State of Tennessee v. Brian Kerr
Authoring Judge: Judge Jeffrey S. Bivins
Trial Court Judge: Judge Robert L. Jones
Brian Kerr ("the Defendant") was convicted after a jury trial of driving under the influence, reckless driving, and failure to maintain his lane of travel. The trial court also found that the Defendant had violated the implied consent law. Following a sentencing hearing, the trial court sentenced the Defendant to an effective sentence of eleven months, twenty-nine days, suspended to probation after service of ten days in confinement. The Defendant appeals, challenging the sufficiency of the evidence for each conviction. The Defendant also contends that the trial court erred in instructing the jury regarding the Defendant’s failure to submit to a blood alcohol test when the trial court had not yet ruled on whether the Defendant violated the implied consent law. Lastly, the Defendant contends that, if the trial court first rules that a defendant violated the implied consent law and then gives the jury instruction regarding the defendant’s failure to submit to a blood alcohol test, the trial court is indirectly commenting on the evidence in violation of Article VI, Section 9 of the Tennessee Constitution. Upon our thorough review of the record, we affirm the Defendant’s convictions for driving under the influence and failure to maintain his lane of travel. However, we reverse and dismiss the Defendant’s conviction for reckless driving.
|Maury County||Court of Criminal Appeals||04/30/13|
Captain D'S Realty, LLC v. EP-D, Ltd.
Authoring Judge: Judge Holly M. Kirby
Trial Court Judge: Chancellor Walter L. Evans
This appeal involves the interpretation of a commercial lease. The lease gave the plaintiff tenant two successive options to extend the term of the lease, provided the tenant gave timely notice of its intent to exercise the renewal option. The tenant exercised the first renewal option, but did not give timely notice of intent to exercise the second option. The lease also contained language giving the tenant a grace period to exercise the option if the lessor gave notice that the lessor had not received notice of renewal. The lessor did not give the written notice to the tenant. The tenant filed a lawsuit against the defendant lessor, seeking a declaratory judgment and damages for breach of contract. The plaintiff tenant asserted in the lawsuit that the tenant had the grace period to exercise the renewal option because the lease required the lessor to give written notice, and the lessor had failed to do so. Both parties filed dispositive motions based on their interpretations of the lease. Construing the lease, the trial court held that the grace period was never triggered so the tenant’s renewal option lapsed and granted a judgment in favor of the lessor. The tenant appeals. Discerning no error, we affirm.
|Shelby County||Court of Appeals||04/30/13|
Adrian Fields v. Byron Williams and Sterling Marshall
Authoring Judge: Judge J. Steven Stafford
Trial Court Judge: Judge James Russell
This is an appeal from the circuit court’s dismissal of Appellant’s appeal from general sessions court. Upon filing the appeal, Appellant paid costs in the general sessions court pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated Section 8–21–401(b)(1)(C)(i), but did not submit a surety bond under Tennessee Code Annotated Section 27-5-103. The circuit court held that failure to post the surety bond under Section 27-5-103 resulted in a lack of subject matter jurisdiction in the circuit court. Accordingly, the trial court granted Appellees’s motion to dismiss the appeal for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Based upon this Court’s recent decision in Bernatsky v. Designer Baths & Kitchens, LLC, No. W2012-00803-COA-R3-CV, 2013 WL 593911 (Tenn. Ct. App. Feb. 15, 2013), we reverse the dismissal and remand for further proceedings.
|Shelby County||Court of Appeals||04/30/13|
Edward Shawndale Robinson v. State of Tennessee
Authoring Judge: Judge Jerry L. Smith
Trial Court Judge: Judge Robbie Beal
Following a traffic stop on Interstate 40, Appellant, Edward Shawndale Robinson, was indicted by the Hickman County Grand Jury in August of 2009 for possession of more than ten pounds of marijuana with the intent to deliver and following traffic too closely. Appellant sought unsuccessfully to have evidence seized from him suppressed prior to trial. After a jury trial, Appellant was convicted of possession of more than ten pounds of marijuana and sentenced to six years as a Range II, multiple offender. Appellant presents the following issues for our review on appeal: (1) whether Appellant received a fair and impartial jury; (2) whether the stop and subsequent search of Appellant’s vehicle was valid; and (3) whether Appellant received ineffective assistance of counsel at trial. After a review of the law and applicable authorities, we conclude Appellant’s failure to include transcripts of the hearing on the motion for new trial and hearing on the motion to suppress results in a waiver of the issues raised on appeal. Further, Appellant has failed to show plain error that would result in our review of the issues despite the waiver. Accordingly, the judgment of the trial court is affirmed.
|Hickman County||Court of Criminal Appeals||04/29/13|
Jamie and Frankye T. v. Crystal G.
Authoring Judge: Judge Richard H. Dinkins
Trial Court Judge: Chancellor Stella L. Hargrove
Mother appeals the termination of her parental rights for abandonment by willful failure to visit, contending that her failure to visit the children was not willful and that termination of her parental rights was not in the children’s best interest. Discerning no error, we affirm the judgment terminating her parental rights.
|Maury County||Court of Appeals||04/29/13|
Estate of David Holt Ralston
Authoring Judge: Presiding Judge Patricia J. Cottrell
Trial Court Judge: Judge Donald P. Harris
The trial court granted summary judgment to a judgment creditor of the decedent’s estate on a claim that the decedent fraudulently deeded an interest in real property to his wife so she would receive it free from the claims of his legitimate creditors after his death. The trial court’s judgment was based on circumstances surrounding the property transfer that satisfied the elements of fraudulent conveyance under both Tenn. Code Ann. § 66-3-305(a)(1) and (a)(2). The widow denies that there was any fraudulent intent behind the transfer of the disputed property to her, but insists that it arose naturally from the love and affection that existed between husband and wife. We affirm the trial court.
|Rutherford County||Court of Appeals||04/29/13|
Healthmart USA, LLC and Gregg Lawrence v. Directory Assistants, Inc.
Authoring Judge: Judge J. Steven Stafford
Trial Court Judge: Chancellor James G. Martin, III
This is the second appeal of this case, involving the question of whether Appellant acted in good faith in seeking to enforce an arbitration clause in a consulting contract, which was entered by and between Appellant and Appellee. The trial court determined that Appellant failed to act in good faith in unilaterally demanding arbitration in a forum of its choice, in setting an arbitrary deadline, and then in unilaterally accelerating the deadline. We affirm the decision of the trial court that Appellant breached the duty of good faith and remand with instructions to consider whether Appellant’s lack of good faith operates as a waiver of its right to seek arbitration pursuant to the contract.
|Williamson County||Court of Appeals||04/29/13|
Quantel Taylor v. State of Tennessee
Authoring Judge: Judge Thomas T. Woodall
Trial Court Judge: Judge Clayburn Peeples
Petitioner, Quantel Taylor, appeals from the denial of his petition for post-conviction relief. Petitioner entered “best interest” guilty pleas to second degree murder, attempted first degree murder, and especially aggravated robbery, and received agreed upon sentences of 20 years for each offense to be served concurrently at 100 percent. In this direct appeal, Petitioner asserts that the trial court erred by denying post-conviction relief because Petitioner’s trial counsel was ineffective and his plea was involuntarily and unknowingly entered. The post-conviction court erred by granting the State’s prehearing motion to quash subpoenas and by refusing to allow Petitioner to present an offer of proof at that hearing. However, in light of the proof at the post-conviction hearing the error, though flagrant, was harmless. The judgment is therefore affirmed.
|Crockett County||Court of Criminal Appeals||04/29/13|
Angelia Lynette Maupin v. Paul Wayne Maupin
Authoring Judge: Presiding Judge Charles D. Susano, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Chancellor Thomas R. Frierson, II
This is an appeal from a judgment in a contested divorce. After a trial of approximately one week, the court entered a judgment that, with regard to the issues on appeal: (1) split the family by making Angelia Lynette Maupin (“Mother”) the primary residential parent of the parties’ daughter and designating Paul Wayne Maupin (“Father”) the primary residential parent of the parties’ two sons; (2) ordered Mother to pay prospective child support ; and (3) awarded the marital residence to Father and made him solely responsible for the debt securedby the residence, and ordered Mother to pay half of any deficiency balance in the event of a foreclosure. On Father’s motion to alter or amend, the court made the child support obligation retroactive to the date of the parties’ separation. The record shows that Mother has been unable to spend any individual parenting time with her sons since the parties separated in April 2009. Mother appeals. We reverse that portion of the trial court’s judgment ordering that Mother shall be responsible for paying half of any deficiency in the event of a foreclosure. We modify the trial court’s judgment to provide for family counseling. In all other respects, the trial court’s judgment is affirmed.
|Greene County||Court of Appeals||04/29/13|
Philip Dooly, et al v. Tennessee State Board Of Equalization, et al
Authoring Judge: Judge Thomas R. Frierson, II
Trial Court Judge: Chancellor Jerri S. Bryant
The petitioners are holders of special use permits issued by the federal government allowing them to own and use for non-commercial recreational purposes certain improvements on federally-owned national forest land. The Polk County tax assessor valued and assessed the petitioners’ interests in the properties as leasehold interests. The Petitioners brought this action challenging their real estate tax assessments. The issues presented include whether the appraisal methodology used in valuing the petitioners’ leasehold interests violated the governing leasehold valuation statute, Tennessee Code Annotated § 67-5-605, and whether the petitioners should receive an offsetting tax credit for monies allegedly paid by the federal government to Polk County pursuant to 16 U.S.C. § 500. We affirm the judgment of the trial court holding that the appraisal methodology violated the statute by arbitrarily applying a static 99-year term when the express term of the special use permits was less than seven years during the tax years in question, 2003 through 2008. We reverse the trial court’s judgment ordering the tax assessor to allow an offsetting credit because the petitioners have cited no legal authority requiring or permitting such a result. The case is remanded with instructions to the Polk County Tax Assessor to reassess the petitioners’ leasehold interests for the years 2003 through 2008 in a manner consistent with this opinion.
|Polk County||Court of Appeals||04/29/13|
State of Tennessee v. William Lance Walker
Authoring Judge: Judge Jerry L. Smith
Trial Court Judge: Judge Robert Crigler
Appellant, William Lance Walker, was indicted by the Marshall County Grand Jury with one count of the sale of .5 grams or more of cocaine and one count of the delivery of .5 grams or more of cocaine. After a jury trial, Appellant was convicted as charged. As a result, the trial court merged the two offenses and sentenced Appellant to a term of twelve years, to be served consecutively to Appellant’s sentence in a previous case, for a total effective sentence of forty-seven years. After a motion for new trial and a hearing on the motion, the trial court amended Appellant’s sentence from twelve years to twenty years but ordered it to run consecutively to a prior sixteen-year parole violation but concurrently with a prior nineteen-year sentence, for a total effective sentence of thirty-six years. On appeal, Appellant claims that the evidence was insufficient, the trial court erred in denying a mistrial after a witness made reference to his incarceration, and that his sentence is excessive. After a review of applicable authorities and the record, we conclude that the evidence was sufficient to support the convictions; the trial court did not abuse its discretion in denying a mistrial where the Appellant elicited the claimed offending testimony, the proof against Appellant was strong and Appellant rejected a curative instruction. We also determine that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in sentencing Appellant where Appellant’s sentence is within the appropriate range and the record demonstrates that the sentence is otherwise in compliance with the purposes and principles listed by statute. Finally, we note that the record does not appear to contain amended judgment forms to reflect the trial court’s amendment to Appellant’s sentence at the hearing on the motion for new trial. Consequently, the judgments of the trial court are affirmed, but the matter is remanded to the trial court for entry of corrected judgments.
|Marshall County||Court of Criminal Appeals||04/29/13|
Sidney Cason v. State of Tennessee
Authoring Judge: Judge Norma McGee Ogle
Trial Court Judge: Judge Mark J. Fishburn
The Petitioner, Sidney Cason, appeals the Davidson County Criminal Court’s denial of his petition for post-conviction relief from his convictions of second degree murder and especially aggravated robbery and resulting effective sentence of forty years in confinement. On appeal, the Petitioner contends that he received the ineffective assistance of trial counsel, which resulted in his guilty pleas being unknowing and involuntary. Based upon the record and the parties’ briefs, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.
|Davidson County||Court of Criminal Appeals||04/29/13|
State of Tennessee v. Kevin James Callahan
Authoring Judge: Judge James Curwood Witt, Jr.
Trial Court Judge: Judge Robbie T. Beal
The defendant, Kevin James Callahan, pleaded guilty to one count of delivery of Percocet and one count of delivery of Oxycodone, both Schedule II controlled substances, and the Williamson County Circuit Court sentenced him as a Range I, standard offender to concurrent terms of four years’ imprisonment, suspended to probation following the service of six months’ incarceration in the county jail. On appeal, the defendant argues that the sentence imposed was excessive in manner of service. Discerning no error, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.
|Williamson County||Court of Criminal Appeals||04/29/13|