Latest cert. grants

Drummer v. State – Ct of Appeal op– Drummer was found guilty of two counts of grand larceny and one count of attempted grand larceny. Law enforcement attempted to stop Drummer when he ran a four-way stop. A chase ensued. When Drummer was caught, it was determined that the van, trailer and John Deere lawnmower he had been hauling were stolen from a Columbus business. It turned out that the place where the van had been stolen from had a truck that sustained damage from someone trying to steal it.

At trial, the prosecution produced for the first time photos of the damage done to the truck as well as to a gate on the property where the van had been stolen from and the truck tampered with. Drummer’s attorney was given a chance to look at the photos. He moved to exclude them but did not ask for a continuance or mistrial. On appeal, Drummer argues that the jury should not have been given a flight instruction, the discovery violation,sufficiency of the evidence, and his conviction as a habitual offender. This last has to do with Drummer arguing that while he was convicted of separate offenses, the felony flight conviction he acquired in fleeing from law enforcement in this case was so intertwined with the convictions in this case, that the court should not have considered it as a separate predicate offense for the purpose of finding him an habitual. The Court of Appeals finds no issues of merit.

Drummer’s cert. pet.

Milton Harper  v. Banks, Finley and White   COA op. –    Harper was a partner and president of Banks, Finley, White & Co. accountants.  In 1995 he was diagnosed with high blood pressure.  Afterwards, Harper intermittently took his blood pressure medication and, in 2000, he suffered a stroke. When he returned to work, he worked fewer weekends. In 2001, his wife found him in the bed non responsive,  He was taken to the hospital where he died from another stroke.  Harper’s family filed two petitions to controvert – one for each stroke.  The AJ found the strokes to be related and combined the cases. The AJ found the strokes to be work related. The Commission found that the strokes were based on a preexisting condition and apportioned the benefits by 65%. On appeal, the Circuit Court agreed with the Commission but found thatHarper’s decision (as president of the company) not to obtain workers compensation insurance disqualified him from receiving benefits. On appeal, the Court of Appeals held that MCA Sect. 71-3-79 was not ambiguous in that itstated that an executive officer can elect to exclude himself if he does so in writing.  Here there was no writing. Thus, the Commission’s finding that Harper did not opt out was supported by substantial evidence.   There was also substantial evidence to support the commission’s decision that Harper suffered a compensable injury. The Court of Appeals reverses and reinstates the Commission’s judgment.

Banks, Finley and White’s  cert. pet. 

Cheri Porter v. Max Mullins – Porter’s house was demolished when it was struck by Grand Casino’s moorings during Hurricane Katrina. Apparently the trial court found for the defendants and the Miss. Ct. of Appeals affirmed (although I can’t find the decision).

Cheri’s cert. pet.

John Doe o/b/o Jane Doe, a Minor v. Rankin County School District – this case was granted cert but does not show up on the docket where it was given number  2012-1163.  The opinion is not on the hand down list (Dec. 10, 2013)  but is reported at 2013 Miss.App. LEXIS 850.

Jane was  a ninth-grade student at Richland High School when she  left the  premises at approximately 1:30 p.m. and visited a nearby McDonald’s restaurant. During her visit, Jane met Tyler Trigg, another RHS student, for the first time, and talked with him briefly. After leaving McDonald’s, Jane, along with Trigg and three other students, returned to the RHS campus at approximately 3:11 p.m. Upon reaching campus, Trigg forced Jane onto an empty parked school bus and forced her to perform oral sex. Following the assault, Jane went to the restroom until school was dismissed at 3:14 p.m., and then   boarded her assigned bus. Her parents sued.  The Circuit Court granted summary judgment for the defendants based on discretionary immunity.  The Court of Appeals found that the defendants waived that defense because while it was asserted in the answer, it was not raised via motion until after 13 months of discovery. The court therefore reversed  and remanded.

Because this case is not on the docket, I can’t give you a link to the cert. petition.

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