Tennessee Administrative Office of the Courts

Appellate Court Opinions

Format: 07/07/2020
Format: 07/07/2020
Timothy Eugene Keeble v. Crystal Yvonne Keeble
E2019-01168-COA-R3-CV

This is a divorce case. Husband/Appellant appeals the trial court’s: (1) decision denying Husband credit for premarital payments he made on certain marital assets; (2) division of certain marital assets and debts; (3) award of transitional alimony to Wife; (4) award of alimony in solido to Wife; and (5) calculation of the amount of child support. Discerning no reversible error, we affirm.

Loudon County Court of Appeals 06/03/20
In Re Zoey L.
E2019-01702-COA-R3-PT

In this termination of parental rights case, we do not reach the substantive issues because the trial court’s order is not compliant with the findings and conclusions requirements of Tennessee Code Annotated section 36-1-113(k); thus, this Court is unable to conduct its review.

Hawkins County Court of Appeals 06/03/20
State of Tennessee, Ex Rel. Robbie B. v. Siva M.
M2019-00115-COA-R3-JV

The Father appeals the imposition of a retroactive child support obligation for more than five years, contending that the Mother did not show good cause for imposing the obligation, as required by Tennessee Code Annotated section 36-2-311(a)(11)(G)(i); he also contends that the calculation of his income was erroneous. Upon our review, we affirm the imposition of the retroactive child support obligation in excess of five years; we vacate that portion of the order establishing the amount of Father’s obligation and remand for the trial court to recalculate the same.

Davidson County Court of Appeals 06/03/20
Howard Brackson Carrier v. State of Tennessee
E2019-01004-CCA-R3-PC

The Petitioner, Howard Brackson Carrier, appeals the Sullivan County Criminal Court’s denial of his petition for post-conviction relief, asserting that he received ineffective assistance of counsel and that he is entitled to cumulative error relief. After thorough review, we affirm the denial of the petition.

Sullivan County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/03/20
State of Tennessee v. Patrick Carmody
E2018-02115-CCA-R3-CD

A Hamilton County Criminal Court Jury convicted the Appellant, Patrick Carmody, of first degree felony murder and especially aggravated robbery, a Class A felony, and the trial court sentenced him to concurrent terms of life and twenty-two years, respectively. On appeal, the Appellant contends that the evidence is insufficient to support his convictions because the only evidence against him was that of co-conspirators and accomplices and that the trial court erred by allowing the State to introduce evidence about his ownership of a gun. Based upon the record and the parties’ briefs, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

Hamilton County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/03/20
State of Tennessee v. Ashley Wright
E2018-01402-CCA-R3-CD

Defendant, Ashley Donielle Wright, entered guilty pleas to five counts of identity theft and one count of misdemeanor theft. Pursuant to the plea agreement, she was to receive an effective sentence of two years, with the manner of service to be determined by the trial court. After a hearing, the trial court denied judicial diversion and sentenced Defendant to serve forty-eight hours in confinement and the remainder of the agreedupon sentence on supervised probation. Defendant appeals, asserting that the trial court erred in denying diversion and in ordering confinement. Because the record reflects that the trial court did not make necessary factual finding or indicate on the record the sentencing considerations that warranted imposition of the sentence, we reverse the judgments and remand for the trial court to make adequate factual findings, engage in the requisite legal analysis, and impose judgments in accordance with the mandated statutory and common law considerations and in conformity with the plea agreement.

Knox County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/03/20
Joey Lee v. State of Tennessee
W2019-00691-CCA-R3-PC

The Petitioner, Joey Lee, appeals from the Shelby County Criminal Court’s denial of post-conviction relief from his conviction for aggravated robbery. On appeal, the Petitioner argues that his trial counsel provided ineffective assistance in failing to challenge the victim’s identification of the Petitioner after she sat next to him in court at a suppression hearing without recognizing that he was one of the men who robbed her and in failing to challenge the prosecutor’s actions, in suggesting to the victim that she was sitting next to her aggressor, as prosecutorial misconduct. Following our review, we affirm the judgment of the post-conviction court.

Shelby County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/03/20
State of Tennessee v. Monterio Funzie
W2018-02222-CCA-R3-CD

Defendant, Monterio Funzie, was indicted by the Shelby County Grand Jury for sexual battery by an authority figure and sexual battery. According to the judgment, Defendant pleaded guilty to sexual battery, and the remaining charge was dismissed on motion of the State. Following a sentencing hearing, the trial court sentenced Defendant as a multiple offender to three years to be served in a workhouse. On appeal, Defendant contends that the trial court abused its discretion by denying his request for judicial diversion and that his sentence is excessive. Following our review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Shelby County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/03/20
In Re Cassi J.
E2019-00727-COA-R3-JV

After experiencing financial difficulties, a mother sent her child to live temporarily with a cousin. The cousin filed a petition in the juvenile court seeking temporary custody of the child. After the juvenile court granted the cousin’s petition, the child’s grandmother filed a petition for custody alleging that the child was dependent and neglected and then filed a motion to dismiss the cousin’s petition for temporary custody. The juvenile court denied the grandmother’s motion to dismiss and ordered that temporary custody of the child remain with the cousin. The grandmother sought and was granted a rehearing. After the rehearing, the juvenile court affirmed its decision and the grandmother appealed. We affirm.

Hamilton County Court of Appeals 06/02/20
Tracy Robinson v. Chester Ault
E2019-00516-COA-R3-CV

A tenant evicted from her home filed a de novo appeal in circuit court from a general sessions judgment for back rent and dismissal of her counterclaim. The circuit court refused to hear any evidence from the pro se tenant as to her counterclaim based on a local court rule requiring litigants to submit a witness list and exhibits ten days prior to trial. Because of the absence of a transcript and the discretion of trial courts to apply local rules, this court must affirm.

Hamilton County Court of Appeals 06/02/20
State of Tennessee v. Ferderic Lamont Byrd
E2019-00850-CCA-R3-CD

Following the denial of a suppression motion, the defendant, Ferderic Lamont Byrd, pled guilty to attempted possession of less than 15 grams of a Schedule I controlled substance with intent to sell. As a condition of his plea agreement, the defendant reserved the right to appeal a certified question of law pursuant to Tennessee Rule of Criminal Procedure 37(b)(2)(A), challenging the evidence obtained as a result of the warrantless traffic stop of the vehicle he was driving. Upon our review, we find no error in the denial of the motion and affirm the judgement of the trial court.

Knox County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/02/20
GEORGE GRANT ET AL. v. ELAINE ANDERSON, CLERK OF WILLIAMSON COUNTY ET AL.
M2019-01099-COA-R3-CV

This case is before us for the second time. In the first appeal, we affirmed the dismissal of the case after determining that the plaintiffs lacked standing. After the mandate issued, the plaintiffs moved for relief from the judgment under Rule 60.02 of the Tennessee Rules of Civil Procedure. The trial court denied the motion. In this second appeal, the plaintiffs claim the trial court abused its discretion in denying their requested relief. We affirm. We also conclude the appeal is frivolous and remand for an assessment of damages.

Williamson County Court of Appeals 06/02/20
State of Tennessee v. Anthony Tremayne Cartwright
M2019-00519-CCA-R3-CD

A Davidson County Criminal Court Jury convicted the Appellant, Anthony Tremayne, Cartwright, of aggravated assault, a Class C felony, and domestic assault, a Class A misdemeanor, and the trial court sentenced him to consecutive sentences of fourteen years and eleven months, twenty-nine days, respectively. On appeal, the Appellant contends that the evidence is insufficient to support his convictions because the victim’s testimony was unreliable and actually shows he was acting in self-defense. Based upon the record and the parties’ briefs, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

Davidson County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/02/20
In Re Jayden E.
E2019-01964-COA-R3-JV

The Notice of Appeal filed by the appellant, Regina E., stated that the appellant was appealing the judgment entered on October 4, 2019 and the order of adjudication entered on April 24, 2017. As neither of these orders constitutes a final appealable judgment, this Court lacks jurisdiction to consider this appeal.

Roane County Court of Appeals 06/02/20
Kevin W. Taylor v. G.UB.MK Constructors
E2019-00461-SC-R3-WC

An employee filed a workers' compensation claim alleging he suffered permanent hearing loss in the course and scope of his employment. The trial court ruled that the employee's hearing loss was compensable and, based on an anatomical impairment rating of 14.1 percent, awarded the employee 56.4 percent vocational disability for loss of hearing in both ears. We affirm the trial court's judgment as to compensability but find that the award of vocational disability was excessive. We modify the award of vocational disability to thirty percent for loss of hearing in both ears.

Roane County Workers Compensation Panel 06/02/20
Potter South East, LLC Et Al. v. Brian Bowling v. Abigail Hudgens, Director Of The Division Of Workers' Compensation, Tennessee Department Of Labor And Workforce Development, Second Injury Fund
E2019-01009-SC-R3-WC

Brian Bowling (“Employee”) was employed as a laborer for Potter South East (“Employer”). During his employment with Employer, he was constantly exposed to loud noise from jackhammers, sledgehammers, power drivers and heavy equipment. Employee initially developed hearing loss in 2010 or 2011. Employer filed a motion for summary judgment raising the one-year statute of limitations. The motion was supported by the evaluating physician’s C-32 report. The trial court granted Employer’s motion and entered an order dismissing Employee’s claim. Employee has appealed from that order. The appeal has been referred to the Special Workers’ Compensation Appeals Panel for a hearing and a report of findings of fact and conclusions of law pursuant to Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 51. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Knox County Court of Appeals 06/02/20
Emerachem Power, LLC, ET AL. v. David Gerregano
E2019-00292-COA-R3-CV

This appeal was filed by the plaintiffs pursuant to the provisions of Tennessee Code Annotated section 67-1-1801 to challenge assessments rendered against them by the Commissioner of Revenue for the State of Tennessee. The dispute involves the plaintiffs’ challenge to Tennessee’s assessments of excise tax for the period 2010 through 2012. After cross motions for summary judgment were filed, the trial court found in favor of the Commissioner. The plaintiffs appeal. We affirm.

Knox County Court of Appeals 06/01/20
James Jaylen Simmons v. State of Tennessee
M2019-00823-CCA-R3-PC

The Petitioner, James Jaylen Simmons, pleaded guilty to second degree murder with an agreed sentence of forty years. The Petitioner timely filed a post-conviction petition, alleging that his attorney was ineffective, rendering his guilty plea unknowing and involuntary. After a hearing, the post-conviction court denied relief. After review, we affirm the post-conviction court’s judgment.

Davidson County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/01/20
Charles Blackstock v. State of Tennessee
E2019-01446-CCA-R3-ECN

The pro se Petitioner, Charles Blackstock, appeals as of right from the Hamilton County Criminal Court’s order summarily denying his petition for a writ of error coram nobis or, alternatively, petition for a writ of habeas corpus. The State has filed a motion to affirm the trial court’s judgment pursuant to Rule 20 of the Rules of the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals. Following our review, we conclude that the State’s motion is well-taken and affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Hamilton County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/01/20
State of Tennessee v. Jonathan Montgomery
M2019-00757-CCA-R3-CD

The Defendant-Appellant, Jonathan Montgomery, was convicted by a Rutherford County jury of initiating a false report in violation of Tennessee Code Annotated section 39-16-502, a Class D felony. As a Range I standard offender, the Defendant received a sentence of three years imprisonment to be served at thirty (30) percent release eligibility. In this appeal as of right, the sole issues presented for our review are (1) whether the evidence is sufficient to sustain the Defendant’s conviction, and (2) whether the trial court abused its discretion in denying the Defendant’s request for an alternative sentence. Following our review, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Rutherford County Court of Criminal Appeals 06/01/20
Cynthia Anne Knop v. Aaron Charles Knop
E2019-01035-COA-R3-CV

This appeal concerns a post-divorce motion to show cause filed by wife against husband for unpaid child support, extracurricular expenses and medical expenses for the children and a failure to divide certain financial accounts of the parties. Additionally, husband sought credit for premiums he had paid post-divorce toward a life insurance policy awarded to wife as part of the division of marital property. Given the nature of the relief being sought, the parties entered into an agreed order referring the matter to a special master. A hearing was held before the special master who subsequently filed his findings and recommendations with the trial court. Husband filed objections in the trial court to the special master’s findings. Following a hearing on husband’s objections, the trial court approved the special master’s findings and recommendations in their entirety and adopted them as the judgment of the court. The husband appeals. We affirm.

Greene County Court of Appeals 05/29/20
Linda Sue Brown (Hassler) v. Ridley David Hassler
E2019-01801-COA-R3-CV

This appeal concerns the responsibilities of the parties, pursuant to the terms of their marital dissolution agreement, following their divorce. Appellant’s ex-wife filed a petition for contempt, contending that Appellant had failed to refinance a debt allegedly owed on a condominium he was awarded in the divorce. Although the trial court did not find Appellant to be in contempt, it did order Appellant to refinance the loan in question and remove his ex-wife’s name from it. We reverse.

Cumberland County Court of Appeals 05/29/20
State of Tennessee v. Daniel T. Ginther
M2019-00112-CCA-R3-CD

The Defendant, Daniel L. Ginther, appeals as of right from the Williamson County Circuit Court’s revocation of his probation and reinstatement of the remainder of his eight-year sentence for passing worthless checks in the amount of $1,000 or more but less than $10,000. On appeal, the Defendant asserts that the trial court abused its discretion by ordering the Defendant to serve the remainder of his sentence in confinement in spite of the Defendant’s “serious medical issues.” Following our review, we affirm.

Williamson County Court of Criminal Appeals 05/29/20
Rodolfo Guerra-Rosales v. State of Tennessee
M2019-01375-CCA-R3-PC

The Petitioner, Rodolfo Guerra-Rosales, pleaded guilty in General Sessions Court to misdemeanor drug possession, and the court imposed a probation sentence of eleven months and twenty-nine days. The Petitioner timely filed a post-conviction petition in circuit court, alleging that his guilty plea in general sessions court was involuntary based upon the ineffective assistance of counsel. The post-conviction court summarily dismissed the petition, concluding that the claim was not cognizable and that the court lacked jurisdiction to hear the petition. On appeal, the Petitioner asserts, and the State concedes, that the post-conviction court had jurisdiction to consider the petition and that his petition stated a colorable claim. After review, we reverse the post-conviction court’s dismissal and remand for an evidentiary hearing on the Petitioner’s claim.

Rutherford County Court of Criminal Appeals 05/29/20
Deaudric Halmon v. Lane College
W2019-01224-COA-R3-CV

This case concerns alleged hazing against a student perpetrated by a college fraternity. When suit was brought by the hazed student against the college, the college sought summary judgment regarding the claims asserted against it. Summary judgment was thereafter granted to the college, and the student appealed to this Court. For the reasons that follow, we reverse in part and affirm in part.

Madison County Court of Appeals 05/29/20