CAROLYN CURTIS v. G. E. CAPITAL MODULAR SPACE, ET AL.
Richard M. Currie, Jr., Kingsport, Tennessee, for the
defendant/petitioner, Bennett Truck Transport, Inc.
Mark S. Stapleton, Rogersville, Tennessee, and W. Lewis Jenkins, Jr.,
Dyersburg, Tennessee, for the plaintiff/respondent, Carolyn Curtis.
J. Randolph Bibb, Jr., Nashville, Tennessee, for the
defendant/respondent G. E. Capital Modular Space.
Pursuant to Rule 23 of the Supreme Court of Tennessee, this Court
accepted certification of the following two questions from the United
States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee, at
Greeneville: (1) In an action instituted against an employer for
workers' compensation benefits and in which the employer files an
answer or amended answer naming a third party as having caused all or
a part of the plaintiff's injuries, does Tennessee Code Annotated
section 20-1-119 extend the limitation period and allow the filing of
an amended complaint against the third party named by the employer
and/or other persons named as tortfeasors(s) by the third party in its
answer? In the event the first question is answered in the
affirmative, then the second question is posed: (2) In Tennessee Code
Annotated section 20-1-119(a), does the term "applicable statute of
limitations" appearing in the phrase "or named in an amended complaint
filed within the applicable statute of limitations" refer to the one
year limitation period for personal injury only or to the limitation
period as extended by the ninety-day "window" provided by Tennessee
Code Annotated section 20-1-119(a)? As to the first question, we
answer in the negative. We hold that because Tennessee Code Annotated
section 20-1-119 applies only to cases in which comparative fault is
or becomes an issue, and because workers' compensation benefits are
awarded without regard to fault, section 20-1-119 may not be invoked
as authority to amend a complaint in a workers' compensation action to
include a claim against a third party tortfeasor that would otherwise
be time-barred. Because our answer to this first question renders the
second question moot, we do not address it at this time.
JAMES IRVIN COLE v. DEBORAH CONLEY COLE
Clifford M. Cole of Germantown for Appellant, James I. Cole
William L. Bomar of Memphis for Appellee, Deborah Conley Cole
In post-divorce proceedings, Husband/Appellant sought modification of
his support obligation to Wife/Appellee. Divorce Referee found no
change in circumstances on which to base a modification. The trial
court affirmed the Referee's findings. Husband/Appellant appeals. We
IN RE: N.E.C., MEREDITH CRAFT v. JUVENILE COURT OF SHELBY COUNTY,
TENNESSEE, ET AL.
Robert S. Weiss of Memphis for Appellant, Nancy Polk
Virginia M. Alexander for Appellee, In Re: N.E.C., Meredith Craft
The juvenile court and custodial party in a dependency and neglect
proceeding were granted a Rule 10 application for extraordinary appeal
from the chancery court's order staying and restraining proceedings of
dependency and neglect in the juvenile court. We reverse the order of
the chancery court.
IN THE MATTER OF: THE ESTATE OF LUCILLE JOHNSON HILL, Deceased
William T. Looney, Paris, Tennessee, for the appellant, Harvey A.
Richard L. Dunlap, III, Paris, Tennessee, for the appellee, Joseph
This case involves a surviving spouse's attempt to set aside a
financial transaction made by the decedent approximately one year
prior to the decedent's death. The trial court voided the transfer
and awarded the proceeds to the surviving spouse, determining that the
transfer was fraudulent and intended to defeat the interest of the
surviving spouse. For the reasons stated herein, we reverse.
LUCITE INTERNATIONAL, INC. v. PETER RUNCIMAN, PH.D.
Jeff Weintraub and Robbin Hutton of Memphis for Appellant, Lucite
James L. Holt, Jr. for Appellee, Peter Runciman, Ph.D.
This case arises from the trial court's grant of Appellee's Tenn. R.
Civ. P. 12.02 Motion to Dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction.
Under the Tennessee long-arm statute and the relevant case law, we
find that the criteria for personal jurisdiction over Appellant are
met. Consequently, we reverse and remand.
STATE OF TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN'S SERVICES v. M. P., ET AL.
AND IN THE MATTER OF: M. R.
Edwin John Mackie, Jr., and Martelia T. Goff Crawford, Cookeville,
Tennessee, for the appellants, M.P. and T.R.
Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; and Juan G.
Villasenor, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, Tennessee
Department of Children's Services.
John Philip Parsons, Cookeville, Tennessee, guardian ad litem.
Two cases that pertain to the same child are consolidated on appeal.
The child was placed in custody of the Department of Children's
Services at the age of two and one-half years due to filthy conditions
at home, lack of supervision, exposure to pornography and drug
paraphernalia and parents drug use when both parents were arrested at
the family's home. The Juvenile Court found the child to be dependent
and neglected and a victim of aggravated sexual battery. Parents
appealed and received de novo trial in Circuit Court which separately
concluded the child was dependent, neglected and a victim of severe
child abuse and sexual battery. In a separate action, DCS petitioned
the Juvenile Court to terminate both parents' parental rights. DCS
investigator interviewed the mother while she was in custody on
unrelated charge and after the mother had been appointed counsel. The
DCS investigator had not consulted with nor been encouraged by DCS
attorneys about questioning the mother. After being released from
custody the mother was interviewed by detective. After being advised
of her Miranda rights she signed a statement waiving the rights and
admitted that she and the father sexually abused the child. The
mother had been apprised of her rights against self-incrimination, yet
she made a voluntary statement. Thus, she waived her rights against
self-incrimination. Juvenile Court terminated the rights of both
parents based on abandonment, persistent conditions, and severe child
abuse. Both parents appeal. We affirm.
WILLIAM ROSENBERG RICHARDS v. JOY WOOD RICHARDS
Robert A. Anderson, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, William
Helen Sfikas Rogers and Robin K. Barry, for the appellee, Joy Wood
This appeal involves a post-divorce petition for a reduction or
termination of alimony. Following a bench trial, the trial court
ordered petitioner to continue paying $1,000 per month in alimony in
futuro to Wife and granted Wife's request for her attorney's fees and
court costs. Wife's counter-petition for an increase in alimony was
denied. Both parties appeal. We affirm.
KAREN RENEE HOWELL v. STATE OF TENNESSEE
Gary L. Anderson, Knoxville, Tennessee and Jason E. B. Smith,
Franklin, North Carolina, for the appellant, Karen Renee Howell.
Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Mark A. Fulks,
Assistant Attorney General; C. Berkeley Bell, District Attorney
General; and Eric D. Christianson, Assistant District Attorney
General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.
The Defendant, Karen Renee Howell, pled guilty to three counts of
first degree felony murder, one count of attempted first degree
murder, two counts of especially aggravated kidnapping, two counts of
aggravated kidnapping, and one count of theft over $1,000. After a
sentencing hearing, the trial court sentenced the Defendant to three
consecutive terms of life without the possibility of parole for the
murders, a consecutive term of twenty-five years for the attempted
murder, and a concurrent effective term of twenty-five years for the
remaining convictions. The Defendant's convictions and sentences were
affirmed on direct appeal. See State v. Howell, 34 S.W.3d 484 (Tenn.
Crim. App. 2000). The Defendant subsequently filed for
post-conviction relief, alleging that her guilty pleas and sentencing
were marred by the ineffective assistance of counsel, and that her
guilty pleas were not entered voluntarily, intelligently and
knowingly. After a hearing, the trial court denied relief. This
direct appeal followed. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.
STATE OF TENNESSEE v. JOHN ALLAN LEZOTTE
Robert M. Cohen, Maryville, Tennessee, for the appellant, John Allan
Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Seth P. Kestner,
Assistant Attorney General; Chalmers Thompson, Assistant District
Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.
The defendant, John Allan Lezotte, entered pleas of guilt to driving
under the influence and child endangerment, reserving the right to
appeal a certified question of law. See Tenn. R. App. P. 3(b); Tenn.
R. Crim. P. 37(b)(2). The single issue presented for review is
whether the trial court erred by denying the defendant's motion to
suppress. The judgments are affirmed.
ANDRE MAYFIELD v. HOWARD CARLTON, Warden
Andre Mayfield, Mountain City, Tennessee, Pro Se.
Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Kathy D. Aslinger,
Assistant Attorney General; and Joe Crumley, District Attorney
General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee
The Defendant, Andre Mayfield, filed for a writ of habeas corpus,
seeking to invalidate several convictions he obtained in 1989. The
State responded by filing a motion to dismiss. The trial court
granted the State's motion and this appeal followed. We affirm the
trial court's judgment.