Opinion FlashJune 11, 2004
Volume 10 Number 113
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
ALLEN BLANKENSHIP, D/B/A SKULLBONE MUSIC PARK, INC. v. GIBSON COUNTY AND COUNTY COMMISSIONERS, ET AL. Court:TCA Attorneys: Mark L. Agee, Trenton, for the appellant Allen Blankenship, d/b/a Skullbone Music Park, Inc. James I. Pentecost and Brandon O. Gibson, Jackson, for the appellee Gibson County. Judge: KIRBY First Paragraph: This is a zoning case. The property owner applied to re-zone the property from agricultural to business. The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development and the county planning commission recommended that the County Commission deny the property owner's application. The County Commission voted to deny the application. The plaintiff/appellant property owner filed a complaint for declaratory judgment in chancery court, seeking to overturn the decision. The defendant/appellee County Commission filed a motion for summary judgment, which was granted. The property owner now appeals. We affirm, finding no genuine issue of material fact and that the County Commission had a rational basis for its decision. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/blankenshipa.wpd
IN RE: D.C.L. and T.H.L., CHILDREN UNDER EIGHTEEN (18) YEARS OF AGE Court:TCA Attorneys: Charles T. Webber, Jr., Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, G.L. Judith R. Whitfield, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, for the appellee, S.P. Wanda G. Sobieski, Knoxville, Tennessee, Guardian Ad Litem for D.C.L. and T.H.L. Judge: SUSANO First Paragraph: The trial court terminated the parental rights of G.L. and his wife, S.L., to their children, D.C.L. and T.H.L. The court awarded guardianship of the children to their maternal grandmother, S.P. The children's father appeals. We affirm. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/dcl.wpd
BARBARA ANN RODGERS (RIGGS) v. CHARLES DUANE RODGERS, JR. Court:TCA Attorneys: Richard Donald Hash, Maryville, Tennessee, for appellant, Charles Duane Rodgers, Jr. Jerry G. Cunningham and Melanie E. Davis, Maryville, Tennessee, for appellee Barbara N. Rodgers Riggs. Judge: INMAN First Paragraph: Appellant filed a petition to reduce his child support obligation following his loss of employment as a mechanical engineer and his inability to find other employment. Relief was denied, notwithstanding that two children had attained their majority, and the petition was dismissed. Judgment reversed and case remanded. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/rodgerbarbaraa.wpd
LLOYD RAYMOND SWEEZY v. KATHY MAE SWEEZY Court:TCA Attorneys: Liza Z. Espy, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for Appellant, Lloyd Raymond Sweezy. Grace E. Daniell, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for Appellee, Kathy Mae Sweezy. Judge: INMAN First Paragraph: Husband proposed that the marital residence be sold, with the proceeds used for the payment of marital debts. The proposal was accepted but Husband complains on appeal that some of wife's debts were not marital debts. Judgment of contempt vacated. Remained of judgment affirmed. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/sweezyl.wpd
JOHNNY W. SANDERS, MELINDA THOMPSON, GAYLE SANDERS, INDIVIDUALLY AND AS TRUSTEE OF THE MELINDA AND CHILDREN TRUST, EZ CASH I, LLC, EZ CASH II, LLC, EZ CASH III, LLC, EZ CASH IV, LLC, AND EZ CASH V, LLC Court:TCA Attorneys: Warner Hodges, III, Germantown, Tennessee, for the appellant, Albert Thompson. G. Coble Caperton, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellees, Johnny W. Sanders, Melinda Thompson, Gayle Sanders, individually and as trustee of the Melinda and Children Trust, EZ Cash I, LLC, EZ Cash II, LLC, EZ Cash III, LLC, EZ Cash IV, LLC, and EZ Cash V, LLC. Judge: KIRBY First Paragraph: The issue in this case is whether we have subject matter jurisdiction over this appeal. The plaintiff sued the defendants for, among other things, breach of contract, fraud, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. On July 15, 2002, the trial court entered an order granting summary judgment in favor of the defendants. Thirty-two (32) days later, on August 16, 2002, the plaintiff filed a motion to alter or amend the judgment. The trial court denied the motion to alter or amend, and the plaintiff now appeals. This Court, sua sponte, asked the parties for supplemental briefs regarding whether the appeal was timely. In light of the undisputed facts, we must hold that the plaintiff's motion to alter or amend was untimely and, consequently, that the plaintiff's notice of appeal was untimely. Therefore, we must dismiss this appeal for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/thompsonalb.wpd
LUTHER HAGGARD v. STATE OF TENNESSEE Court:TCCA Attorneys: Luther Haggard, Nashville, Tennessee, Pro Se. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; David H. Findley, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, District Attorney General; and Kathy Morante, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee. Judge: SMITH First Paragraph: The petitioner, Luther Haggard, filed a petition for the writ of habeas corpus in the Davidson County Criminal Court. In the petition he alleges that various Bradley County, Tennessee, convictions he received pursuant to guilty pleas entered in 1997 are illegal and void. The Davidson County Criminal Court summarily dismissed the petition. We affirm. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/haggardluther.wpd
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. RANDY JAMES Court:TCCA Attorneys: Michael J. Flanagan, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Randy James. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Helena Walton Yarbrough, Assistant Attorney General; Victor S. Johnson, District Attorney General; and Lisa Donegan; Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee. Judge: WELLES First Paragraph: The Defendant, Randy James, pled guilty to felony possession of marijuana. As part of his plea agreement, he expressly reserved with the consent of the trial court and the State the right to appeal a certified question of law pursuant to Tennessee Rule of Criminal Procedure 37(b)(2)(i). The issue before us is whether the trial court erred by not suppressing the fruits of a search where there were alleged false statements in the affidavit supporting the search warrant. We affirm the judgment of the trial court. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/jamesrand.wpd
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. KENNETH H. LAWS Court:TCCA Attorneys: David L. Leonard, Greeneville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Kenneth H. Laws. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Elizabeth B. Marney, Assistant Attorney General; Joe C. Crumley, Jr., District Attorney General; and Dennis Brooks, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, the State of Tennessee. Judge: WOODALL First Paragraph: Defendant, Kenneth H. Laws, was indicted by the Washington County Grand Jury for aggravated assault, a Class C felony, and false imprisonment, a Class A misdemeanor. Following a jury trial, Defendant was convicted of aggravated assault and acquitted of false imprisonment. Defendant was sentenced to serve ten years in confinement. Defendant appeals, arguing that the evidence is insufficient to support his conviction and that his sentence is excessive. After reviewing the record before us, we affirm the judgment of the trial court. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/lawskennethh.wpd
JAMES R.W. REYNOLDS v. STATE OF TENNESSEE Court:TCCA Attorneys: Thompson G. Kirkpatrick, Manchester, Tennessee, for the appellant, James R.W. Reynolds. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Helena Walton Yarbrough, Assistant Attorney General; and C. Michael Layne, District Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee. Judge: GLENN First Paragraph: The petitioner appeals the summary dismissal of his petition for writ of habeas corpus, arguing that the indictment, which charged him with two counts of aggravated rape but which cited the statute for aggravated sexual battery, failed to give him sufficient notice of the charges he would be required to defend, thereby depriving the convicting court of jurisdiction and rendering his judgments void. The petitioner further argues that the judgments failed to satisfy the requirements of Rule 32(e) of the Tennessee Rules of Criminal Procedure because they failed to reference the aggravated rape statute. Having reviewed the entire record, we conclude that the petitioner has failed to state a claim for habeas corpus relief. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the trial court dismissing the petition for writ of habeas corpus. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/reynoldsjamesrw.wpd
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. BRIAN DOUGLAS WILLIAMS Court:TCCA Attorneys: David W. Camp, Jackson, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Brian Douglas Williams. Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Michael Moore, Solicitor General; Jennifer L. Bledsoe, Assistant Attorney General; James G. Woodall, District Attorney General; and James W. Thompson, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee. Judge: HAYES First Paragraph: The Appellant, Brian Douglas Williams, appeals the decision of the Madison County Circuit Court revoking his probation. In August 2002, Williams entered "best interest" pleas to stalking, harassment, and aggravated assault and received an effective eight-year sentence. These sentences were suspended, and he was placed on supervised probation. On October 18, 2002, a warrant was issued, alleging that Williams had violated a condition of his probation by contacting the victim. After a hearing, Williams was found to be in violation of his probation, and his original consecutive sentences to the Department of Correction and the County Workhouse were reinstated. On appeal, Williams argues that the evidence fails to establish that he violated his probation. After review, the judgment of the trial court is affirmed. http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/wiliamsbrian.wpd
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