January 28, 2003
Volume 9 Number 015
Following this index are summaries of each case, including its name, first paragraph, author's name, and the names of attorneys for the parties of each opinion.This Issue (IN THIS ORDER):
||New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Supreme Court
||New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Supreme Court Workers' Compensation Panel
||New Document(s) or Proposed Rule(s) from the Tennessee Supreme Court
||New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Court of Appeals
||New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals
||New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Attorney General (PDF format)
||New Judicial Ethics Opinion(s)
||New Formal Ethics Opinion(s) from the Board of Professional Responsibility
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Howard H. Vogel
LOUIS BROOKS v. LEE CREECH, et al.
Thomas J. Drake, Jr., Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Buffy
Jerry Gonzales, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Louis Brooks.
This matter involves a fraudulent transfer of real property and
violation of Tennessee's Consumer Protection Act occurring as a result
of Plaintiff's attempt to obtain a loan using his real property as
collateral. In return for a loan of $4000.00, Plaintiff quit claimed
his home as collateral and gave Defendant Creech physical possession
of the promissory note in exchange for the loan. Defendant Stigall,
who had office space in the same office, was listed as trustee of the
property and payee on the promissory note. She then represented
herself to First American Bank as owner of the property and wife of
Defendant Creech, obtaining a loan for $42,000.00 and offering
Plaintiff's property as collateral. The trial court found that
Defendants Stigall and Creech were involved in a conspiracy and that
they violated the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act and defrauded
Plaintiff and First American Bank (now AmSouth Bank). The court
reformed the Quitclaim Deed into a Deed of Trust, giving the bank a
subrogation in the $4000.00 owed to Defendant Stigall. Only Defendant
Stigall appeals. We affirm the trial court's decision in its
WENDY DIANE LAYNE (NOW HASTINGS) v. MARK ANTHONY LAYNE
H. Graham Swafford, Jr., Jasper, Tennessee, for the appellant, Wendy
Diane Layne (now Hastings).
The divorced parents of a fourteen-year-old girl asked the trial court
to sign an agreed order to enable her to live with her grandmother so
she could attend school in Hamilton County. The trial judge refused
to sign the order. While the decision to sign or not to sign such an
order is within the sound discretion of the trial court, the court in
this case erroneously believed that it lacked jurisdiction over the
matter because the parties had not shown a change of circumstances
since the prior decree. We find that the proof does show a change of
circumstances and that the best interests of the child require the
entry of the proposed order. Therefore we reverse.
JABARI ISSA MANDELA v. DONAL CAMPBELL, et al.
Jabari Issa Mandela, Henning, Tennessee, Pro Se.
Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore,
Solicitor General; and Dawn Jordan, Assistant Attorney General, for
the appellee, State of Tennessee.
After a federal court barred an inmate legal helper from submitting
further filings, the warden removed the legal helper from his job.
The prisoner filed a Petition for Declaratory Judgment against the
Warden and the Commissioner of Correction in an attempt to have his
job restored. The trial court dismissed the petition for failure to
name a proper party and failure to state a claim for which relief can
be granted. We affirm the trial court.
MICHAEL D. MATTHEWS v. NATASHA STORY, et al.
Phillip L. Boyd, Rogersville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Michael D.
Patrick Ledford and Tausha M. Carmack, Kingsport, Tennessee, for the
appellees, Natasha Story and Tammy Y. Morelock.
This case arises out of an automobile accident in which the plaintiff,
Michael D. Matthews, was injured. The plaintiff sued Tammy Y.
Morelock ("Morelock"), alleging that Morelock was a passenger in the
vehicle the plaintiff was driving and that Morelock's negligence had
caused his injuries. When the plaintiff later learned that Natasha
Story ("Story") was the passenger in the vehicle and not Morelock, the
plaintiff attempted to amend his complaint to add Story as a
defendant. The trial court dismissed the plaintiff's claim against
Story, holding the statute of limitations barred such an amendment.
The trial court also granted Morelock's motion for summary judgment,
finding the family purpose doctrine inapplicable. We affirm.
TYRONE STERLING v. LOLITA R. (STERLING) WILLIAMS
Roland Robert Lenard, Clarksville, Tennessee, for the appellant,
Lolita R. (Sterling) Williams.
Sheri S. Phillips, Clarksville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Tyrone
The Chancery Court of Montgomery County awarded Tyrone Sterling a
divorce from Lolita R. Sterling and custody of the parties' minor
child. Ms. Sterling asserts on appeal that the division of the
marital property violated the automatic stay issued in her bankruptcy
proceeding, and that the court erred in granting Mr. Sterling the
divorce and custody of the child. We affirm the judgment of the trial
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JIMMY RAY CURETON
Kenneth F. Irvine, Jr., Knoxville, Tennessee, for appellant, Jimmy Ray
Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Kathy D. Aslinger,
Assistant Attorney General; Randall E. Nichols, District Attorney
General; and Robert L. Jolley, Jr., Assistant District Attorney
General, for appellee, State of Tennessee.
The trial jury convicted the defendant, Jimmy Ray Cureton, of felony
murder and attempted especially aggravated robbery. However, the trial
court amended the defendant's attempted especially aggravated robbery
conviction to attempted aggravated robbery based on the wording of the
defendant's indictment. This Court subsequently reversed the trial
court, finding that the indictment language was sufficient to allege
attempted especially aggravated robbery. See State v. Cureton, 38
S.W.3d 64, 83-84 (Tenn. Crim. App. 2000). We remanded the case for
re-sentencing, and, upon remand, the trial court sentenced the
defendant to serve ten years for his attempted especially aggravated
robbery conviction consecutively to his life sentence for the felony
murder conviction. The defendant now brings this direct appeal
contending that his sentence is both (1) excessive and (2) improper
because his indictment alleges that he merely committed attempted
aggravated robbery. After reviewing the procedural history of this
case and the record of the sentencing hearing, we find that neither of
the defendant's allegations merits relief.
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JOSHUA S. GRUBB
Roger A. Miller, Clinton, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Joshua S.
Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Thomas E. Williams, III,
Assistant Attorney General; James N. Ramsey, District Attorney
General; and Jan Hicks, Assistant District Attorney General, for the
Appellee, State of Tennessee.
Joshua S. Grubb appeals from the Anderson County Criminal Court's
imposition of incarcerative sentencing for his three aggravated
burglary and three theft convictions. Contending that the lower court
erroneously denied him probation, he asks us to reverse the sentencing
orders entered below. We are, however, unpersuaded of the defendant's
worthiness for probationary sentences and, therefore, affirm the lower
DAVID ANDREW NICHOLSON, JR. v. STATE OF TENNESSEE
John D. McDougal, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the Appellant, David
Andrew Nicholson, Jr.
Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Elizabeth B. Marney,
Assistant Attorney General; William H. Cox, III, District Attorney
General; and Rodney Strong, Assistant District Attorney General, for
the Appellee, State of Tennessee.
David Andrew Nicholson, Jr., appeals from the Hamilton County Criminal
Court's denial of his petition for post-conviction relief. He claims
that he was not effectively represented by counsel at his trial and on
direct appeal. He also claims that his due process rights were
impaired at trial when the court interrupted a defense witness's
testimony and played an audio recording of the defendant's statement
to the police for the witness. Because the record supports neither
allegation, we affirm the lower court's order denying relief.
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