Supreme Court ruling affirms prosecutors' powers

The state Supreme Court found in a ruling released yesterday that now-retired Anderson County Judge James "Buddy" Scott overstepped his bounds in denying plea agreements negotiated between prosecutors and defendants in two separate murder cases. The court wrote that absent an extraordinary showing of betrayal of the public interest, judges have no authority to overrule prosecutors who seek to dismiss a case. The opinion also addressed the issue of a victim's right to be heard regarding plea agreements and motions to dismiss. Read the majority's opinion. Read Justice Wade's dissent. The News Sentinel has more on the story:

http://www.knoxnews.com/kns/local_news/article/0,1406,KNS_347_5314620,00.html

TODAY'S OPINIONS
Click on the category of your choice to view summaries of today’s opinions from that court, or other body. A link at the end of each case summary will let you download the full opinion in PDF format. To search all opinions in the TBALink database, go to our OpinionSearch page. If you have forgotten your password or need to obtain a password, you can look it up on TBALink at http://www.tba.org/getpassword.mgi.

00 - TN Supreme Court
01 - TN Worker's Comp Appeals
00 - TN Supreme Court - Rules
04 - TN Court of Appeals
00 - TN Court of Criminal Appeals
00 - TN Attorney General Opinions
00 - Judicial Ethics Opinions
00 - Formal Ethics Opinions - BPR

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

SONYA BLAKE, widow of TERRY BLAKE v. AUTO-OWNERS INSURANCE COMPANY

Court: TWCA

Attorneys:

Kyle C. Atkins, Humboldt, Tennessee, for the Appellant, Auto-Owners Insurance Company

T. J. Emison, Alamo, Tennessee, for the Appellee, Sonya Blake

Judge: HARRIS

This workers' compensation appeal has been referred to the Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel in accordance with Tennessee Code Annotated section 50-6-225(e)(3) for hearing and reporting of findings of fact and conclusions of law. The only issue presented in this case is whether the trial court erred in finding Terry Blake was an employee of Southside Baptist Church within the meaning of the Tennessee Workers' Compensation Act at the time of his fatal injury on April 29, 2004. In our view, the evidence does not preponderate against the trial court's finding that Blake was an employee, and we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TSC_WCP/2007/blakes_013007.pdf


CHARLES W. DARNELL d/b/a EUROPEAN SERVICE WERKS v. JOHNNY W. BROWN, ET AL.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Jeffrey D. Germany, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellant, Charles W. Darnell

R. Porter Feild, Memphis, Tennessee, for the appellees, Johnny W. Brown and Marsha Brown, individually and d/b/a Hardscapes and J & B Company

Judge: FARMER

Plaintiff appeals the trial court's dismissal of Plaintiff's action immediately following a hearing on Plaintiff's motion for temporary injunction. We affirm in part, vacate in part, and remand for further proceedings.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2007/darnellc_013007.pdf


IN RE M.L.P.

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Brandy Slaybaugh, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the Appellant, B.R.P.

Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter, and Amy T. McConnell, Assistant Attorney General, Nashville, Tennessee, for the Appellee, State of Tennessee, Department of Children's Services

Judge: LEE

B.R.P. (Father) was sentenced to serve eighteen years in prison when his daughter was six years old. The trial court terminated his parental rights based on Tenn. Code Ann. Section 36-1-116(g)(6), which provides for the termination of parental rights of a person who is incarcerated under a sentence of ten years or more if that person's child is under the age of eight at the time of sentencing. In this appeal, Father argues that Tenn. Code Ann. Section 36-1-116(g)(6) is inapplicable because Father might not have to serve his entire sentence if he obtains postconviction relief. He also maintains that termination of his parental rights is not in the best interest of his daughter. After careful review of the evidence and applicable authorities, we hold that the possibility of postconviction relief is irrelevant to a trial court's determination of whether the requirements of Tenn. Code Ann. Section 36-1-116(g)(6) have been met. We further hold that the evidence does not preponderate against the trial court's finding by clear and convincing evidence that termination of Father's parental rights was in the best interest of his daughter. Therefore, we affirm.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2007/mlp_013007.pdf


C & W ASSET ACQUISITION, LLC, AS ASSIGNEE OF CHRYSLER FIRST FINANCIAL SERVICES CORPORATION v. DONALD H. OGGS
With Dissenting Opinion


Court: TCA

Attorneys:

James B. M. Hooper, Chattanooga, Tennessee, for the appellant, C & W Asset Acquisition, LLC, as assignee of Chrysler First Financial Services Corporation

Donald H. Oggs, Sweetwater, Tennessee, pro se appellee

Judge: LEE

In this suit for breach of contract, the assignee of a loan agreement alleged that the defendant was in default of the agreement and requested judgment for monies advanced, plus interest and attorney's fees. The defendant denied owing the debt. The trial court found the plaintiff had failed to carry its burden of proof and dismissed the case. Upon our determination that the evidence does not preponderate against the finding of the trial court, judgment in favor of the defendant is affirmed.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2007/oggsd_013007.pdf

Swiney Dissenting
http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2007/oggsd_diss_013007.pdf


KENYALE PIRTLE v. TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTION

Court: TCA

Attorneys:

Kenyale Pirtle, pro se

Michael E. Moore, Acting Attorney General and Reporter, and Bradley W. Flippin, Assistant Attorney General, for the appellee, Tennessee Department of Correction

Judge: FARMER

Upon review under common-law writ of certiorari, the trial court affirmed disciplinary actions against Petitioner/Appellant by the Tennessee Department of Correction. We affirm in part and remand.

http://www.tba2.org/tba_files/TCA/2007/pirtlek_013007.pdf


TODAY'S NEWS

Legal News
BPR Actions
TBA Member Services

Legal News
Bakers ask for time to plan handing over of child
Jerry and Louise Baker, the Memphis couple who raised Anna Mae He since she was an infant, asked the state Supreme Court yesterday to give them 30 days to work out a plan for reuniting the girl with her birth parents. The court ruled last week that the Bakers must return the eight-year old to her parents within 12 days. Their request came after a planned meeting between the parties failed to materialize.
The Nashville City Paper has more
Compromise possible on interim appointments
The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee has delayed considering legislation that would block the Bush administration from using an anti-terrorism provision to allow indefinite interim appointments of U.S. attorneys. The bill would give U.S. district judges, rather than the Justice Department, the authority to appoint interim U.S. attorneys. Democrats and Republicans on the committee reportedly are discussing a compromise, which would allow the DOJ to continue making appointments but limit the length of service of interim U.S. attorneys to 120 days. Congressional Quarterly reported on the development last week.

AOC updates spousal insurance form
The model notice for insured spouses or policy holder spouses to use in providing notice of termination of medical insurance coverage to their covered spouse or former spouse under T.C.A. Section 56-7-2366 has been updated by the Administrative Office of the Courts.
Access the updated form
Sheriff's lawyer says civil rights violated
Knox County Sheriff Tim Hutchison's lawyer was in federal court yesterday arguing that the county commission's plan to appoint a replacement sheriff was a violation of voters' constitutional rights. Hutchinson, who is term-limited and must step aside, is calling for a special election to fill the post.
Read more in the Knoxville News Sentinel
County juvenile department in tug-of-war
Juvenile and General Sessions Judge Daniel Swafford says supervision of the Bradley County Juvenile Department should be under his office not the mayor's, despite a 1998 Judicial Ethics Committee opinion stating it was improper for a juvenile court judge to supervise an entire juvenile probation program. Swafford recently asked for a state attorney general opinion on the matter. The AG has now ruled that, by statute, youth services officers, probation officers and referees work under the authority of the juvenile judge who appointed them.
Find out more in the Cleveland Daily Banner
Another council conflict?
Memphis City Councilman Dedrick Brittenum is among an increasingly embattled cadre of city politicians whose business interests in Memphis City Schools create uneasy intersections with public duties. While serving on the council -- which has authority over the school's budget -- Brittenum has worked as a paid outside attorney for the school system, collecting $113,247 in legal fees.
The Memphis Commercial Appeal has more
Metro to track detainees with GPS technology
Metro Nashville and Davidson County officials are taking bids for new equipment that uses global positioning system technology to transmit the precise location of home arrest prisoners. Officials complain that the current electronic monitoring system notifies them only when a detainee moves a certain distance from his home-installed receiver; not where the detainee is at all times. Under the new technology, authorities would know if a prisoner strays from authorized routes or locations.
The Tennessean has more
BPR Actions
Spring Hill attorney suspended
The state Supreme Court suspended Spring Hill attorney Clyde E. Harris Jr. on Jan. 25 for a period of three years, effective Feb. 5. The court found that Harris falsely represented to his employer the hours he worked, resulting in additional pay of $5,000.
Read the BPR's release
TBA Member Services
MBNA MasterCard offers low rate
Show your TBA affiliation and get a low annual percentage rate with the TBA MBNA MasterCard.
Click here to learn more

 
 
UNSUBSCRIBE TO TBAToday? ... SURELY NOT!
But if you must, visit the TBALink web site at: http://www.tba2.org/tbatoday/unsub_tbatoday.php

TBALink HomeContact UsPageFinderWhat's NewHelp
 
 
© Copyright 2006 Tennessee Bar Association