42 TAM 5, January 30, 2017

A look at criminal cases on agenda of state's highest court

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear or has heard argument in cases involving whether a trial court must determine if a defendant was engaged in unlawful activity before charging the jury on self-defense; whether the term “property” as used in the theft statute includes real property; the effect, if any, of the “unlicensed physical intrusion” definition of a search; and whether the requirement for certain findings when a defendant is classified as a “dangerous offender” survives the court’s adoption of the abuse of discretion standard for all sentencing decisions.

Highlights

Court of Appeals

• Court of Appeals rules that in civil case, TRE 609 gives trial court discretion to conduct balancing test when determining admissibility of evidence of witness’s prior convictions for impeachment purposes. For the full text, click here.

•Court of Appeals, in suit alleging son was injured at defendant’s trampoline park, rules forum selection clause designating California as proper forum and choice of law provision stipulating California as applicable law governing contract were not enforceable when Tennessee law differs from California law as to whether waivers of liability signed by parents may be enforced as to children. For the full text, click here.

• Court of Appeals rules requirement for commercially reasonable disposition applies only once secured party has possession, either actual or constructive, of collateral. For the full text, click here.

• Court of Appeals holds taxpayer’s sales were properly classified as “retail sales” or “wholesale sales” under Business Tax Act when taxpayer’s customers consist of licensed alarm contractors who purchase and install equipment into homes and businesses as part of burglar alarm systems, fire alarm systems, closed-circuit television systems, and access control systems. For the full text, click here.

• Court of Appeals rules trial court erroneously paced burden on father to prove that his relocation with children served reasonable purpose, rather than placing burden on mother to show that relocation did not serve reasonable purpose. For the full text, click here.

Court of Criminal Appeals

•Court of Criminal Appeals rules trial judge did not err by failing to exclude defendant’s statements to law enforcement officials when statements were made during initial investigatory process, well before charges were filed. For the full text, click here.