Opinion FlashOctober 20, 2003
Volume 9 Number 191
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):
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Howard H. Vogel
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JERRY RAY DAVIDSON WITH 2 DISSENTING OPINIONS AND APPENDIX Court:TSC Attorneys: Brock Mehler, Nashville, Tennessee (on appeal), Michael J. Love (trial and appeal), and Collier W. Goodlett (trial only), Clarksville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jerry Ray Davidson. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; Alice B. Lustre, Assistant Attorney General (on appeal); and Dan Alsobrooks, District Attorney General (trial only), for the appellee, State of Tennessee. Judge: HOLDER First Paragraph: The defendant, Jerry Ray Davidson, was convicted of premeditated murder and aggravated kidnapping. He was sentenced to death for the premeditated murder and to a consecutive sentence of twenty years for the aggravated kidnapping. The Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the convictions and the sentences. Thereafter, the case was automatically docketed in this Court pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated section 39-13-206(a)(1). We entered an order designating the following issues for oral argument: (1) whether the trial court committed reversible error in denying the defendant's motions for change of venue and for additional peremptory challenges; (2) whether the trial court committed reversible error in refusing to strike the venire; (3) whether the evidence is sufficient to sustain the defendant's convictions; (4) whether the trial court committed reversible error by admitting the testimony of Darla Harvey; (5) whether the sentencing verdict form was incomplete and erroneous; and (6) all issues mandated by Tennessee Code Annotated section 39-13-206(c)(1). Having carefully reviewed these issues and the remainder of the issues raised by the defendant, we find no merit to his arguments. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the Court of Criminal Appeals. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC/davidsonjr_opn.wpd
In the Matter of D.L.B., A Minor Court:TSC Attorneys: Barbaralette G. Davis, Webb A. Brewer, and Nancy Percer Kessler, Memphis, Tennessee, for the Appellant-Respondent, David Moore. Larry E. Parrish, Memphis, Tennessee, for the Appellees-Petitioners, Denise Nickleson and Donald Joe Nickleson. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; and Dianne Stamey Dycus, Deputy Attorney General, for the Appellee-Respondent, Tennessee Department of Children's Services. Judge: HOLDER First Paragraph: This appeal involves an action to terminate parental rights filed by the prospective adoptive parents of a child. The child's father asserts that the chancery court erred in terminating his parental rights on the basis that he abandoned his child for the four-month period set forth in Tennessee Code Annotated section 36-1-102(1)(A)(i). To compute the four-month period, the chancery court used the date on which the Court Appointed Special Advocate ("CASA") filed a petition in juvenile court to terminate the father's parental rights. CASA's petition was later dismissed. The Court of Appeals affirmed the chancery court's termination of parental rights under Tennessee Code Annotated section 36-1-102(1)(A)(i) and found an additional ground for abandonment as defined by Tennessee Code Annotated section 36-1-102(1)(A)(iii). Tennessee Code Annotated section 36-1-102(1)(A)(iii) specifies that parental rights may be terminated if the father "willfully failed to make reasonable payments toward the support of the child's mother during the four (4) months immediately preceding the birth of the child." We granted permission to appeal. We hold that the commencement of the four-month period of abandonment under Tennessee Code Annotated section 36-1-102(1)(A)(i) is properly computed from the date on which the petition to terminate parental rights was filed in chancery court, not from the filing date of the earlier juvenile court petition. We further hold that the Court of Appeals erred in terminating the father's parental rights based upon Tennessee Code Annotated section 36-1-102(1)(A)(iii). Accordingly, we reverse the Court of Appeals and remand this case to the trial court. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TSC/dlbaminor.wpd
JACK CHARLES BLANKENSHIP v. DONAL CAMPBELL, ET AL. Court:TCA Attorneys: Edwin C. Lenow, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Jack Charles Blankenship. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; and Dawn Jordan, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellees, Donal Campbell and Don Sundquist. Judge: KOCH First Paragraph: This appeal involves a dispute between a prisoner and the Tennessee Department of Correction regarding the prisoner's sentence credits and eligibility for parole. The prisoner filed a petition for declaratory judgment in the Chancery Court for Davidson County requesting the correction of his sentence and an immediate parole hearing. The Department filed a motion for summary judgment based on laches. When the prisoner failed to respond to the motion, the trial court granted the summary judgment in accordance with Davidson County Local R. 26.04(c), (f). Thereafter, the trial court denied the prisoner's motion to set aside the summary judgment, and the prisoner has appealed. We have determined that the summary judgment must be vacated because the Department's motion and supporting affidavit do not demonstrate that it is entitled to a judgment on its laches defense as a matter of law. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/blankenshipjc.wpd
PAUL IVY v. TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTION Court:TCA Attorneys: Paul Ivy, Mountain City, Tennessee, Pro Se. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Michael E. Moore, Solicitor General; and J. Brad Scarbrough, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, Tennessee Department of Correction. Judge: KOCH First Paragraph: This appeal involves a dispute between a prisoner and the Department of Correction regarding a disciplinary proceeding at the Deberry Special Needs Facility in Davidson County. The prisoner filed a petition for writ of certiorari in the Chancery Court for Davidson County alleging the disciplinary board acted illegally, arbitrarily, and vindictively by violating the Department's Uniform Disciplinary Procedures when it disciplined him for attempted escape. The Department filed a Tenn. R. Civ. P. 12.02(6) motion to dismiss, and the trial court, citing Sandin v. Conner, 512 U.S. 472, 115 S.Ct. 2293 (1995), dismissed the petition. The prisoner has appealed. We have determined that the order dismissing the prisoner's petition should be reversed in part and that the case should be remanded for further consideration in light of Willis v. Tennessee Dep't of Corr., 113 S.W.3d 706 (Tenn. 2003). http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/ivyp.wpd
ED NETHERLAND, ET AL. v. BILL HUNTER, ET AL. Court:TCA Attorneys: James L. Weatherly, Jr. and Joseph T. Howell, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellants, Bill and Lawson Hunter. Philip N. Elbert and Gerald D. Neenan, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellees, Ed and Desiree Netherland. Judge: CAIN First Paragraph: In this matter we are asked to determine which statute controls the issue of venue for a claim filed under the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act, the venue provision of that act, Tennessee Code Annotated section 47-18-109, or Tennessee's general venue provision, section 20-4-101 of the Code. The trial court determined that section 47-18-109 controls venue in this action and denied Defendants' Motion to Dismiss for Improper Venue. We affirm the decision of the trial court. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/netherlanded.wpd
Effect of the Private Protective Services Licensing and Regulatory Act on employment of private security guards on public property. Date: October 8, 2003 Opinion Number: 03-132 http://www.tba.org/tba_files/AG/2003/op132.pdf
Forfeiture of Vehicles for Misdemeanor Possession of Narcotics Date: October 8, 2003 Opinion Number: 03-133 http://www.tba.org/tba_files/AG/2003/op133.pdf
Constitutionality of Chapter No. 370, 2003 Public Acts, Removing for Certain Counties the Prohibition Against Duplicate Hotel-Motel Taxes Date: October 8, 2003 Opinion Number: 03-134 http://www.tba.org/tba_files/AG/2003/op134.pdf
Unlicensed Sale and Distribution of Prescription Veterinary Drugs Date: October 13, 2003 Opinion Number: 03-135 http://www.tba.org/tba_files/AG/2003/op135.pdf
Bailiff or Court Officer serving as Judicial Commissioner Date: October 13, 2003 Opinion Number: 03-136 http://www.tba.org/tba_files/AG/2003/op136.pdf
DA Use of Signature Stamp Date: October 13, 2003 Opinion Number: 03-137 http://www.tba.org/tba_files/AG/2003/op137.pdf
Compensation and Salaries of City Commissioners Date: October 15, 2003 Opinion Number: 03-138 http://www.tba.org/tba_files/AG/2003/op138.pdf
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