Quarterly Litigation Upate: Recent Developments in Litigation for Tennessee Attorneys
March 25 Teleseminar

The TBA Litigation section presents this fast-paced, quarterly update
on recent developments in litigation for Tennessee attorneys. This
update will cover breaking developments in Commercial Law and Consumer
Protection, Contracts and Insurance. Listen in from the comfort of
your own office.

Today's Opinions: February 1, 2005
Volume 11 — Number 020
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
06 New Opinion(s) from the Tennessee Court of Appeals
00 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. We recommend you download the Opinions to your computer and then open them from there. • Click the URL at end of each Opinion paragraph below. This should give you the option to download the original document. If not, you may need to right-click on the URL to get the option to save the file to your computer. • 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


IN RE:  A.T.S.
WITH CONCURRING OPINION

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          

Joseph Hornick, Dickson, Tennessee, for the appellants, J.L.S., L.A.S.
and C.D.S.

Timothy V. Potter, Dickson, Tennessee, for the appellee, C.R.C.

Judge: CLEMENT

First Paragraph:

Paternal grandparents, the legal guardians of their granddaughter,
filed a petition to terminate the mother's parental rights and to
adopt their granddaughter.  The child's father joined in the petition.
 The trial court found that the mother had abandoned the child by her
willful failure to provide financial support; however, the trial court
denied the grandparents' petition based on its finding that
termination of the mother's parental rights was not in the best
interest of the child.  Grandparents appealed.  We affirm.

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

CONCURRING OPINION
http://www.tba.org/tba_files/TCA/ats_con.wpd

SUSAN DAUGHERTY v. TENNESSEE BOARD OF PROBATION AND PAROLE

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          

Susan Daugherty, Nashville, Tennessee, pro se.

Paul G. Summer, Attorney General and Reporter; Michael Moore,
Solicitor General; Pamela S. Lorch, Senior Counsel, Attorney General's
Office, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: INMAN

First Paragraph:

The appellant principally alleges that she had a plea agreement with
the State that if she pleaded guilty to the charge of vehicular
assault, the punishment for which would run consecutively to prior
sentences, she would be paroled after serving thirty percent of her
sentence, and that the State, in effect, reneged on the agreement. 
She presented no evidence other than her own assertions of the plea,
and her petition was denied.

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

WILMA JEAN HUGGINS v. THERON EUGENE HUGGINS

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          

Vincent Zuccaro, Brentwood, Tennessee, for the appellant, Theron
Eugene Huggins.

James L. Curtis, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Wilma Jean
Huggins.

Judge: KOCH

First Paragraph:

This appeal involves a civil contempt sanction against a former
husband for failing to make payments required by the parties' marital
dissolution agreement.  The former wife filed a petition in the
Circuit Court for Williamson County seeking to hold her former husband
in either criminal or civil contempt.  Following a hearing, the trial
court awarded the former wife a $26,378 judgment for the arrearage and
a $2,000 judgment for attorney's fees.  The trial court also found the
former husband to be in civil contempt and ordered him incarcerated
for six months or until he made the payments required by the martial
dissolution agreement. The former husband appealed.  We affirm the
portions of the judgment awarding the former wife $28,378; however, we
vacate the civil contempt judgment against the former husband because
the trial court failed to make an affirmative finding that he was
presently able to meet his financial obligations under the marital
dissolution agreement.

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

JOSEPH STONE v. TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, ET AL.

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          

Joseph M. Stone, pro se.

Paul G. Summer, Attorney General and Reporter; Michael Moore,
Solicitor General; Jennifer L. Brenner, Assistant Attorney General,
for the appellee, Tennessee Department of Correction.

Judge: INMAN

First Paragraph:

The petition sought judicial review by way of certiorari to review the
Warden's action in terminating his wife's visitation for inappropriate
behavior.  We affirm the dismissal of the petition on grounds of
subject matter jurisdiction and failure to state a claim.

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

TOWN OF CORNERSVILLE, TENNESSEE v. MELEATHIE HARMON, ET AL.

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          

William L. Abernathy, Jr., Shelbyville, Tennessee, for the appellants,
Meleathie Harmon; Camuel Harmon; Harmon Scrap Metal, Inc. and Harmon
Scrap Metal, LLC.

Paul B. Plant, J. Christopher Williams, Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, for
the appellee, Town of Cornersville, Tennessee.

Judge: COTTRELL

First Paragraph:

The Town of Cornersville filed suit against a local business seeking
injunctive relief to require compliance with its zoning ordinance. 
During the pendency of the matter, the trial court found the local
business in contempt on three separate occasions for failure to comply
with orders of the court requiring compliance with the ordinance.  At
a hearing on the merits, the trial court found that since the property
at issue was within the town limits, it was subject to the zoning
ordinance.  Furthermore, the court found the business in contempt for
failure to comply with its prior orders and thus subject to a fine of
fifty dollars ($50.00) per day.  The business appeals insisting that
part of the subject property is not within the town's zoning
jurisdiction, that the trial court exceeded its statutory contempt
authority, and that the town is estopped from raising any complaint
regarding zoning noncompliance.  We agree with the trial court and
affirm its judgment.

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

LESLEY LAPOINTE WALKER v. KENNETH WAYNE WALKER

Court:TCA

Attorneys:                          

James Robin McKinney, Jr., Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant,
Kenneth Wayne Walker.

D. Scott Parsley and Joshua G. Strickland, Nashville, Tennessee, for
the appellee, Lesley Lapointe Walker.

Judge: KOCH

First Paragraph:

This appeal involves a former husband's efforts to avoid paying
spousal support.  Less than one year after the parties' divorce, the
husband filed a petition in the Circuit Court for Davidson County
seeking to reduce his spousal support obligation because his income
had decreased.  He also unilaterally stopped paying spousal support. 
Following a bench trial, the trial court denied the former husband's
petition to modify his support payments based on its conclusion that
he was wilfully underemployed.  The trial court also found the former
husband to be in criminal contempt for wilfully failing to make five
spousal support payments.  The husband appeals.  We affirm the trial
court's conclusion that the former husband is wilfully underemployed
and two of the five counts of criminal contempt.

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

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