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Today's Opinions: December 14, 2004
Volume 10 — Number 239
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.
00 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Supreme Court
00 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Supreme Court Workers' Compensation Panel
00 New Document(s) or Proposed Rule(s) from the Tennessee Supreme Court
03 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Court of Appeals
02 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals
00 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Attorney General (PDF format)
00 New Judicial Ethics Opinion(s)
00 New Formal Ethics Opinion(s) from the Board of Professional Responsibility

TBA members can get the full-text versions of these opinions three ways detailed below. All methods require a TBA username and password. If you have forgotten your password or need to obtain a password, you can look it up on-line at http://www.tba.org/getpassword.mgi.

Here's how you can obtain full-text version. • Click the URL at end of each Opinion paragraph below. This option will allow you to download the original document. • Do a key word search in the Search Link area of TBALink. This option will allow you to view and save a plain-text version of the opinion. • Browse the Opinion List area of TBALink. This option will allow you to download the original version of the opinion.

Howard H. Vogel
Knoxville, Tennessee
Editor-in-Chief, TBALink


TIMOTHY W. NEVES v. ERICA REGAN NEVES (ARRELL)

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          

William C. Barnes, Jr., Columbia, Tennessee, for the appellant,
Timothy W. Neves.

James Yeiser Ross, Waynesboro, Tennessee, for the appellee, Erica
Regan Neves (Arrell).

Judge: CAIN

First Paragraph:

This case involves a custody dispute between the parents of one
daughter.  Mother lives in Belgium, and Father, the primary
residential custodian, currently lives in Lewis County, Tennessee,
although he has also lived with his daughter in Hawaii, Oregon, and
Washington State  at various times since the parties' separation in
1998.  Father has refused to allow most of Mother's visitation since
the divorce became final, has interfered with communication between
Mother and Daughter, and has convinced Daughter to falsely accuse her
maternal grandfather and stepfather of sexual abuse.  The trial court
found that these occurrences amounted to a material change in
circumstances and found that it would be in the best interest of
Daughter to make Mother her primary residential custodian and to allow
Daughter to move to Belgium with Mother.  We affirm the trial court.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/nevestimw.wpd

LAURIE ANN SEARCY v. SANDY LEE SEARCY

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          

Thomas F. Bloom, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Laurie Ann
Searcy.

Charlotte U. Fleming, Wende J. Rutherford, and Regina Mathias Farmer,
Springfield, Tennessee, for the appellee, Sandy Lee Searcy.

Judge: CAIN

First Paragraph:

Laurie Ann Searcy sought, by post-divorce Petition, a modification of
the child custody and visitation privileges provided by the divorce
decree.  The trial court held that no change of circumstances had
occurred "with a negative impact upon the child" and denied
modification.  We hold that the trial court applied an improper
standard for determining the change of circumstances issue.  We hold,
however, that no change of circumstances has occurred under Cranston
v. Combs, 106 S.W.3d 641 (Tenn. 2003) and Tennessee Code Annotated
section 36-6-101(a)(2)(B) and affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/searcylaurie.wpd

LYDIA ANN BISHOP WATKINS v. WILLIAM C. WATKINS, JR.

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          

Rebecca A. Bell, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the Appellant Lydia Ann
Bishop Watkins.

David H. Stanifer, Tazewell, Tennessee, for the Appellee William C.
Watkins, Jr.

Judge: SWINEY

First Paragraph:

Lydia Ann Bishop Watkins ("Wife") filed for divorce from William C.
Watkins, Jr., ("Husband") after thirty-five years of marriage.  The
Trial Court awarded Wife a divorce and distributed the marital
property.  The Trial Court also concluded that Wife was not
economically disadvantaged and refused to award her any alimony.  The
Trial Court ordered each party to be responsible for his or her
attorney fees.  Wife appeals claiming the Trial Court's distribution
of the marital property was inequitable, the Trial Court erred by not
awarding her alimony in futuro, and the Trial Court erred by not
requiring Husband to pay her attorney's fees.  We affirm the judgment
of the Trial Court.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/watkinslydiaab.wpd

STATE OF TENNESSEE v. RODERICK DAVIS
WITH DISSENTING OPINION

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Larry Fitzgerald, Memphis, Tennessee (at trial), Robert Little and
James Thomas, Memphis, Tennessee (at trial); and Michael Scholl,
Memphis, Tennessee (on appeal), for the Appellee, Roderick Davis.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; J. Ross Dyer, Assistant
Attorney General; William L. Gibbons, District Attorney General; and
Patience Branham and Ray Lepone, Assistant District Attorneys General,
for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WITT

First Paragraph:

The defendant, Roderick Davis, was convicted by a Shelby County
Criminal Court jury of especially aggravated robbery, for which he
received a sentence of 24 years, and especially aggravated burglary,
for which he received a sentence of eleven years.  The trial court
imposed the sentences to run consecutively.  On appeal, the defendant
claims that the convicting evidence is insufficient and that the trial
court erroneously excluded alibi evidence, instructed the jury, and
sentenced him. Upon review, we affirm the conviction of especially
aggravated robbery, reverse the conviction of especially aggravated
burglary and modify it to aggravated burglary, and modify the
sentences.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/davisroderick_opn.wpd

DISSENTING OPINION
http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/davisroderick_dis.wpd

LAWRENCE ALLEN HODGE v. DAVID MILLS, WARDEN

Court:TCCA

Attorneys:                          

Lawrence Allen Hodge,  pro se.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Michael Markham,
Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, the State of Tennessee.

Judge: GLENN

First Paragraph:

The Petitioner, Lawrence Allen Hodge, appeals the trial court's denial
of his petition for habeas corpus relief.  The State has filed a
motion requesting that this Court affirm the trial court's denial of
relief pursuant to Rule 20, Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals. 
Because Petitioner has failed to show either that his sentence has
expired or that the trial court was without jurisdiction, we grant the
State's motion and affirm the judgment of the lower court.

http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCCA/hodgelawrencea.wpd

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