Opinions – COA – May 12, 2015

Mark Dwayne Sumrell v. State – habitual’s requirement  that defendant have served a year on prior – Sumrell was charged with felony shoplifting in 2004.  He was indicted as an habitual but the indictment failed to specify the crime in one of the prior so the court allowed the state to amend the indictment to add that the crime was cocaine possession and to change the habitual charge from 99-19-81 to 99-18-93.    Sumrell appealed and then proceeded to file pcr motions.   The Miss.S.Ct. eventually allowed him a hearing to show that he had not served one year on one of the priors.  During the hearing, the state had someone from MDOC’s records department testify that Sumrell served more than a year on his robbery and his cocaine conviction. The circuit court denied relief.  Sumrell appealled and the COA affirms.

Bobby Dillon Lott v. Corinthian, Inc. bad faith workers comp. – Bobby Lott worked for Corinthoan as am upholsterer.  In Jan. of 2010 he injured his eye.  Corinthian later fired him for failing to follow the proper procedures for reporting a work-related injury. Lott filed a workers’ compensation claim  alleging that he was terminated in bad faith and that Corinthian and its insurer  failed to conduct a good-faith investigation into his claim.  Ultimately, Corinthian paid workers’ compensation benefits due from the date of injury until Lott was released back to work. A Workers Co,p. AJ determined that the benefits paid were sufficient and that Lott’s termination was not executed in bad faith, nor was the investigation conducted in bad faith. Lott later filed suit for  wrongful termination, gross negligence, and intentional and willful infliction of emotional distress.  The trial court granted summary judgment for the defendants. The COA affirms.

Monroe Randle v. State revocation of parole – Randle was convicted of murder  and sentenced to life.  In 2010 he  was granted parole.  In July 2012 r he was arrested for simple assault by threat and possession of a firearm.   He ended up not being convicted on the charges so he filed a pcr in the circuit court which denied relief without a hearing.  The COA reverses and remands for a hearing.

This Court has held that “before one released on parole may be returned to custody, the State must show that he has violated the terms and conditions of parole.” Elkins v. State, 116 So. 3d 185, 187 (¶8) (Miss. Ct. App. 2013) (quoting Moore v. Ruth, 556 So. 2d 1059, 2 1061 (Miss. 1990)). A parolee is entitled to “a written statement by the fact[-]finders as to the evidence relied on and reasons for revoking parole.” Id. While we do not require a conviction to substantiate revocation of parole, the “[m]ere arrest of a probationer is not a violation of probation.” Brown v. State, 864 So. 2d 1058, 1060 (¶9) (Miss. Ct. App. 2004) (citing Moore v. State, 587 So. 2d 1193, 1194 (Miss. 1991)).

In this case, the circuit court judge summarily dismissed Randle’s PCR motion without an evidentiary hearing, and there is no record before this Court providing the information the judge relied upon in revoking Randle’s parole. Therefore, we reverse and remand this case for an evidentiary hearing.

Allison Williams v. Statechallenge to guilty plea –  – Williams pleaded guilty to armed robbery in June of 2012.  She got ten years.  Like every person who ever pled guilty, she now claims it was involuntary;  there was no factual basis for the plea; and her attorney was ineffective.   The COA affirms.

Barry Artz v. Shannon Artzcontempt – The Artzs were divorced in 2002.  Barry initially had custody of their son Caleb.  Several years later, Shannon moved to Ohio and asked the court to modify custody.  The court granted her request, gave Barry visitation and  ordered him to pay $181 per month in child support.  After Shannon filed a petition for contempt in 2007,  Barry agreed to pay Shannon $4,000 in back child support and reimburse her for Caleb’s health-insurance premiums and one-half of Caleb’s outstanding medical bills. He also agreed to increase child support   to $308 per month. There were also provisions on how Barry would get visitation, notice and plane fare. In 2012, Shannon filed a contempt action alleging that Barry had failed to pay child support since May 2012 and that he had failed to pay Caleb’s monthly medical insurance premiums, etc. The chancellor found Barry in contempt.  He appeals and the COA affirms.

Donnie McDonald v. Stateparole revocation –   McDonald pleaded guilty to one count of sale of a controlled substance and one count of possession of precursors with intent to manufacture in 2010. He was sentenced to twenty years on each count (to run concurrently). The trial court suspended both sentences and placed McDonald on five years’ supervised probation. . In December 2012, McDonald was arrested and charged with possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute and possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.  He was arrested for probation violations.  After a probation-revocation hearing,  the trial court issued an order revoking McDonald’s probation for  (1) committing a crime; (2) failing to report to his probation officer; (3) failing a drug test; (4) failing to pay court-ordered fees; and (5) faiing to complete a drug-treatment program. Rather than order McDonald to serve twenty years, the trial court ordered McDonald to serve five years in the custody of the MDOC with the remaining fifteen years suspended. The trial court also ordered McDonald to complete the drug-treatment program during his incarceration. . McDonald then filed a motion for post-conviction relief which the trial court denied.  McDonald appeals.  (PCR). The trial court denied his motion. McDonald appeals, arguing that (1) the trial court lacked jurisdiction to suspend his sentence or place him on probation, and (2) he was denied due process during his probation revocation.  The COA affirms.

Gary Marter v. Celeste Marter –  divorce; valuation of property –  The Marters divorced in 2010.  The Miss. Court of APpeals reversed the chancellor’s property division and remanded the case for a valuation of 120 acres of land owned by Gary and Celeste. Marter v. Marter, 95 So. 3d 733 (Miss. Ct. App. 2012). The chancellor had assigned a value of $110,000 to the 120 acres but did not explain  how he had arrived at that value.  On remand, the chancellor assigned the same value ($110,000) but explained the valuation.  Gary again appeals. The COA affirms. “Our courts have repeatedly recognized that the chancellor is entitled to make an independent judgment of a property’s value, especially where the estimates of the parties vary widely.”

2 thoughts on “Opinions – COA – May 12, 2015

  1. notice it is May 12 not April 12

    A.J. Buddy Dees, Jr. | Attorney Ellis, Braddock & Dees, Ltd. | 901 Belmont Street | Vicksburg MS 39180 (OFFICE) 601.636.5433 | (FAX) 601.638.2938

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s