Tennessee Supreme Court to Hear Cases at Boys State in Cookeville

May 19, 2016

For the sixteenth year in a row, the Tennessee Supreme Court will hold oral arguments before 600 high school students next week at American Legion Boys State in Cookeville.

The Court session is just one element of weeklong programs students participate in to learn through firsthand experience how our government works. Student delegates elect leaders, conduct legislative sessions, and have law enforcement presentations, assemblies, and recreational programs. In addition to learning about the judicial process and studying the cases they will observe, they also hear from a number of other elected officials in Tennessee.

Tennessee American Legion Boys State is held in Cookeville at Tennessee Technological University. On May 25, Boys State delegates will observe oral arguments for the following cases:

Hardy v. Tournament Players Club at Southwind, Inc.

This case involves a lawsuit by employees working as food servers and bartenders at a PGA golf course in Memphis. They claim their employer withheld portions of their tips and distributed them among all employees, not just those providing direct service to customers. The Supreme Court will consider two laws that may appear to conflict with each other regarding whether someone has the right to sue under the Tennessee Wage Regulation Act, or if they are required to seek relief through the Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

State v. John Henry Pruitt

In this first degree murder case, the defendant argues that a search warrant executed at his home was invalid because it listed two dates. The warrant was signed by the officer on May 18, 2010, and later signed by the Magistrate close to midnight. The Magistrate dated the warrant May 19, 2010, and it is not clear whether it was actually signed on the 18th or the 19th.  The defendant argues that the discrepancy in the dates makes the warrant invalid. The Court will determine whether the technical error in the warrant rendered the search invalid, which would make any evidence found during the search, including a partially full box of bullets, inadmissible at trial.

Justice Holly Kirby meets with members of the Shelby County delegation at Boys State in 2015.