff, as Executor of the Estate of Mary Woods Latiff.

Gary G. Spangler and Carrie S. O'Rear, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the Appellees, Tracy W. Dobbs, M.D., and East Tennessee Oncology and Hematology, P.C.


In this medical malpractice action, Mary Woods Latiff ("Ms. Latiff") was a patient of Dr. Tracy Dobbs, an oncologist employed by East Tennessee Oncology and Hematology, P.C., ("East Tennessee Oncology") (collectively "Defendants"). Ms. Latiff underwent chemotherapy to reduce her chance of a recurrence of cancer. After her fourth chemotherapy session, Ms. Latiff developed complications, including vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, and abdominal pain. Ms. Latiff's family made numerous phone calls to Defendants over the next few days. A nurse at Defendants' office called in a prescription to treat Ms. Latiff's symptoms, but the additional medications did not resolve Ms. Latiff's problems. The next day, the nurse advised Ms. Latiff's family to take her to the emergency room, but a family member stated that Ms. Latiff was too weak to go to the emergency room. As a result, home health services were ordered for Ms. Latiff for lab work and assessment. After the lab results were available, Dr. Dobbs ordered IV fluids with potassium to treat Ms. Latiff's dehydration and low potassium level. Several hours later, Ms. Latiff's family called an ambulance to transport her to the hospital because her condition had not improved. Ms. Latiff suffered a cardiac arrest before arriving at the hospital. She was revived, but died the following day. Ms. Latiff's family filed this lawsuit alleging negligence in Defendants' treatment of Ms. Latiff. The jury returned a verdict in favor of Defendants, and judgment was entered accordingly. Plaintiff's motion for new trial was denied, and an appeal was taken to this Court, raising numerous issues regarding exclusion of evidence, expert witness testimony, and jury instructions. After careful review, we hold that the Trial Court did not commit reversible error. We affirm and remand.



Court: TCA


Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; Charles L. Lewis, Deputy Attorney General; Jeffrey O. Usman and Wyla M. Posey, Assistant Attorney Generals, for the appellant, Ruth E. Johnson, Commissioner of Revenue, State of Tennessee.

Dale Bohannon, Cookeville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Value Motor Company, Inc.


The issue on appeal pertains to the repossession tax credit stated in Tenn. Code Ann. section 67-6-507(d). The plaintiff is a used car dealer that provided dealer financing to facilitate the sale of its inventory. When audited, the Department of Revenue determined that the dealer was impermissibly inflating the repossession tax credit by including in the unpaid balance owing the cost of refinancing, the cost of subsequent repairs financed by the dealer, and the indebtedness owing by the customer for vehicles that were traded in to facilitate the purchase of the vehicle that was subsequently repossessed. After the Department assessed the dealer $134,000 in sales and use tax, the dissatisfied dealer filed suit in the Chancery Court contesting the assessment. The Chancellor determined inter alia the dealer was entitled to a credit "for the unpaid sales tax on the principal balance owed on the first vehicle traded in and on the second vehicle acquired as a result of the trade-in when sold on a security agreement or other title retained instrument" when the dealer repossesses the second vehicle. We have determined the repossession tax credit under Tenn. Code Ann. section 67-6-507(d) does not extend to the debt on the first vehicle. The statute only affords a repossession tax credit on the balance owing on the purchase price of the vehicle that was repossessed.



Court: TCA


Perry H. Young, Chattanooga, Tennessee, appellant, Pro Se.

Mary Neill Southerland, Hamilton County Attorney's Office, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellee, Hamilton County, Tennessee.


The plaintiff sued Hamilton County seeking damages for false arrest. Following the dismissal, the plaintiff filed a motion pursuant to Tenn. R. Civ. P. 60.02(2) seeking to vacate the order of dismissal. The motion charged that Hamilton County was guilty of fraud in connection with the filing of its motion. The trial court denied the plaintiff's motion. The plaintiff appeals, contending that the trial court erred when it failed to vacate its order dismissing the plaintiff's complaint. We affirm pursuant to the provisions of Court of Appeals Rule 10.1.



Court: TCCA


Robert L. Parris, Memphis, Tennessee, (on appeal); and J. Bailey and Walter Bailey, Memphis, Tennessee, (at trial), for the appellant, Vern Braswell.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; David H. Findley, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; Betsy Carnesale, Assistant District Attorney General; and Amy Weirich, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, the State of Tennessee.


Defendant, Vern Braswell, was indicted for first degree premeditated murder. Following a jury trial, Defendant was found guilty of the lesser included offense of second degree murder. After a sentencing hearing, Defendant was sentenced as a Range I, standard offender, to twenty-four years. On appeal, Defendant argues that (1) the evidence is insufficient to support his conviction; (2) the trial court erred in certain evidentiary rulings; and (3) his sentence is excessive. After a thorough review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.



Court: TCCA


Richard L. Burnette, Johnson City, Tennessee (on appeal); and Gene G. Scott, Jr., and Alex Vanburen, Johnson City, Tennessee (at trial), for the appellant, David A. Mantey.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Renee W. Turner, Assistant Attorney General; Joe Crumley, District Attorney General; and Stan Widener, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WITT

The defendant, David A. Mantey, was convicted of the sale of more than .5 grams of cocaine, a Class B felony, and sentenced as a Range I offender to 12 years' incarceration. In this appeal, the defendant asserts that (1) the trial court erred in the admission of certain evidence, (2) the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction, (3) the trial court committed plain error by failing to instruct on the lesser included offense of casual exchange, and (4) the sentence and fine imposed are excessive. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.



Court: TCCA


Jack S. Hinson, Lexington, Tennessee, for the appellant, Bobby Glenn Scott.

Robert E. Cooper, Attorney General and Reporter; Mark A. Fulks, Assistant Attorney General; James G. Woodall, District Attorney General; and Bill R. Martin, Assistant District Attorney General for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.


Defendant, Bobby Glenn Scott, entered a plea of guilty to possession of methamphetamine, a schedule II drug, a Class B felony; possession of unlawful drug paraphernalia, a Class A misdemeanor; and unlawful possession of a handgun by a convicted felon, a Class E felony. The transcript of the guilty plea submission hearing is not in the record. The judgments of conviction reflect that the trial court sentenced Defendant as a Range I, standard offender, to twelve years for possession of cocaine, two years for his weapons conviction, and eleven months, twenty-nine days for his misdemeanor conviction. The trial court ordered Defendant to serve his sentences concurrently for an effective sentence of twelve years. Defendant attempted to reserve a certified question of law under Rule 37(b)(2)(I) of the Tennessee Rules of Criminal Procedure, challenging the trial court's denial of his motion to suppress the evidence seized after execution of a search warrant. After review, we conclude that this Court does not have jurisdiction to address the certified question because the certification did not meet the requirements of State v. Preston, 759 S.W.2d 647 (Tenn. 1988). The appeal is, therefore, dismissed.


Prohibited Activities of Legislator

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2008-01-29

Opinion Number: 08-11



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