Tennessee Administrative Office of the Courts

Appellate Court Opinions

Format: 09/16/2014
Format: 09/16/2014
02C01-9510-CC-00307
Haywood County Court of Criminal Appeals 11/12/96
02C01-9605-CR-00173
Shelby County Court of Criminal Appeals 11/12/96
03S01-9603-CV-00033
Supreme Court 11/12/96
03A01-9602-JV-00043
Claiborne County Court of Appeals 11/12/96
03A01-9604-CV-00153
Court of Appeals 11/12/96
03A01-9605-CH-00162
Court of Appeals 11/12/96
State of Tennessee v. Richard Higgs
W2000-02588-CCA-MR3-CD
Shelby County Court of Criminal Appeals 11/11/96
David Hutton v. Ruth E. Johnson, Commissioner of Revenue, State of Tennessee - Dissenting
01A01-9601-CH-00023

The majority has decided that Tenn. Code Ann. § 67-6-510 (1994) permits the purchaser of a used jet aircraft to reduce his state tax liability by deducting the value of a previously owned prop-driven aircraft from the purchase price of the jet aircraft. I do not agree that Tenn. Code Ann. § 67-6-510 applies to the purchase of the jet because the transaction does not involve a trade or series of trades.

Giles County Court of Appeals 11/08/96
David Hutton, v. Ruth E. Johnson, Commissioner of Revenue, State of Tennessee - Dissenting
01A01-9601-CH-00023

The majority has decided that Tenn. Code Ann. § 67-6-510 (1994) permits the purchaser of a used jet aircraft to reduce his state tax liability by deducting the value of a previously owned prop-driven aircraft from the purchase price of the jet aircraft. I do not agree that Tenn. Code Ann. § 67-6-510 applies to the purchase of the jet because the transaction does not involve a trade or series of trades.

Giles County Court of Appeals 11/08/96
Gary Bernard Sanders, v. Don Sundquist, Governor of State of Tennessee, et al.
01A01-9608-CH-00363

The captioned plaintiff, an inmate of the Department of Correction, filed this suit against the Governor, Commissioner of Correction and Commissioner of Correction, seeking a declaration of his rights to release from incarceration. The defendants filed a motion to dismiss supported by affidavit of an official of the Department of Correction. The motion was therefore a motion for summary judgment. T.R.C.P. Rule 12.02.

Davidson County Court of Appeals 11/08/96
State of Tennessee v. Mario A. Lavender and Eric L. Hobbs
01C01-9506-CR-00202

The appellants, Mario A. Lavender and Eric Hobbs, were found guilty of two counts of robbery, a Class C felony, and one count of theft over $1,000, a Class D felony, by a jury of their peers. The trial court found that Lavender was a standard offender and imposed Range I sentences as follows: (1) count 1, robbery, confinement for six (6) years in the Department of Correction, (2) count 2, robbery, confinement for six (6) years in the Department of Correction, and (3) count 4, theft, confinement for four (4) years in the Department of Correction. The trial court found that Hobbs was a multiple offender and imposed the following Range II sentences: (1) count 1, robbery, confinement for ten (10) years in the Department of Correction, (2) count 2, robbery, confinement for ten (10) years in the Department of Correction, and (3) count 4, theft, confinement for four (4) years in the Department of Correction. The trial court ordered that the sentences are to be served consecutively. The effective sentence for Lavender is sixteen (16) years, and the effective sentence for Hobbs is twenty-four (24) years. In this Court, both Lavender and Hobbs contend that the sentences imposed by the trial court are excessive. Hobbs also contends that the trial court committed error of prejudicial dimensions by (a) denying his motion to suppress a statement he made to police and (b) denying his motion in limine, which sought to deny the State of Tennessee the right to use his prior convictions to impeach him if he opted to testify. After a thorough review of the record, the briefs submitted by the parties, and the law applicable to the issues presented for review, it is the opinion of this Court that the judgment of the trial court should be affirmed.

Davidson County Court of Criminal Appeals 11/08/96
Gate Pharmeceuticals, a Division of the Lemmon Company, v. Tennessee Board of Medical Examiners
01A01-9510-CH-00451

This Board added this language in its amendment to the original version of the rule. This case involves a challenge to the validity of a rule promulgated by the Tennessee Board of Medical Examiners. Gate Pharmaceuticals appeals the judgment of the trial court upholding the rule’s validity. We affirm.

Davidson County Court of Appeals 11/08/96
Thomas Tarpley, v. Charles Traughber, Chairman, Tennessee Board of Paroles
01A01-9608-CH-00365

The captioned plaintiff, an inmate of the Department of Corrections, filed this suit for certiorari from an adverse decision of the Board of Paroles. The Trial Court dismissed the suit for failure to state a claim for which relief can be granted.

Davidson County Court of Appeals 11/08/96
James J. Benson, v. State of Tennessee
01C01-9401-CC-00026

The petitioner, James J. Benson, appeals as of right from the Williamson County Circuit Court's denial of post-conviction relief. He is presently in the custody of the Department of Correction, serving as a Range II, multiple offender, an effective sentence of one hundred and twenty-eight years for convictions of two counts of aggravated kidnaping and one count each of armed robbery, conspiracy, and accessory before the fact to armed robbery, receiving a sentence of sixty years for each of the crimes except the conspiracy, for which he received a sentence of eight years. The convictions and sentences were affirmed on direct appeal on September 7, 1987, and reaffirmed on a petition to rehear on February 16, 1990. State v. Bobby Mitchell, Richard Cook, and James Benson, Williamson County, No. 87-185-III (Tenn. Crim. App. Sept. 27, 1989), app. denied, (Tenn. April 2, 1990).

Williamson County Court of Criminal Appeals 11/08/96
State of Tennessee v. Michael Gentry
01C01-9510-CC-00336

The defendant, Michael Gentry, entered a plea of guilt to one count of official misconduct. Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-16-402(a)(5). Pursuant to a plea agreement, the trial court imposed a Range I sentence of two years and granted probation but denied the defendant's request for judicial diversion. Tenn. Code Ann. § 40-35-313; State v. Dishman, 915 S.W.2d 458 (Tenn. Crim. App. 1995). In this appeal, the defendant claims that the trial court abused its discretion by refusing to grant judicial diversion; he also insists that the district attorney general was guilty of prosecutorial vindictiveness.

Williamson County Court of Criminal Appeals 11/08/96
Ty Farming Company, Inc., v. George Belew and The County of Dyer, Tennessee
02A01-9510-CV-00232

Plaintiff-Appellant, TY Farming Company, Inc. (“TY Farming”), appeals the judgment of the trial court denying TY Farming’s claims against Defendants-Appellees Dyer County (“Dyer County”) and George Belew (“Belew”) relative to a dirt road which crossed properties owned by TY Farming, Belew, and other landowners in Dyer County. The trial court found that the dirt road had been abandoned by the County and the general public, that the road was no longer a public road, and, therefore, that the County had no obligation to maintain the road. Accordingly, the judgment denied TY Farming’s claim for damages against the County and dismissed the County from the lawsuit. With regard to TY Farming’s claim against Belew, the judgment granted TY Farming an easement across the property of Belew. The trial court further found that Belew had deprived TY Farming of its previously existing easement of ingress and egress to its property, but the court found that TY Farming had suffered no damages because it had continuous access to its property by another route. Accordingly, the trial court denied TY Farming’s claim for damages against Belew and dismissed TY Farming’s complaint in its entirety.

Dyer County Court of Appeals 11/08/96
03C01-9510-CR-00330
Hamilton County Court of Criminal Appeals 11/08/96
David Via and wife, Patty Via, v. Jimmy Joe Welch, Herman Reed and Tommy Reed
02A01-9507-CH-00157

This is a suit brought by Plaintiffs-Appellants, David Via and his wife Patty Via (“Via”), against Defendants-Appellees, Jimmy Joe Welch, Herman Reed and Tommy Reed (collectively
“Welch”). In this appeal, Via seeks to revive a decree for specific performance entered by this Court on August 28, 1984. Specific performance is no longer available since the property was lost to foreclosure. Via now seeks to have the decree revived and converted to a judgment for money damages. The trial court ruled that Via is not entitled to the relief sought and dismissed Via’s lawsuit. We affirm.

Carroll County Court of Appeals 11/07/96
Tyrus C. Ragland and Bonnie S. Ragland, Husband and Wife, and Guy Treece and Marla Treece, Husband and Wife, v. Sidney Feuerstein and Betsy Feuerstein
02A01-9506-CH-00140

This matter appears appropriate for consideration pursuant to Rule 10(b) of the Rules of the Court of Appeals of Tennessee.1 Defendant-Appellants Sidney and Betsy Feuerstein (“Feuersteins”) appeal the Chancery Court’s order in favor of Plaintiff-Appellees Tyrus Ragland and other neighbors enjoining the Feuersteins from building a greenhouse on their property in violation of a restrictive covenant.

Shelby County Court of Appeals 11/05/96
Barbara Beem, v. Robert Alan Beem
02A01-9511-CV-00252

Defendant-Appellant, Robert Alan Beem (“Husband”), appeals the judgment of the trial court ordering him to pay child support, alimony, and attorney’s fees to Plaintiff-Appellee, Barbara Beem (“Wife”).

Shelby County Court of Appeals 11/05/96
Helen Bond Scofield, v. Stephen David Scofield
02A01-9512-CH-00276

This case involves a petition for increase of child support. Petitioner, Stephen David Scofield (Father), appeals from the trial court’s order denying his petition to modify the parties’ final decree of divorce to increase child support payments by Respondent, Helen Bond Scofield 2 (Mother).

Court of Appeals 11/05/96
James Raymond Casey v. The Travelers Insurance Company
02S01-9605-CH-00047
This workers' compensation appeal has been referred to the Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel of the Supreme Court inaccordance with Tenn. Code Ann. section 5-6-225(e)(3) for hearing and reporting of findings of fact and conclusions of law. In this appeal, the employer's insurer contends (1) the award of permanent partial disability benefits is excessive, (2) the award of temporary total disability benefits is excessive and (3) the trial court erred in granting plaintiff's motion for discretionary costs. As discussed below, the panel concludes the judgment should be modified. The employee or claimant, Casey, is 29 years old and has a tenth grade education. His working experience consists of light to medium manual labor. On October 11, 1994, his right hand caught in some belts at work and was injured. He continued working for approximately one month. He was treated by an orthopedic surgeon beginning on December 22, 1994. The treating doctor diagnosed a rupture of the extensor tendon of the last joint of the claimant's right little finger, swelling of the PIP joint of the ring and middle fingers of the same hand and decreased range of hand motion, for all of which he prescribed a splint for the little finger and range of motion exercises for the hand. In time the swelling disappeared and he recovered full range of motion in the hand. He improved to the extent that he could have returned to work on January 13, 1995. The doctor assigned a permanent partial impairment rating of eight percent to the right little finger because the claimant "lacked about thirty degrees of extension of the DIP joint of the right little finger." The doctor's testimony also included the following questions and answers: Q. ... in your opinion, he did not sustain any permanent impairment with regard to his hand or to the arm? A. No, Ma'am. Q. Okay. In your opinion, ... would the plaintiff have necessarily had any problems in going back to work and using his hand? 2
Crockett County Workers Compensation Panel 11/05/96
Charles Tolan v. Ed Brown
03S01-9603-CH-00027
This workers' compensation appeal has been referred to the Special Workers' Compensation Appeals Panel of the Supreme Court in accordance with Tenn. Code Ann. section 5-6-225(e)(3) for hearing and reporting of findings of fact and conclusions of law. The issue in this appeal is whether the defendant-appellee, Brown, is a statutory or principal employer of the plaintiff- appellant or claimant. The panel concludes that the judgment should be affirmed. Brown is the owner of rental property, including the Guthrie Mini Warehouse in Cleveland. He is not a builder or general contractor. In the late spring of 1994, he contracted with Kevin Eason to replace the roof on the warehouse. Among those employed by or on behalf of Eason to do the work was Charles Tolan. By the terms of the contract, Brown paid Eason $5,. and furnished the material. There was no time limit on when the work was to be completed and Brown exercised no control over the work of Eason's employee's, including Tolan. Brown did not provide the tools for the work, except one ladder. At one point, it became apparent that the work was not being done properly, which Brown pointed out to Eason. Eason corrected the problem. On July 12, 1993, Tolan was injured when he fell from the roof of the warehouse. He has sued for workers' compensation benefits. After a trial on the merits, the chancellor found that Eason and some other defendants, but not Brown, were liable to the claimant for workers' 2
Bradley County Workers Compensation Panel 11/05/96
Leonard L. Rowe v. Board of Education of the City of Chattanooga and Dr. Harry Reynolds, Superintendent of Schools
03S01-9603-CV-00033

The Board of Education of the City of Chattanooga and Dr. Harry Reynolds, Superintendent of Chattanooga schools, appeal from the Court of Appeals’ decision finding that Leonard L. Rowe was deprived of liberty without due process of law by a Board policy which renders any employee previously terminated “for cause, inefficiency, or immorality” ineligible for future employment within the Chattanooga school system. The primary issue for our review is whether adoption of Board policy 4117.5 deprived Rowe of a constitutionally protected property or liberty interest to which the requirements of procedural due process apply.1 For the reasons that follow, we conclude that due process is not implicated because the Board policy did not deprive Rowe of either a protected property or liberty interest. Accordingly, the judgment of the Court of Appeals is reversed.

Knox County Supreme Court 11/04/96
Richard P. Rienholtz, v. Christine Bradley, Commissioner, Tennessee Department of Correction
01A01-9512-CH-00570

Richard P. Rienholtz, an inmate in the Tennessee prison system petitioned the Chancery Court of Davidson County for a declaratory judgment arguing that the Department of Correction’s decision to extend his parole eligibility date for escape was illegal. The chancellor dismissed the petition and we affirm.

Davidson County Court of Appeals 11/01/96