Court issues proposed rules amendments for comment

The Tennessee Supreme Court today issued for comment proposed amendments to the Tennessee Rules of Appellate, Civil, Criminal and Juvenile Procedure and the Rules of Evidence. Among topics addressed are: appellate bonds for indigents; the time for filing the transcript or statement of evidence in appeals; the role of the guardian ad litem in juvenile cases; use of summons in criminal matters; the new marital counselor privilege; the time limits for juvenile detention hearings; and more. TBA committees and sections will be reviewing the proposed amendments for possible comments by the TBA.

http://www.tba2.org/tbatoday/news/2006/rulesamendments_092206.html

TODAY'S OPINIONS
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Howard H. Vogel
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Editor-in-Chief, TBALink

DOUGLAS MARTIN v. PEGGY SUE MARTIN MOATS

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Timothy T. Ishii, Brentwood, Tennessee, for the appellant, Peggy Sue Martin Moats.

Matthew Mayo, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Douglas M. Martin.

Judge: COTTRELL

Mother appeals finding of contempt for failure to make child support payments and argues that the trial court failed to make the requisite finding regarding her ability to pay. Because there was no evidence introduced to show Mother had the ability to pay, we reverse.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/martind_092206.pdf


JUDY PESTELL v. RICHARD A. PESTELL

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Robert A. Anderson, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellant, Richard A. Pestell.

Judy Pestell did not participate in this appeal.

Judge: COTTRELL

The trial court refused father's request for recovery of child support payments made prior to his petition to modify although the child also received social security disability payments for the period. We affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2006/pestellj_092206.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. THOMAS CARTER

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Patrick T. Phillips, Knoxville, Tennessee, (on appeal); Kent Booher, Lenoir City, Tennessee, (at trial), for the appellant, Thomas Carter.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Blind Akrawi, Assistant Attorney General; Scott McCluen, District Attorney General; and D. Roger Delp, Assistant District Attorney General, for the appellee, the State of Tennessee.

Judge: WOODALL

Defendant, Thomas Carter, was convicted of coercion of a witness, a Class D felony, and sentenced to serve four (4) years in the Department of Correction. On appeal, Defendant argues that (1) the State did not introduce sufficient evidence to convict him of the charge of coercion of a witness; and (2) the trial court violated his constitutional rights by requiring him to wear shackles and his prison uniform during his trial. Finding the second issue to have merit, we reverse the judgment and remand for a new trial.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/cartert_092206.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. ROBERT LINDER

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Julie A. Rice, Knoxville, Tennessee (on appeal); Raymond Mack Garner, District Public Defender; and Stacey Nordquist, Assistant District Public Defender (at trial), for the Appellant, Robert Linder.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Renee W. Turner, Assistant Attorney General; James Michael Taylor, District Attorney General; and Robert Headrick, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WITT

The defendant, Robert Linder, was convicted of especially aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor following a bench trial before the Blount County Circuit Court. The trial court imposed an incarcerative sentence of 12 years. On appeal, he claims that evidence was seized from his residence in violation of Rule 41 of the Tennessee Rules of Criminal Procedure. He also challenges the length of his sentence as excessive. After our review of the record and the parties' briefs, we affirm the defendant's conviction but modify his sentence.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/linderr_092206.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE v. KRISTIE L. MARTIN

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Thomas McKinney, Jr., Kingsport, Tennessee (at trial); Howard Orfield, Jr., Bristol, Tennessee (at trial); and Whitney P. Taylor, Kingsport, Tennessee (on appeal), for the Appellant, Kristie L. Martin.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General & Reporter; Renee W. Turner, Assistant Attorney General; H. Greeley Wells, Jr., District Attorney General; and B. Todd Martin, Assistant District Attorney General, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: WITT

The defendant, Kristie L. Martin, appeals her Sullivan County Criminal Court sentences for criminal impersonation, interference with a security interest, issuing a false financial statement, and identity theft. She claims that the trial court erred in denying her a sentencing alternative to full incarceration. Because the record on appeal lacks a vital component for de novo review, we presume the correctness of the criminal court's judgments, and we affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/martink_092206.pdf


ROBERT DALLIS PAYNE V. RICKY J. BELL, WARDEN

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Blind Akrawi, Assistant Attorney General; and Victor S. Johnson, III, District Attorney General, for appellee, State of Tennessee.

Douglas A. Trant, Knoxville, Tennessee, Attorney for the appellant, Robert Dallis Payne.

Judge: DANIEL

Petitioner Robert Dallis Payne was convicted by a Davidson County jury of first degree murder and received a sentence of life in prison. On December 2, 2005, petitioner filed a petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus in the Criminal Court of Davidson County. On December 8, 2005 the trial court dismissed the petition without an evidentiary hearing. On appeal, petitioner contends that the trial court erred in failing to grant his petition for habeas corpus. Following our review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/payner_092206.pdf


STATE OF TENNESSEE V. MICHAEL WILKERSON

Court: TCCA

Attorneys:

Niles Stephen Nimmo, Nashville, Tennessee, Attorney for the appellant, Michael Eugene Wilkerson.

Paul G. Summers, Attorney General and Reporter; Elizabeth Bingham Marney, Assistant Attorney General; Clement Dale Potter, District Attorney General; and Larry Bryant, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, State of Tennessee.

Judge: DANIEL

The defendant, Michael Eugene Wilkerson, was convicted by a Warren County jury of three counts of the sale of over .5 grams of a schedule II drug-- cocaine and a fourth count of causal exchange of a schedule VI drug--marijuana. The trial court sentenced the defendant as a Range II, multiple defender, to nineteen years on each of the three felony convictions to run consecutively and to an eleven month twenty-nine day sentence for the casual exchange conviction, to run concurrently with the felony sentences. In this appeal, the defendant contends the evidence was insufficient to sustain his conviction. Following our review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCCA/2006/wilkersonm_092206.pdf


State Legislator Assuming Office

TN Attorney General Opinions

Date: 2006-09-20

Opinion Number: 06-144

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/AG/2006/ag_06-144.pdf

TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News
Supreme Court Watch
TBA Member Services

Legal News
Foundation head boasted of affair, co-worker says
The director of the Maddox Foundation -- a charity embroiled in a longtime, two-state court fight -- boasted to co-workers of a romantic relationship with a former Mississippi governor, a former employee has testified.
Read about it in the Tennessean
The target of those boasts -- former Mississippi Governor Ronnie Musgrove -- denied the affair during an appearance on a Mississippi talk radio show this morning, the Nashville Post reports.
Read the Nashville Posts account
Petition targets records policy
A Chancery Court petition seeking an injunction to keep Loudon County Mayor Doyle Arp from enforcing his policy of charging a fee for public records access was filed Thursday. That part of his new public-records policy was just an "attention-getter,'' Arp said Thursday afternoon. He said nobody has been assessed any fee.
Read about it in the News Sentinel
Appeals court hears dispute over evidence in state contracts case
An unfavorable appeals court decision in a pretrial dispute over computer records will not stifle an obstruction of justice case that involves state contracts with Al Ganier III during Gov. Don Sundquist's administration, a federal prosecutor said. "As we asserted at the hearing, this is crucial evidence" but we will proceed with the case regardless of what the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decides, Assistant U.S. Attorney Eli J. Richardson said Thursday.
The News Sentinel has the story
Cleaning lady mistakenly trashes court files
A pile of sensitive court files at Nashville's Juvenile Justice Center was mistaken for trash and thrown out, officials said. Surveillance video from Wednesday night showed that a cleaning lady mistakenly picked up the box of files that had been placed on top of a trash can and tossed them out. "There has been an entire docket lost," said Judge Betty Adams Green.
Read about the mix-up from WSMV
Charges against a main witness in Perry March case suspended
An east Nashville man who was a star witness in the prosecution of former Nashville lawyer Perry March was released from jail Thursday night, hours after prosecutors announced that he would not face the attempted murder charges against him because witnesses in the cases refuse to testify.
Find out why from the Tennessean
Judge ponders race as factor in drug dealer's sentence
A senior federal appeals court judge wondered aloud Thursday whether a Knoxville drug trafficker's race affected the severity of his punishment. The issue of race was not even on the table at the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, where a three-judge panel was reviewing the conviction of Richard Jones, a five-time felon found guilty of recruiting young Ohio men to come to Knoxville to peddle crack. "Is the defendant Caucasian?" Senior Judge Gilbert S. Merritt asked. "No," Winck responded. Merritt then asked if Jones was black. Winck did not answer directly, instead replying that Jones' race was irrelevant to the sentence he received. "I wouldn't be so sure," Merritt replied.
Read more in the News Sentinel
Two weeks, 500 cases so far, Judge Brandon ready for more
In the two weeks that he's been on the General Sessions bench, Larry Brandon estimates he has heard in the neighborhood of 500 cases. He says it's been going great, and he is anxious to hear more. Brandon, the first African-American elected to a countywide judgeship in Rutherford County, won election in August to the newly created General Sessions Part III bench.
Find out Brandon's impressions of his new job from the Daily News Journal
Supreme Court Watch
Tracy says Supreme Court selection method will change
State Sen. Jim Tracy told a men's prayer breakfast that the method of picking state Supreme Court justices "will be changed this year" after recent controversies. Tracy doesn't favor statewide elections, but perhaps a system similar to that at the federal level where the governor would nominate candidates subject to confirmation by the legislature. He also said he's received complaints about the extensive list of judges on the August election ballot.
The Shelbyville Times-Gazette has the story
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