Opinion FlashApril 18, 2002
Volume 8 Number 067
What follows is the case style or name, first paragraph, author's name, and the names of attorneys for the parties of each opinion released eletronically today to TBALink.
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Howard H. Vogel
PETER GREER v. TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTION, et al. Court:TCA Attorneys: Peter Greer, Henning, Tennessee, Pro Se. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; and Dawn Jordan, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellees, Tennessee Department of Correction and Donal Campbell. Judge: KOCH First Paragraph: This appeal involves a dispute between a prisoner and the Tennessee Department of Correction regarding a change in the way the Department reports pre-trial sentence credits. Believing that the change increased the length of his sentence, the prisoner filed suit in the Chancery Court for Davidson County to rescind the change. The trial court concluded that the change had not altered the prisoner's sentence expiration date and dismissed the petition. We affirm. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/greerp.wpd
H & M ENTERPRISES, INC. v. KATHY L. MURRAY, et al. Court:TCA Attorneys: Richard J. Brodhead, Lebanon, Tennessee, for the appellant, Larry D. Murray. Brody N. Kane and Frank Lannom, Lebanon, Tennessee, for the appellee, H & M Enterprises, Inc. through its president, David Marks. Judge: KOCH First Paragraph: This appeal involves a spouse's liability for money that the other spouse embezzled from her employer. When the employer discovered the embezzlement, it filed suit in the Circuit Court for Wilson County against the embezzler and her spouse to recover $196,231.69. After hearing the evidence without a jury, the trial court awarded the employer a judgment against the embezzler and her spouse for $196,231.69 and also awarded the employer a $78,500 judgment for punitive damages against the embezzler. The embezzler's spouse asserts on this appeal that the evidence preponderates against the trial court's determination that he should be jointly and severally liable for the embezzled funds. We agree and, therefore, reverse the judgment against the embezzler's spouse. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/hmenterprises.wpd
DERRICK D. JACKSON v. TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTION, et al. Court:TCA Attorneys: Derrick Jackson, Nashville, Tennessee, Pro Se. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; and Dawn Jordan, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellees, Tennessee Department of Correction, Ricky Bell, Zoyle A. Jones, Billy Smith, and Richard Merchant. Judge: KOCH First Paragraph: This appeal involves a dispute between a prisoner and the Department of Correction over the prisoner's loss of sentence credits as punishment for a disciplinary offense. Failing to obtain redress from the Department, the prisoner filed a petition in the Chancery Court for Williamson County alleging that he was being held unlawfully because his sentence had expired. The trial court dismissed the petition, and the prisoner appealed. We have determined that this appeal is now moot because the prisoner has been released from custody. Therefore, we vacate the trial court's order and remand the case with directions to dismiss the prisoner's petition. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/jacksond.wpd
LAURENCE B. KANDEL, M.D. v. THE CENTER FOR UROLOGICAL TREATMENT AND RESEARCH, P.C., RALPH C. BENSON, JR., M.D., L. DEAN KNOLL, M.D., and THE INSTITUTE FOR UROLOGICAL RESEARCH Court:TCA Attorneys: Alfred H. Knight and William R. Willis, Willis & Knight, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant Laurence B. Kandel, M.D. R. Dale Grimes, Bryan E. Larson, and Andrea Taylor McKellar, Bass, Berry & Sims, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellees The Center for Urological Treatment and Research, P.C., Ralph C. Benson, Jr., M.D., L. Dean Knoll, M.D., and The Institute for Urological Research. Judge: LILLARD First Paragraph: This is a breach of contract case. The plaintiff physician entered into an employment contract with the defendant physician's group. The contract provided that the physician would work for the group for one year, and that the parties would then "negotiate in good faith" to give the employee physician the opportunity to purchase stock in the group. At the end of the physician's first year of employment, the parties negotiated, but reached an impasse. Subsequently, negotiations ceased, and the physician's employment was terminated. He filed suit against the group, alleging that the defendants breached the contract to "negotiate in good faith," and that the defendants committed promissory fraud in inducing him into signing the employment agreement. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants on both counts. The physician now appeals. We affirm. Even if Tennessee recognizes a cause of action for breach of an agreement to negotiate in good faith, the evidence does not demonstrate such a breach, and does not establish promissory fraud. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/kandellb.wpd
BILLY LATTIMER v. TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTION, et al. Court:TCA Attorneys: Billy Lattimer, Mountain City, Tennessee, Pro Se. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Michael Moore, Solicitor General; and Kimberly J. Dean, Deputy Attorney General, for the appellee, Tennessee Department of Correction, et al. Judge: CANTRELL First Paragraph: A prisoner filed a lawsuit against the Department of Correction and some of its employees, claiming that the employees had confiscated and destroyed his photo albums, and that their actions amounted to an unconstitutional deprivation of his due process rights. The trial court dismissed the suit without prejudice, ruling that the prisoner had only stated a claim for ordinary negligence against the State, and thus that the only forum available to him was the Tennessee Claims Commission. We reverse in part and affirm in part. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/lattimerb.wpd
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. CHRISTOPHER GLENN BELL Court:TCCA Attorneys: Billy P. Sams, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Christopher Glenn Bell. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Mark A. Fulks, Assistant Attorney General; James N. Ramsey, District Attorney General; and Janice G. Hicks, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee. Judge: WEDEMEYER First Paragraph: In 1992, pursuant to a plea agreement, the Defendant pleaded guilty to possession with intent to sell a Schedule I controlled substance, received an eight-year sentence, and was granted full probation. In 1998, the trial court revoked the Defendant's probation and ordered the Defendant to serve the eight-year sentence in the Tennessee Department of Correction. The Tennessee Department of Correction subsequently placed the Defendant in the special alternative incarceration unit program, and upon the Defendant's successful completion of the boot camp program, released the Defendant on supervision. A warrant was issued on September 6, 2000, alleging that the Defendant had violated the terms of his release. The trial court revoked the Defendant's release and ordered the Defendant to serve the remainder of his sentence in the Tennessee Department of Correction. The Defendant now appeals, arguing that because more than eight calendar years had passed from the date of his original sentence on July 10, 1992 to the date of the violation of probation warrant that was filed on September 6, 2000, the original eight-year probated sentence had expired. We conclude that because the service of the Defendant's eight-year sentence began on April 3, 1998, when his probation was revoked and he was ordered to serve the sentence, the sentence had not expired, and the September 6 warrant was thus timely. Therefore, we affirm the judgment of the trial court. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/bellcg.wpd
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. BRANDY MCQUEEN Court:TCCA Attorneys: Steve McEwen, Mountain City, Tennessee (on appeal); and David F. Bautista and Jeffery C. Kelly, Johnson City, Tennessee (at trial), for the appellant, Brandy McQueen. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Elizabeth B. Marney, Assistant Attorney General; Joe Crumley, District Attorney General; and Victor Vaughn, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee. Judge: OGLE First Paragraph: The appellant, Brandy McQueen, pled guilty in the Washington County Criminal Court to one count of facilitation of aggravated robbery, one count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, and one count of driving on a suspended license. The appellant received a total effective sentence of four years incarceration in the Tennessee Department of Correction. On appeal, the appellant asserts that the trial court erred by denying her request to be placed in the community corrections program. Upon review of the record and the parties' briefs, we affirm the judgments of the trial court. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/mcqueenb.wpd
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. MICHAEL RAINES Court:TCCA Attorneys: W. Conrad Finnell, Cleveland, Tennessee, for the appellant, Michael Raines. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Angele M. Gregory, Assistant Attorney General; Jerry N. Estes, District Attorney General; and Carl F. Petty, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee. Judge: WILLIAMS First Paragraph: The defendant was indicted for first degree murder. After a jury trial, he was convicted of the lesser-included offense of second degree murder and sentenced to twenty-two (22) years as a Range I standard offender. After a thorough review of the record, we conclude that the evidence was sufficient to support the second degree murder conviction. Although the defendant put on proof that he was acting in self-defense or that any irrational actions were the result of adequate provocation by the victim, both issues are questions for the jury and were resolved in favor of the State. The defendant failed to make an argument or cite to authority in support of his assertion that the trial court erred in refusing to instruct the jury on the defendant's right to bear arms. In addition, there is no record of the defendant's request for such an instruction or the trial court's denial of such request. Therefore, the issue is waived. After a de novo review, we conclude that the trial court followed the correct sentencing procedure and applied the correct statutory enhancing and mitigating factors in sentencing the defendant to twenty-two (22) years. The judgment of the trial court is affirmed. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/rainesm.wpd
Constitutionality of Amending Tenn. Code Ann. S55-50-321 to Require the Issuance of Temporary "Driver's Certificates" to Otherwise Qualified Applicants Who Have Not Been Issued a Social Security Number Opinion Number: 02-041 http://www.tba.org/tba_files/AG/OP41.pdf
Duration of the Revocation of Driving Privileges for DUI conviction by Formal Action of the Department of Safety Date: April 9, 2002 Opinion Number: 02-042 http://www.tba.org/tba_files/AG/OP42.pdf
Setting Tax Rate for Franklin Special School District Date: April 9, 2002 Opinion Number: 02-043 http://www.tba.org/tba_files/AG/OP43.pdf
In Lieu of Tax Payments in Shelby County Date: April 9, 2002 Opinion Number: 02-044 http://www.tba.org/tba_files/AG/OP44.pdf
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