Supreme Court historical dinner to honor '74-'80 court

The 4th Annual Tennessee Supreme Court Historical Society's Dinner will be Oct. 20 at the Hutton Hotel in Nashville. The event will honor members of the court who served from 1974 to 1980 as well as the current members. Tickets are $135 per person. RSVP by Oct. 8 to Joy Day or call (615) 771-5008.

Download the invitation to learn more

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.

01 - TN Supreme Court
00 - TN Worker's Comp Appeals
00 - TN Supreme Court - Rules
04 - TN Court of Appeals
07 - TN Court of Criminal Appeals
00 - TN Attorney General Opinions
00 - Judicial Ethics Opinions
00 - Formal Ethics Opinions - BPR

You can obtain full-text versions of the opinions two ways. We recommend that you download the Opinions to your computer and then open them from there. 1) Click the URL at end of each Opinion paragraph below. This should give you the option to download the original document. If not, you may need to right-click on the URL to get the option to save the file to your computer. 2) Do a key word search in the Search Link area of TBALink. This option will allow you to view and save a plain-text version of the opinion.

SUPREME COURT DISCRETIONARY APPEALS Grants & Denials List

Court: TSC

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC/2009/certlist_092109.pdf


JOSEPH MARION BARKER v. ANGEL CHANDLER

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Gregory W. Minton and Joseph M. Dash of Medina, Tennessee; Lucian T. Pera and Brian S. Faughnan of Memphis, Tennessee; and Christine P. Sun and Tricia R. Herzfield of Nashville, Tennessee for the appellant, Angel Chandler.

No Appellee Brief was filed.

Judge: KIRBY

This post-divorce appeal challenges the "overnight paramour" provision in the parties' parenting plan. By agreement, the parties sought to modify the parenting plan for their two teenage children, a son and a daughter. At the time, the father lived with his new wife, and the mother lived with her unmarried partner of nine years. The parties agreed that the father would be the primary residential parent of their son, and that the mother would be the primary residential parent of their daughter. The permanent parenting plan form completed by the parties included a "paramour provision," in accordance with a local court rule mandating that parenting plans prohibit the non-spouse paramour of either parent from spending the night in the same residence as the minor child. The mother objected to the inclusion of this provision, arguing that the children's best interest would be served by permitting them to stay in her home along with her partner. Despite finding that the children's well-being would not be adversely impacted by the arrangement on which the parties had agreed, the trial court refused to eliminate the provision on the basis that state law and public policy required that such a provision be included. The mother now appeals. We reverse, finding that Tennessee statutes and public policy dictate that the children's best interest is the paramount consideration, and thus the trial court must have the discretion to alter or eliminate the paramour provision in a parenting plan if the court finds that doing so is in the children's best interest.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2009/barkerj_092109.pdf


JAMES JEFFREY JACKSON v. KRISTI LYN WILLIAMS

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Thomas E. Weakley, Dyersburg, Tennessee, for the appellant, James Jeffery Jackson.

Dean P. Dedmon and William Lewis Jenkins, Jr., Dyersburg, Tennessee, for the appellee, Kristi Lyn Williams.

Judge: KIRBY

This is a post-divorce petition for contempt and to modify a parenting plan. The parties divorced when their son was about three years old. They were awarded joint custody of their son and the mother was designated as the primary residential parent. Many disputes ensued. The father filed a contempt petition against the mother, claiming that she was in contempt for failing to schedule compensatory weekend parenting time for the father after the child spent one of his weekends with the mother, and for causing the father to miss six scheduled telephone calls with their son over an eight-month period. The father asserted that this and other conduct showed that the mother intended to alienate the child from him, and on this basis filed a petition to modify the parenting plan. After a hearing, the trial court denied the father's petitions for contempt and for modification. We affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2009/jacksonj_092109.pdf


MARK VII TRANSPORTATION CO., INC. v. RESPONSIVE TRUCKING, INC.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Allan B. Thorp, Memphis, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Mark VII Transportation Co. Inc.

Bill M. Wade, Memphis, Tennessee, for the Appellee, Responsive Trucking, Inc.

Judge: STAFFORD

This action arises from an agreement between Appellant Mark VII Transportation Co. and Appellee Responsive Trucking, Inc. Appellant filed suit seeking to recover for breach of contract based on the Carmack Amendment standard of liability adopted by the parties in their agreement and for indemnification as allowed by their agreement. Both parties moved for summary judgment. The trial court denied Appellant's motion for summary judgment and granted Appellee's motion for summary judgment. Finding material issues of fact in dispute, we affirm in part and reverse in part.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2009/marktransportation_092109.pdf


TIMMIE LEE RHEAL, ET AL. v. MARK IRELAND, ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Keith H. Grant, Dunlap Tennessee, for the appellants, Timmie Lee Rheal and husband, Milford Rheal.

Ronald D. Wells, Stacy Lynn Archer, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellees, Mark Ireland, Rhonda Ireland, Sandra Ireland, Tammy Thomas, Juvenile Court for Marion County, Tennessee, and Marion County, Tennessee.

Judge: COTTRELL

Plaintiffs sued the juvenile court and county under the Tennessee Governmental Tort Liability Act, Tenn. Code Ann. section 29-20-101 et seq. ("TGTLA"), alleging negligence for failure to post security personnel at the courthouse and seeking to recover for injuries allegedly sustained as the result of an assault. We affirm the finding of the trial court that the decision to hire and/or post an officer at the courthouse is a discretionary function for which the defendants had immunity under the TGTLA.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2009/rhealt_092109.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. PATRICK BROWN

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Rebecca G. Coffee, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Patrick Brown.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Clarence E. Lutz, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and Colin Campbell, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WILLIAMS

The defendant, Patrick Brown, was convicted of criminal attempt to commit second degree murder, a Class B felony, and was sentenced to twelve years as a Range I, standard offender. On appeal, he argues that: the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction; the trial court erred in allowing the State to reopen its case in chief; and he was sentenced improperly. After careful review, we affirm the judgment from the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2009/brownp_092109.pdf


TIMOTHY CASTERLOW v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Timothy Casterlow, Henning, Tennessee, Pro Se.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Clarence E. Lutz, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and Nicole C. Germain, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WILLIAMS

The petitioner, Timothy Casterlow, pro se, appeals the summary dismissal of his writ of error coram nobis as being filed outside the one-year statute of limitations. He contends due process principles should toll the running of the statute of limitations because the newly discovered evidence was not timely sent to him by his attorney. After review of this record, we conclude that due process does not require the tolling of the statute of limitations.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2009/casterlowt_092109.pdf


JAMES W. CLARK, JR. v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

James W. Clark, Jr., Pikeville, Tennessee, Pro Se.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Sophia S. Lee, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and Betsy L. Carnesale, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: MCMULLEN

The Petitioner, James W. Clark, Jr., appeals the trial court's denial of his petition for post-conviction relief on the basis that it was untimely. On appeal, the Petitioner contends that his claims fit into the narrow exceptions to the statute of limitations for post-conviction relief. Upon review, we conclude that no exceptions to the one-year statute of limitations apply and no facts exist that would require a tolling of the statute of limitations for due process concerns. Therefore, we affirm the trial court's dismissal.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2009/clarkj_092109.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JOHNNY PETERSON

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Gregg Carman (on appeal and at trial) and Vicki Carriker (at trial), Memphis, Tennessee for the appellant, Johnny Peterson.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Renee W. Turner, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and David Pritchard and Betsy Carnesale, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: MCLIN

The defendant, Johnny Peterson, was convicted of first degree murder and attempted first degree murder. He received a life sentence for his first degree murder conviction and a sentence of twenty-one years for his attempted first degree murder conviction to run concurrently with his life sentence. On appeal, the defendant argues that the evidence presented at trial was insufficient to sustain his convictions. Following our review of the parties' briefs, the record, and the applicable law, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2009/petersonj_092109.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. MELVIN JEROME REED, JR.

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Richard L. Holcomb, Knoxville, Tennessee (on appeal); and Jim Todd and Dumaka Shabazz, Nashville, Tennessee (at trial), for the appellant, Melvin Jerome Reed, Jr.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Melissa Roberge, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney General; and Amy H. Eisenbeck and Jennifer McMillen, Assistant District Attorneys General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: GLENN

The defendant, Melvin Jerome Reed, Jr., pled guilty to possession of 300 grams or more of a Schedule I controlled substance with intent to sell or deliver, a Class A felony, in exchange for a Range I sentence of twenty years, to be served consecutively to two other sentences. As a condition of his guilty plea, the defendant reserved three certified questions of law pursuant to Rule 37(b)(2)(A) of the Tennessee Rules of Criminal Procedure regarding the legality of the traffic stop, detention, and search of his vehicle on March 16, 2007. We conclude that the questions are properly certified and that the trial court ruled correctly in denying the motion to suppress.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2009/reedm_092109.pdf


JERRY SANDRIDGE v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Jerry Sandridge, Tiptonville, Tennessee, Pro Se.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; and Cameron L. Hyder, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: GLENN

The petitioner, Jerry Sandridge, was convicted of two counts of aggravated robbery and, upon his direct appeal, this court modified one of the convictions to aggravated assault and remanded for resentencing. The resentencing was affirmed on direct appeal. On January 15, 2009, the petitioner filed a petition for post-conviction relief, asserting prosecutorial misconduct and denial of the effective assistance of counsel. Concluding that the petition was untimely, the post-conviction court dismissed it without a hearing, and this appeal resulted. Following our review, we affirm the dismissal.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2009/sandridgej_092109.pdf


JEFFERY YATES v. STATE OF TENNESSEE

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Jerri D. Mauldin, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jeffery Yates.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Melissa Roberge, Assistant Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and Greg Gilbert, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: GLENN

The petitioner, Jeffery Yates, was convicted of aggravated robbery and sentenced as a career offender to confinement for thirty years at sixty percent. Following his unsuccessful appeal of his conviction, he filed a petition for post-conviction relief, alleging that trial and appellate counsel were ineffective. After an evidentiary hearing, the post-conviction court determined that the petition was without merit, and we affirm the dismissal.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2009/yatesj_092109.pdf


TODAY'S NEWS

Upcoming
Legal News
TBA Member Services

Upcoming
TBA YLD hosts visit to Vanderbilt Law
The TBA Young Lawyers Division will continue its 2009 fall law school outreach efforts this week with a visit to the Vanderbilt University Law School on Tuesday, Sept. 22. All TBA members are invited to stop by the TBA information table in the law school foyer between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. to interact with students. For more information or to RSVP contact the YLD
See photos from the University of Memphis visit last week
Legal News
Latinas' appointments to commission will 'open doors'
The appointments of Ana Escobar to the Judicial Nominating Commission and Renata Soto to the Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission are history-making and will help bring diversity to politically powerful committees, supporters say. "It's big," said Loraine Segovia of the Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. "They are setting a precedent, and it will open doors. On a national level, women -- Latina women -- are leaders in businesses and in the community."
The Tennessean has the story
TennCare suit to continue
A federal judge on Friday rejected a state request to dismiss an 11-year-old class action lawsuit claiming that children eligible for TennCare weren't getting adequate health care. The state asked the court to vacate the consent decree and dismiss the case in 2006, arguing that the laws on which it was based had changed.
The Tennessean reports
Juror law not doing the job?
The success of a law to ensure jurors show up when called is dismal, according to Hamilton County officials. Hamilton County Circuit Court Clerk Paula Thompson said there was a rush of people reporting right after Jan. 1, when the new law was enacted. But jury clerk Stormi Rogers says "It seems like people are kinda slacking off again."
The Chattanooga Times Free Press has the story
Obama will not stop investigation into interrogations
President Barack Obama says he has no plans to ask the Justice Department to end its criminal investigation into the harsh interrogations of suspected terrorists during the Bush administration. In a letter to Obama on Friday, seven former CIA directors asked the president to do just that. They warned that the probe could discourage CIA officers from doing the kind of aggressive intelligence work needed to fight terrorism. Obama tells CBS' "Face the Nation" that he appreciates that the former CIA chiefs are wanting "to look after an institution that they helped to build."
NewsChannel 9 reported this AP story
Patriot Act battle begins
Both the House and the Senate are set to hold their first committee hearings this week on whether to reauthorize three sections of the Patriot Act that expire at the end of this year. The provisions expanded the power of the FBI to seize records and to eavesdrop on phone calls in the course of a counterterrorism investigation.
The Commercial Appeal carried this New York Times News Service story
Editorial: In-house legal staff a good move for Rutherford
In an editorial today, the Daily News Journal commends the Rutherford County Commission for making the "right decision" in moving toward creation of a legal department. "Establishing a full-time lawyer and legal staff could save the county an estimated $100,000 in the first two years alone," according to county officials. Under a contract approved last week by the commission, the county legal department would be phased in over four years. The paper warns, however, that the county should beware "of setting up a department that adds attorneys and winds up being a bloated bureaucracy."
Read The Daily News Journal editorial
Black is new TACDL president
University of Tennessee College of Law Professor Jerry Black has been elected to a one-year term as President of the Tennessee Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (TACDL). He assumed the presidency Aug. 29.
Learn more from the UT College of Law
You are being monitored if you email a federal employee
Both recipients and senders have no reasonable expectation of privacy if an e-mail is opened by a federal employee logged into a work computer network, according to an Aug. 14 legal opinion from the U.S. Department of Justice that was released Friday.
Find out more through ABAJournal.com
TBA Member Services
CompuPay offers deals for TBA members
CompuPay is proud to serve as the official payroll services provider for the Tennessee Bar Association. To serve Tennessee attorneys the company is offering two months of free payroll processing for all TBA members and waiving set up fees for members with up to 99 employees.
Learn more about CompuPay's benefits

 
 
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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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