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IN RE: A.R. (DOB 8/13/05) A Child Under Eighteen Years of Age

Court: TCA


Jeremy B. Epperson, Pinson, TN, for Appellant

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter, Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General, Joshua Davis Baker, Assistant Attorney General, Nashville, TN, for Appellee.

Lanis L. Karnes, Jackson, TN, for Guardian Ad Litem


Mother appeals the juvenile court's decision to terminate her parental rights. The minor child has been in the custody of the Department of Children's Services since he was five months old, as the juvenile court found that he was dependent and neglected. Following approximately sixteen months of services and a failed trial home visit, DCS filed a petition to terminate Mother's parental rights. The trial court terminated Mother's parental rights on the ground of "persistence of conditions." We affirm.



Court: TCA


Lang Wiseman, Cordova, TN, for Appellants.

Chris Patterson, Cordova, TN, for Appellants

W. David Cheek, Memphis, TN, for Appellees


This is a negligence action. Appellees filed a complaint against Appellant alleging that its employee negligently drove a company truck into the back of Appellees' car. Appellant was granted partial summary judgment because a latent mechanical problem caused its truck's brakes to fail. The trial court then held a bench trial to determine if the employee's negligent driving was also a cause of the accident. Although it made no findings of fact, the trial court concluded that the employee was negligent, and awarded Appellee, Harry Jacocks $15,350 in damages. Appellant appeals, asserting that the evidence presented does not support the trial court's judgment. Because we agree that the evidence was insufficient, we reverse the judgment of the trial court.



Court: TCA


James L. Harris, Nashville, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Erica Lin.

J. Brooks Fox and Elizabeth A. Sanders, Nashville, Tennessee, for the Appellee, The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County.


Erica Lin ("Plaintiff") began working as a teacher for The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County ("Defendant") in 2002. During her employment, Plaintiff complained of actions which she believed to be discriminatory based on her race and alleged disability. Defendant sent Plaintiff a letter on April 1, 2006, informing her that her employment was being terminated effective May 26, 2006. Plaintiff eventually abandoned her race and disability discrimination claims and proceeded only on a claim for retaliatory discharge. Defendant filed a motion for summary judgment claiming the undisputed material facts established that Plaintiff was terminated for poor work performance. The Trial Court granted the motion for summary judgment, and Plaintiff appeals. We conclude that Defendant's motion for summary judgment neither negated an essential element of Plaintiff's claim nor conclusively established an affirmative defense. Therefore, we vacate the order granting Defendant's motion for summary judgment and remand for further proceedings.



Court: TCA


Charles Dungan, Maryville, Tennessee, for the Appellants, Bill Turner and Elizabeth Turner.

Neill R. Monaghan, Maryville, Tennessee, for the Appellee, Vera J. Rogers.


This lawsuit was filed by Vera J. Rogers ("Petitioner") seeking court-ordered visitation with her grandchildren pursuant to Tennessee's Grandparent Visitation Act, Tenn. Code Ann. section 36-6-306. The lawsuit was filed against Bill Turner ("Father") and Elizabeth Turner ("Mother"), the biological parents of the grandchildren. At trial, both parents testified that they had not and still did not oppose visitation between Petitioner and her grandchildren, so long as Petitioner abided by certain reasonable restrictions. The Trial Court found that the parents were not opposing visitation and that the parents' restrictions on the Petitioner's visitation were reasonable. Because the parents were not opposing visitation, the Trial Court entered an order establishing a visitation schedule and allowing the parents to impose reasonable restrictions. We hold that in order for Tenn. Code Ann. section 36-6-306 to be implicated, visitation by grandparents must be "opposed by the custodial parent or parents." Tenn. Code Ann. section 36-6-306(a). Because the Trial Court found no such opposition, the statute was not implicated and the Trial Court erred by not dismissing this case. We, therefore, reverse the judgment of the Trial Court, and this case is dismissed.



Court: TCCA


Gary F. Antrican, District Public Defender, for the appellant, Michael Barnett Bills.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Rachel West Harmon, Assistant Attorney General; D. Michael Dunavant, District Attorney General; and Joe Van Dyke, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


The petitioner, Michael Barnett Bills, appeals the denial of his petition for post-conviction relief. He was convicted of one count of possession of 0.5 grams or more of a Schedule II controlled substance with intent to deliver, a Class B felony. He was sentenced to eighteen years in the Tennessee Department of Correction as a Range II, multiple offender. On appeal, he argues that he received ineffective assistance of trial counsel because she did not file a motion to suppress and failed to object to the introduction of a letter into evidence. After careful review, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.



Court: TCCA


Michaela Burnham, Sevierville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Ralph Lepore.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; J. Ross Dyer, Assistant Attorney General; James B. Dunn, District Attorney General; and Jeremy Ball and Michelle R. Shirley, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: OGLE

A Sevier County Circuit Court jury convicted the appellant, Ralph LePore, of violating the Sexual Offender Registration and Monitoring Act, and the trial court sentenced him to eleven months, twenty-nine days to be served as one hundred eighty days in confinement and the remainder on supervised probation. On appeal, the appellant contends that at the time he was charged with violating the Act, the Act violated due process because it criminalized behavior outside a registrant's control and violated equal protection because it placed a greater burden on registrants who lived far away from Nashville. Based upon the record and the parties' briefs, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.



Court: TCCA


Gary Antrican, District Public Defender, and Shana C. Johnson, Senior Assistant Public Defender, for the appellant, David Pugh.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Rachel E. Willis, Assistant Attorney General; C. Michael Dunavant, District Attorney General; and Joe L. VanDyke, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


The defendant, David Pugh, appeals the order of the Hardeman County Circuit Court revoking his probation. The defendant entered guilty pleas, in three separate cases, to four counts of delivery of a Schedule II controlled substance (Class B felonies) and one count of possession of contraband in a penal institution (Class C felony). He was subsequently sentenced to an effective sixteen-year sentence, which was to be served on probation following service of six hundred days in jail. Following his release to supervised probation, a violation warrant was filed in the three cases alleging numerous violations of the terms of the defendant's probation. Following a hearing, the defendant's probation was revoked, resulting in the reinstatement of his original sentences, which the trial court ordered to be served in confinement. On appeal, the defendant argues that the court erred in revoking his probation. Finding no abuse of discretion, the judgment of the trial court is affirmed.



Court: TCCA


Joshua D. Hedrick (on appeal) and Byron D. Bryant (at trial), Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Timothy A. Summers.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Rachel West Harmon, Assistant Attorney General; William Paul Phillips, District Attorney General; and Tracy Jenkins, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.


Following a bench trial in the Union County Circuit Court, the defendant, Timothy A. Summers, was found guilty of one count of driving on a revoked license, second offense (Class A misdemeanor). The trial court subsequently imposed a sentence of eleven months and twenty-nine days, with forty- five days to be served. On appeal, the defendant raises the single issue of whether the trial court erred in failing to grant his motion to suppress. Specifically, he contends that the statements made by him on a videotape of the police stop, consisting of an admission that he was driving the vehicle, should have been suppressed because they were obtained as result of a custodial interrogation without the benefit of Miranda warnings. Following review, we conclude that the trial court properly denied the motion.



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About this publication: Today's News is a compilation of digests of news reports of interest to Tennessee lawyers compiled by TBA staff, links to digested press releases, and occasional stories about the TBA and other activities written by the TBA staff or members. Statements or opinions herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Tennessee Bar Association, its officers, board or staff.

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