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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Oct 15, 2014

Court: TN Court of Criminal Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Samuel L. Patterson, Columbia, Tennessee (at hearing); and Robert E. Lee Davies, Franklin, Tennessee (on appeal), for the appellant, A-Action Bonding Company.

Attorneys 2:

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Sophia S. Lee, Senior Counsel; and Mike Bottoms, District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge(s): GLENN

This is an appeal by A-Action Bonding Company of Columbia (“A-Action”) of an order of the Maury County Circuit Court, sitting en banc, which suspended the bonding authority of the company, its principal, and one of its agents based on its finding that the agent solicited an inmate at the county jail, in violation of Tennessee Code Annotated section 40-11-126(6). The appellant argues that the court improperly considered as evidence a cell phone recording of a videotaped conversation between the agent and the inmate when the original jail videotape had been destroyed and the cell phone recording was made by a competitor and contained an altered version of the original. We agree. We also agree that, without the improperly admitted recording, there was insufficient evidence that the agent solicited business in violation of the statute. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the trial court and dismiss the motion to suspend the bonding authority of A-Action, its principal, and its agent.