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State of Tennessee v. Roosevelt Pitts, III

M2022-00581-CCA-R3-CD

In this delayed appeal, the Defendant-Appellant, Roosevelt Pitts, III, challenges his
Rutherford County jury convictions of robbery, three counts of felony reckless
endangerment, misdemeanor leaving the scene of an accident, and felony vandalism, for
which he received an effective sentence of eighteen years in prison. The Defendant argues
that the trial court erred in rejecting his challenge to two peremptory challenges based on
Batson v. Kentucky, 476 U.S. 79 (1986), and that the State engaged in prosecutorial
misconduct during closing arguments. Upon our review, we affirm.

Authoring Judge: Camille R. McMullen
Originating Judge:James A. Turner
Rutherford County Court of Criminal Appeals 01/05/23
Benjamin McCurry v. Agness McCurry

E2022-01767-COA-R3-CV

Because the order appealed from does not constitute a final appealable judgment, this Court lacks jurisdiction to consider this appeal.

Authoring Judge: Per Curiam
Originating Judge:Thomas J. Wright
Washington County Court of Appeals 01/05/23
State of Tennessee v. Darius Mack

W2022-00224-CCA-R3-CD

A Shelby County jury convicted the defendant, Darius Mack, of first-degree premeditated murder and tampering with evidence for which he received an effective sentence of life plus three years in prison. On appeal, the defendant argues the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress. He also contends the evidence presented at trial was insufficient to support his convictions. After reviewing the record and considering the applicable law, we affirm the judgments of the trial court.

Authoring Judge: Judge J. Ross Dyer
Originating Judge:Judge John W. Campbell, Sr.
Shelby County Court of Appeals 01/04/23
Metropolitan Government of Nashville & Davidson County v. Paramjeet Singh

M2022-00134-COA-R3-CV

As a result of a traffic accident, a Metropolitan police officer issued a driver a Metropolitan traffic citation. The general sessions court found that the driver violated a traffic ordinance, and on appeal, the circuit court also found that the driver violated the ordinance. The driver challenges the jurisdiction of the courts, the legality of reporting the violation to the Tennessee Department of Safety and the severity of the penalty he may receive from California. We affirm.

Authoring Judge: Judge Andy D. Bennett
Originating Judge:Judge Kelvin D. Jones
Davidson County Court of Appeals 12/29/22
Michael White v. Martin Frink, Warden

M2022-00429-CCA-R3-HC
In 2005, Petitioner, Michael White, was convicted of multiple counts of rape. He was
sentenced to an effective sentence of 55 years. After several failed attempts, Petitioner
again sought habeas corpus relief, which the habeas court denied. He appeals. Because
Petitioner failed to follow the statutory procedure for filing a petition for habeas corpus
relief, we affirm the summary dismissal of the petition.
Authoring Judge: Judge Timothy L. Easter
Originating Judge:Judge Michael Wayne Collins
Trousdale County Court of Criminal Appeals 12/29/22
In Re Yancy N.

M2021-00574-COA-R3-PT
A father appeals the termination of his parental rights to one of his children. The juvenile
court concluded that there was clear and convincing evidence of seven statutory grounds
for termination. The court also concluded that there was clear and convincing evidence
that termination was in the child’s best interest. After a thorough review, we agree and
affirm.
Authoring Judge: Judge W. Neal McBrayer
Originating Judge:Judge John P. Damron
Coffee County Court of Appeals 12/29/22
Carole J. Boyd Et. Al. v. Town of Morrison

M2021-01542-COA-R3-CV

The issues in this appeal arise from protracted litigation in three courts involving several property owners (“Plaintiffs”) who contend the Town of Morrison, Tennessee, (“the Town”) is estopped, for various reasons, from collecting property taxes on their properties. Although the dispute initially involved a challenge to whether the Town lawfully annexed Plaintiffs’ properties, it is no longer disputed that the Town annexed the properties with the passage of Ordinances 01-01 and 01-02 on second and final reading on November 5, 2001. The genesis of the dispute occurred in 2017 when Plaintiffs were cited to the Municipal Court for violating the Town’s zoning ordinances. During the hearing, the Town was required to establish that Plaintiffs’ properties had been annexed. To prove it had annexed the properties, the Town erroneously relied upon Ordinance 01-03, instead of Ordinances 01-01 and 01-02. The Municipal Court found that the Town had not lawfully enacted Ordinance 01-03 to annex Plaintiffs’ properties; therefore, the court dismissed the citations. The Town did not appeal that decision. Two years later, the Town filed a petition for declaratory judgment in the Chancery Court, arguing that it had properly annexed the subject properties. The Chancery Court dismissed the petition concluding that the Town was collaterally estopped from relitigating the issue because “the relevant issue was litigated and determined by the Municipal Court . . . , [which] was a court of competent jurisdiction, and therefore, this Chancery Court will not disturb that Court’s findings.” The Town appealed the Chancery Court decision; however, it voluntarily dismissed the appeal. Nevertheless, the Town continued to send delinquent tax notices to Plaintiffs. As a consequence, Plaintiffs commenced this action seeking a declaration that their properties had not been properly annexed by the Town. In its Answer, the Town asserted, for the first time, that it had annexed Plaintiffs’ properties in 2001 pursuant to Ordinances 01-01 and 01-02. Although Plaintiffs argued that the Town was collaterally estopped from relying on these ordnances, the chancellor ruled otherwise. Specifically, the chancellor held that Ordinances 01-01 and 01-02 were not at issue in the Municipal Court proceedings and because the issues raised in that proceeding were not identical to those raised in the prior court proceedings, collateral estoppel did not apply. Further, the chancellor ruled that the Town had lawfully annexed the properties in November 2001 pursuant to Ordinances 01-01 and 01-02. However, the chancellor also ruled that the Town was equitably estopped from collecting delinquent taxes owed prior to 2022. This appeal followed. We have determined that the Municipal Court lacked subject matter jurisdiction to determine whether the Town had lawfully annexed Plaintiffs’ properties; therefore, the judgment of the Municipal Court is a null and void judgment that may not constitute a basis for collateral estoppel. For this and other reasons, we affirm the chancellor’s decision to deny Plaintiffs’ Petition for Injunctive Relief. However, we reverse the chancellor’s ruling that the Town is equitably estopped from collecting delinquent property taxes from Plaintiffs.

Authoring Judge: Presiding Judge Frank G. Clement, Jr.
Originating Judge:Senior Judge Don R. Ash
Warren County Court of Appeals 12/29/22
Mantis Funding LLC v. Buy Wholesale Inc. Et Al.

M2022-00204-COA-R3-CV

Plaintiff filed a petition to have a New York confession of judgment enrolled as a judgment in Tennessee. Defendant claimed the Tennessee circuit court had no jurisdiction because the confession of judgment was not permitted by Tennessee law, violated Tennessee public policy, and was fraudulent and usurious. The trial court enrolled the judgment. Defendant appealed. We affirm.

Authoring Judge: Judge Andy D. Bennett
Originating Judge:Judge Thomas W. Brothers
Davidson County Court of Appeals 12/29/22
Benjamin McCurry v. Agness McCurry

E2022-01708-COA-T10B-CV

The Appellant takes issue with the trial judge’s refusal to recuse himself from the litigation assigned to him pursuant to designation by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Tennessee. Discerning no error, we affirm.

Authoring Judge: Judge Arnold B. Goldin
Originating Judge:Judge Thomas J. Wright
Washington County Court of Appeals 12/28/22
In Re Lorelai E.

M2022-00173-COA-R3-PT
The Tennessee Department of Children’s Services sought to intervene in a private-party
termination of parental rights and adoption proceeding concerning a minor child. The trial
court permitted the intervention. The child’s mother appealed. Because the trial court
acted within its discretion in granting the Department of Children’s Services permissive
intervention pursuant to Tennessee Rule of Civil Procedure 24.02, we affirm.
Authoring Judge: Judge John W. McClarty
Originating Judge:Judge Michael Wayne Collins
Wilson County Court of Appeals 12/28/22
Timothy Charles Cooke v. Rita Moses Cooke

E2022-00049-COA-R3-CV

This appeal involves an amended final decree of divorce entered by the Circuit Court of Hamilton County (“trial court”) on December 20, 2021. Following a bench trial, the trial court granted the parties a divorce pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated § 36-4-129(b), divided the parties’ marital assets and liabilities, and awarded transitional alimony to the wife in the amount of $1,200.00 per month for two months. Both parties subsequently filed motions to alter or amend the court’s ruling. The trial court entered an amended final decree, incorporating by reference a memorandum opinion wherein the court altered the percentages awarded to each party of certain items of marital property in its marital property distribution. The wife timely appealed. Following review, we affirm the trial court’s determinations concerning valuation and classification of the parties’ assets. We vacate, however, the portion of the trial court’s amended decree wherein the court altered the percentages awarded to each party, and we remand this issue to the trial court for further findings, explanation, and determination. By reason of this unresolved issue concerning the trial court’s marital property distribution, we likewise vacate and remand the trial court’s determinations regarding alimony and attorney’s fees for reconsideration following the court’s equitable division of marital property. The trial court’s amended final decree is affirmed in all other respects. The parties’ respective requests for attorney’s fees on appeal are denied.

Authoring Judge: Judge Thomas R. Frierson, II
Originating Judge:Judge L. Marie Williams
Court of Appeals 12/27/22
State of Tennessee v. Jeffrey Cochran

E2022-00600-CCA-R3-CD

The Defendant, Jeffrey Cochran, was convicted by a McMinn County Criminal Court jury of aggravated kidnapping, for which he is serving a nine-year sentence. See T.C.A. § 39- 13-304(a)(5) (2018). On appeal, he contends that (1) the trial court erred in denying, in part, his motion to suppress, (2) the trial court erred in denying his motion for a continuance, (3) the evidence is insufficient to support his conviction, and (4) his sentence is excessive. We affirm the judgment of the trial court.

Authoring Judge: Judge Robert H. Montgomery, Jr.
Originating Judge:Judge Andrew Mark Freiberg
McMinn County Court of Criminal Appeals 12/27/22
State of Tennessee v. Mustafah Brummell

M2022-00383-CCA-R3-CD
A Davidson County jury convicted the Defendant-Appellant, Mustafah Brummell, of two
counts of aggravated robbery, for which he received an effective sentence of twenty-eight
years’ imprisonment. On appeal, the sole issue presented for our review is whether the
evidence is sufficient to support his convictions. We affirm.
Authoring Judge: Judge Camille R. McMullen
Originating Judge:Judge Angelita Blackshear Dalton
Davidson County Court of Criminal Appeals 12/27/22
Rodger E. Broadway v. State of Tennessee

E2022-00489-CCA-R3-PC

Rodger E. Broadway, Petitioner, sought relief from his 2003 convictions for first degree felony murder, especially aggravated robbery, and aggravated rape, which were the result of guilty pleas, claiming that trial counsel told him he could not file for post-conviction relief and that the trial court deprived him of his fundamental right to represent himself. The post-conviction court found that the petition was not timely filed and that Petitioner was not entitled to due process tolling and summarily dismissed the petition. After a thorough review of the record, we affirm.

Authoring Judge: Judge Robert L. Holloway, Jr.
Originating Judge:Judge Steven Wayne Sword
Knox County Court of Criminal Appeals 12/27/22
William E. Blake, Jr. v. State of Tennessee

E2022-00125-CCA-R3-PC

William E. Blake, Jr., Petitioner, claims that he is entitled to post-conviction relief because he received ineffective assistance of counsel and because the jurors in his trial were not impartial and were influenced by their fear of the victim’s family. Following a hearing on the merits, the trial court dismissed the Petition. Discerning no error, we affirm.

Authoring Judge: Judge Robert L. Holloway, Jr.
Originating Judge:Judge Bob R. McGee
Knox County Court of Criminal Appeals 12/27/22
State of Tennessee v. Timothy Curtis Greenman

M2021-01061-CCA-R3-CD
A Lincoln County jury convicted the Defendant, Timothy Curtis Greenman, of three counts
of sexual exploitation of a minor more than 100 images and one count of sexual
exploitation of a minor more than fifty images, and the trial court sentenced him to a total
effective sentence of thirty years of incarceration. On appeal, the Defendant contends that:
(1) the trial court erred when it denied his motion to suppress; (2) the evidence is
insufficient to sustain his convictions; (3) the trial court erred when it denied his motion
for new trial; and (4) the trial court erred when it sentenced him. After review, we affirm
the trial court’s judgments.
Authoring Judge: Judge Robert W. Wedemeyer
Originating Judge:Judge Forest A. Durard, Jr.
Lincoln County Court of Criminal Appeals 12/27/22
Muhammad Javed v. Bano Nasim Baig

M2022-00331-COA-R3-CV

This is an appeal from a final order of absolute divorce. The trial court granted the divorce based on a finding that both parties committed inappropriate marital conduct. The wife appeals. We dismiss the appeal.

Authoring Judge: Judge Carma Dennis McGee
Originating Judge:Judge Phillip R. Robinson
Davidson County Court of Appeals 12/22/22
In Re Stephen H. et al.

M2022-00674-COA-R3-PT

In this case involving termination of the father’s parental rights to his children, the trial court found that several statutory grounds for termination had been proven by clear and convincing evidence. The trial court further found that clear and convincing evidence demonstrated that termination of the father’s parental rights was in the children’s best interest. The father has appealed. Having determined that clear and convincing evidence did not support the trial court’s finding of the statutory abandonment ground of failure to support, we reverse the trial court’s judgment with respect to this ground. We affirm the trial court’s judgment in all other respects, including the termination of the father’s parental rights.

Authoring Judge: Judge Thomas R. Frierson, II
Originating Judge:Judge Ken Witcher
Macon County Court of Appeals 12/22/22
Carrie Elizabeth Bean v. Jordon Estes Bean

M202-00394-COA-R3-CV

Mother appeals the trial court's decision to award equal parenting time after making no findings regarding her allegations of abuse by Father. Because the trial court stated that there was no evidence of abuse in the record despite the plethora of relevant testimony by both parties, we are unable to ascertain the trial court's reasoning.  We therefore vacate the trial court's judgment and remand for further findings.

Authoring Judge: Presiding Judge J. Steven Stafford
Originating Judge:Judge Joe Thompson
Sumner County Court of Appeals 12/21/22
Benjamin McCurry v. Agness McCurry

E2022-01278-COA-R3-CV

Because the order appealed from does not constitute a final appealable judgment, this Court lacks jurisdiction to consider this appeal.

Authoring Judge: Per Curiam
Originating Judge:Senior Judge Thomas J. Wright
Washington County Court of Appeals 12/21/22
State of Tennessee, Ex Rel. Herbert Slatery III v. The Witherspoon Law Group PLLC, Et Al.

E2021-01343-COA-R3-CV

This appeal involves an action brought by the State of Tennessee for alleged violations of Tennessee’s statutes regarding the unauthorized practice of law and the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act. The State of Tennessee claimed that the defendants improperly solicited clients who were in the process of making funeral arrangements for their recently deceased children. Following a trial, a jury returned a verdict unanimously finding in favor of the State of Tennessee and assessing civil penalties against the defendants. Accordingly, the trial court entered judgment against the defendants. The defendants appeal. We affirm and remand for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

Authoring Judge: Judge Carma Dennis McGee
Originating Judge:Chancellor Pamela A. Fleenor
Hamilton County Court of Appeals 12/21/22
Kyndra N. Abernathy v. Icker Derek Barile

E2022-00081-COA-R3-CV

Kyndra Abernathy (“Petitioner”) petitioned the trial court for an order of protection against Icker Derek Barile (“Respondent”), alleging that he sexually assaulted her. After a hearing at which each party proceeded pro se, the trial court issued a one-year protective order, finding that Respondent engaged in sexual penetration without Petitioner’s consent and continued after she told him to stop. Respondent appeals, arguing that the trial court erred by considering irrelevant and inadmissible evidence and that its decision was against the weight of the evidence. We affirm.

Authoring Judge: Judge Kristi M. Davis
Originating Judge:Judge Gregory S. McMillan
Knox County Court of Appeals 12/21/22
Mark Seybold, et al. v. Sheldon J. Metz, et al.

M2022-00290-COA-R3-CV
This case involves a petition for contempt filed against the defendant arising out of a
dispute over an easement. The plaintiff maintained that the defendant violated the court’s
prior order implementing a permanent injunction with regard to the easement. The trial
court dismissed the petition finding that the plaintiff had not proven the requisite elements
of contempt. We affirm.
Authoring Judge: Judge Arnold B. Goldin
Originating Judge:Judge J. Mark Rogers
Cannon County Court of Appeals 12/21/22
State of Tennessee v. Priscilla A. Barnett

W2021-00951-CCA-R3-CD

A Madison County jury convicted the Defendant, Priscilla Ann Barnett, of one count of first degree premediated murder, one count of felony murder during the perpetration of aggravated child abuse, and two counts of aggravated child abuse. The trial court merged the murder convictions and imposed an effective sentence of life imprisonment. On appeal, the Defendant contends that (1) the evidence is insufficient to support her convictions; (2) the trial court erred in denying her request for funds to retain a mental health expert; and (3) the trial court erroneously imposed consecutive sentences. After review, we affirm the trial court’s judgments.

Authoring Judge: Judge Robert W. Wedemeyer
Originating Judge:Judge Donald H. Allen
Madison County Court of Criminal Appeals 12/20/22
Lexington Charter L.P. ET AL v. FBT of Tennessee INC.

W2021-01138-COA-R3-CV

After counsel for the plaintiff partnership filed a claim for attorney fees in the counsel’s firm’s own name, limited partners of the partnership sought a right of intervention to oppose the firm’s claim. The trial court denied the limited partners’ efforts to intervene. We reverse the trial court’s conclusion that intervention was not appropriate, vacate the award giving relief to the firm, and remand the case for further proceedings with the limited partners’ participation as intervening parties.

Authoring Judge: Judge Arnold B. Goldin
Originating Judge:Chancellor JoeDae L. Jenkins
Shelby County Court of Appeals 12/20/22