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Editorial Results (free)

1. Brooks’ Residency Hearing Delayed in Chancery Court -

A Shelby County Chancery Court hearing on the residency lawsuit filed by County Commissioner Henri Brooks against the commission was delayed Monday, June 30, before Chancellor Walter Evans.

2. Brooks' Residency Hearing Delayed in Chancery Court -

A Shelby County Chancery Court hearing on the residency lawsuit filed by County Commissioner Henri Brooks against the commission was delayed Monday, June 30, before Chancellor Walter Evans.

3. Armstrong Appointed to Appeals Court -

Shelby County Chancellor Kenny Armstrong has been appointed to the Tennessee Court of Appeals by Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam.

4. Armstrong Appointed to Appeals Court -

Shelby County Chancellor Kenny Armstrong has been appointed to the Tennessee Court of Appeals by Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam.

5. Martavius Jones Weighs Primary Vote Challenge -

As Memphis Democrats gathered for various campaign efforts last weekend, County Commission candidate Martavius Jones received a lot of condolences on his loss in the Democratic primary for commission District 10, and rival candidate Reginald Milton got a lot of congratulations.

6. Moore Added Back To May Primary Ballot -

Shelby County Commission candidate Edith Ann Moore is back on the ballot for the District 6 Democratic primary in May, following a temporary injunction from Chancellor Arnold Goldin.

7. Moore Added Back To May Primary Ballot -

Shelby County Commission candidate Edith Ann Moore is back on the ballot for the District 6 Democratic primary in May, following a temporary injunction from Chancellor Arnold Goldin.

8. Filing Frenzy -

Until Tuesday, no one was running for the District 7 seat on the Shelby County Schools board. No one had pulled a qualifying petition from the Shelby County Election Commission until just two days before the filing deadline for candidates on the August election ballot.

9. Election Commission Hears Ballot Challenges -

Shelby County Election Commissioners could complete the ballot for the May Shelby County primary elections Wednesday, March 5, by deciding on challenges to the residency of three candidates in the Democratic primaries.

10. Fields Begin to Gel for May and August Ballots -

With two weeks to the filing deadline for candidates in the May Shelby County primary elections and two months to the deadline for those in the August state and federal primaries and county nonpartisan elections, the fields have solidified enough that some political players are weighing their prospects for a late entry before the filing deadlines.

11. State Sen. Kyle to Run For Chancery Court -

Tennessee Sen. Jim Kyle announced Thursday, Jan. 16, he will be running for Chancery Court Part II judge in the Aug. 7 Shelby County judicial elections.

12. State Sen. Kyle to Run for Chancery Court -

Tennessee Sen. Jim Kyle announced Thursday, Jan. 16, he will be running for Chancery Court Part II judge in the Aug. 7 Shelby County judicial elections.

13. Dueling Election Databases Make Tracking Difficult -

If ever the political axiom of needing a scorecard to keep up with the players applied to an election cycle, it would be the set of three elections in 2014 across Shelby County.

The middle election of the three – the August ballot of county general elections and state and federal primary elections – is expected to be one of the longest in the county’s political history, if not the longest.

14. FBI Questions Surprise Local Politicos -

As harsh as the criticism has been of the way the Shelby County Election Commission conducted elections in 2012, no one, including those who filed two Chancery Court lawsuits over the results, have said or presented proof it was intentional.

15. FBI Investigating Shelby County Election Commission -

FBI agents have interviewed a Shelby County Election Commission member in what appears to be a probe of the agency that conducts local elections.

Election Commissioner Norma Lester confirmed in a mass e-mail Friday, Dec. 20, that she has been contacted by the FBI “but advised not to disclose any information.”

16. Commission to Have New Faces in 2014 -

When Shelby County Commissioners said farewell to one of their own this week at the commission’s last meeting of 2013, it was the latest in a series of changes that will remake the 13-member body by this time next year.

17. Goldin Appointed to Tennessee Appeals Court -

Shelby County Chancellor Arnold Goldin has been tapped to replace Alan Highers on the Tennessee Court of Appeals at the end of next year when Highers retires.

18. Ruling Could Add to Busy Special Election Calendar -

If the Shelby County Election Commission sets a new election date for the District 4 countywide school board seat sometime this year, it will be the 10th special election in Shelby County in what was supposed to be an off-election year for much of the county.

19. Armstrong Orders New School Board Election -

For a second time, results in the August 2012 elections have been successfully contested in court.

Shelby County Chancellor Kenny Armstrong, in a long-awaited ruling issued Monday, Aug. 19, ordered the Shelby County Election Commission to conduct a new election for countywide school board District 4.

20. Judicial Election Process Muddied -

The Judicial Nominating Commission had a busy last few days before it went into limbo last week.

The commission sent Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam two slates for each of the three appeals court vacancies to come a year and two months from now when three appellate court judges opt not to run for re-election and end their terms.

21. County Commission Weighs School Merger Changes -

Shelby County Commissioners might discuss Monday, March 18, the idea of restructuring the countywide school board for a third time in the last year and a half.

But they are likely to delay action on a resolution that would create a 13-member school board effective Sept. 1 by appointing six new members to go with the seven existing members.

22. Supreme Court Rules Teacher Wrongly Fired -

The Tennessee Supreme Court, in a unanimous opinion, has ruled the old Memphis City Schools board acted improperly in 2007 when it fired a tenured teacher who took extended sick leave without written charges or a termination hearing.

23. State Supreme Court Rules Teacher Improperly Fired -

The Tennessee Supreme Court, in a unanimous opinion, has ruled the old Memphis City Schools board acted improperly in 2007 when it fired a tenured teacher who took extended sick leave without written charges or a termination hearing.

24. ‘Behind the Headlines’ Explores Fixes for County’s Election Woes -

Some early voters in Shelby County are snapping pictures of their completed ballots with their phones to verify their votes. Other voters are delaying their trip to the polls because they anticipate problems in the opening days of the voting period that ends Nov. 1.

25. Dispute Arises Over School Board Race -

The Shelby County Election Commission has identified 837 disputed votes in the Aug. 2 election for the District 4 countywide school board seat.

The information disclosed last week as part of a legal challenge of the results in the district race prompted a delay of a trial in the case before Chancellor Kenny Armstrong until some time after the Nov. 6 elections.

26. County Commission Ends Redistricting Court Fight -

Shelby County Commissioners have dropped their appeal in the Chancery Court lawsuit over redistricting and ended the protracted political dispute.

The commission voted 8-5 Monday, Oct. 8, to drop its appeal of the June ruling by Chancellor Arnold Goldin in favor of a new set of district lines that make the five-district, 13-member commission a body of 13 single-member districts with the 2014 elections.

27. Goldin Overturns Millington Tax Vote -

The results of the Aug. 2 election on a Millington sales tax hike were changed Tuesday, Oct. 9, to show the tax hike for a municipal school district was approved by 12 votes instead of losing by three votes.

28. Goldin Overturns Millington Sales Tax Vote -

The results of the Aug. 2 election on a Millington sales tax hike were changed Tuesday, Oct. 9, to show the tax hike for a municipal school district was approved by 12 votes instead of losing by three votes.

29. Commission Debates Schools Court Moves, Ends Redistricting Case -

Shelby County Commissioners have dropped their appeal in the Chancery Court lawsuit over redistricting and ended the protracted political dispute.

But the commission also voted Monday, Oct. 8, to replenish its contingency fund with $800,000 for the legal fees in the continuing federal lawsuit over municipal school districts.

30. Shelby County Redistricting Process to Formally End -

Shelby County Commissioners will vote Monday, Oct. 8, on putting a formal end to the redistricting process, 10 months after the new district lines were due.

The commission meets at 1:30 p.m. at the Vasco Smith County Administration Building, 160 N. Main St.

31. Impact of Election Woes May Linger -

The confirmation last week of the suspension and probationary period for Shelby County Elections Administrator Richard Holden may not be the end of his difficulties.

32. Holden Suspended by Election Commission -

Shelby County Elections Administrator Richard Holden has been suspended for three days and put on probation for six months following the suspension because of the way the Aug. 2 elections were conducted.

33. Ritz New Commission Chair, Burgess Chair Pro Tempore -

Shelby County Commissioners elected Republican Mike Ritz the new chairman of the body Monday, July 30, for a one-year term that begins Sept. 1. Democrat Melvin Burgess was chosen as chairman pro tempore for the same one-year term.

34. Commission Debates Muni Schools Case Subpoena -

Shelby County Commissioners voted down a resolution Monday, July 30, to stop a subpoena by their attorneys in the municipal schools district federal court case.

The resolution, sponsored by Commissioner Terry Roland would have instructed the attorneys arguing the municipal school districts movement is based on an unconstitutional state law to withdraw their subpoena seeking the identities of readers who commented on stories on The Commercial Appeal website. The newspaper is opposing the request.

35. Republican Voters Outnumbering Dems -

U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen’s campaign sent out an email newsletter Monday, July 23, that summarized the partisan reality of early voting so far in Shelby County.

36. County Commission Puts Redistricting Back on Agenda -

Shelby County Commissioners delayed Monday, July 16, a revival of a commission redistricting plan Chancellor Arnold Goldin has already ordered the county to go ahead with.

37. County Commission Delays Chairman Vote After 21 Ballots -

Shelby County Commissioners put off electing a chairman for the next year’s term Monday, July 16, after 21 rounds of voting in which no one got seven votes.

The contenders for the chairmanship term that starts Sept. 1 were current chairman pro tempore Wyatt Bunker, Henri Brooks, Mike Ritz and the current chairman Sidney Chism.

38. Commission to Discuss Mobile Home Park, Tax Rate -

Shelby County Commissioners have one less item on their agenda for the Monday, June 25, meeting.

The third and final reading on a redistricting ordinance was delayed two weeks ago to Monday’s agenda.

39. Goldin’s Footnote Heard ’Round Shelby County -

For many on the Shelby County Commission, last week’s 10-page ruling by Chancellor Arnold Goldin on the new structure of the commission came down to a 25-word footnote in the ruling.

40. Goldin Rules in County Commission Redistricting -

Two days after the Shelby County Commission delayed a final vote on a redistricing plan, Chancellor Arnold Goldin approved a motion Wednesday, June 13, setting the new redistricting plan and converting the commission to a set of 13 single-member districts.

41. Goldin Rules in County Redistricting Case -

Two days after the Shelby County Commission delayed a final vote on a redistricing plan, Chancellor Arnold Goldin approved a motion Wednesday, June 13, setting the new redistricting plan and converting the commission to a set of 13 single-member districts.

42. Commission Tries Again at Redistricting -

Shelby County Commissioners will see if they have all 13 commissioners present before they see if there are nine votes to pass a redistricting plan.

Third and final reading of a redistricting ordinance is on the commission’s agenda for Monday, June 11. The commission meeting begins at 1:30 p.m. at the Vasco Smith County Administration Building, 160 N. Main St.

43. Commission Could Reconsider Redistricting -

Shelby County Commissioners might take another try at approving a redistricting plan for the commission before Shelby County Chancellor Arnold Goldin decides the court case over the new district boundaries.

44. Commission’s Redistricting Battle Moves to Court Decision -

There will be no fourth try at a redistricting plan by the Shelby County Commission. The issue will be decided by Shelby County Chancellor Arnold Goldin probably sometime in mid-May.

45. Commission Confirms Move of Redistricting Standoff To Court -

There will be no fourth try at a redistricting plan by the Shelby County Commission. The issue will be decided by Chancellor Arnold Goldin probably sometime in mid-May.

46. County Redistricting Battle Continues -

Shelby County Commissioners will meet privately with their attorneys Monday, March 26, to see whether they have any options left in a redistricting scrap that is now firmly in the courts.

The commission meets in formal open session Monday at 1:30 p.m. at the Vasco Smith County Administration Building, 160 N. Main St.

47. Commission’s Redistrict Debate Moves to Chancery -

It is now up to a court to decide on a new set of district lines for the Shelby County Commission.

And Chancellor Arnold Goldin is not being asked to approve a simple tweaking of district boundaries that will essentially keep the commission as it is.

48. Commission Sends Redistricting Vote to Court -

By the Shelby County Charter, the Shelby County Commission voted down a redistricting plan Monday, March 12, when the plan up for third and final reading got seven votes – two short of the nine needed.

49. Woodward Joins Crowded Primary -

A public meeting is about to begin, and within one minute of attendees’ arrival, they are handed campaign literature for rival candidates running in the same local primary.

It’s obviously the thick of political season.

50. Commission Restarts Redistricting Talks -

Shelby County Commission members will start over with their once-a-decade redistricting process Wednesday, Jan. 18, with a committee session and a special meeting of the entire body to pass a plan on the first of three readings.

51. County Commission Could Further Redistricting Talks -

Shelby County Commission members avoided the topic at least in the public, on-the-record discussions during committee sessions last week.

But the full commission meeting Monday, Jan. 9, could feature the commission’s first formal discussion of a redistricting plan since three commissioners filed suit over the matter in Chancery Court Tuesday, Jan. 3.

52. Weatherington Pens New Chapter at Summerall Electric -

Holli Weatherington has joined Summerall Electric Co. Inc. as president and chief executive officer.

53. Judge Denies Lee’s Motion to Dismiss -

Former Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division president and CEO Joseph Lee is still at the center of legal wrangling over a six-figure settlement the city of Memphis paid him last year.

Shelby County Chancellor Arnold Goldin this week blocked an effort by Lee’s attorneys to dismiss a complaint the city filed against Lee to recover the more than $426,000 settlement.

54. No Charges in Aug. 5 Election Ruckus -

Shelby County District Attorney General Bill Gibbons says there will be no criminal charges filed involving problems with the Aug. 5 election results in Shelby County.

55. Shelby County Court Filings See Sharp Dropoff From Q2 -

Court filings in Circuit, Chancery and Probate Courts for the third quarter of 2010 were relatively unchanged from the same quarter of 2009 and down significantly from the second quarter of this year

56. Federal Lawsuit Seeks One Count Of Consolidation Votes -

Eight Shelby County voters have filed suit in Memphis federal court against Tennessee Attorney General Bob Cooper, the Shelby County Election Commission and Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett to throw out the requirement that a consolidation charter must pass in two separate votes on the Nov. 2 ballot.

57. Goldin Dismisses Election Challenge Suit -

Shelby County Election Commission chairman Bill Giannini said he learned some things from the Chancery Court lawsuit challenging the results of the Aug. 5 election.

58. Election Challenge Case Under Way -

Attorneys for 10 losing candidates in the Aug. 5 election and the Shelby County Election Commission are now in court after two months of a very public dispute over the vote count.

Chancellor Arnold Goldin began with opening statements Wednesday in a trial that could run through Thursday and into Monday. Court will not be in session Friday.

59. Goldin Dismisses Aug. 5 Election Challenge -

Chancellor Arnold Goldin has dismissed the legal effort to throw out the results of the Aug. 5 Shelby County elections.

Goldin ruled Thursday at the start of what was to be the second day of testimony in the trial of the civil lawsuit.

60. Election Dispute Heats Up as Court Date is Delayed -

Both sides in the disputed Aug. 5 Shelby County elections will return to Chancery Court Wednesday in a second attempt to begin the civil trial on the matter.

And those contesting the election lost two of their three expert witnesses.

61. Commission Approves Whistleblower Ordinance -

Shelby County Commissioners thought they had a bipartisan compromise last week on a resolution to increase protection for county government whistleblowers.

And the resolution eventually got nine votes Monday from both parties on the 13 member body.

62. Added Protection -

Shelby County Commissioners wade into the continuing controversy over the Aug. 5 election results Monday with a resolution to change the standards for protection of whistle-blowers.

The County Commission meeting at the Vasco Smith County Administration Building, 160 N. Main St., begins at 1:30 p.m. An agenda is on page 10.

63. Challengers Move Closer to Election Hearing -

All sides in the legal dispute over the Aug. 5 election results will meet with Chancellor Arnold Goldin Friday to begin wading through a series of motions and ultimately a hearing on the dispute.

Ten candidates who lost in the Aug. 5 county general elections filed two lawsuits – one before the election results were certified and the other after they were certified. Both are before Goldin and are likely to be combined, a decision that is up to Goldin.

64. Election Challenge Lawsuits Back In Court Friday -

Both sides in the two lawsuits over the Aug. 5 election results are due in Chancery Court Friday for a scheduling conference.

Both cases have been assigned to Chancellor Arnold Goldin after Chancellors Walter Evans and Kenny Armstrong recused themselves.

65. Memphians Share Legal Expertise with Thai Delegation -

Chancellor Arnold Goldin began a talk last week to a group in the courtroom of U.S. District Judge Bernice Donald with a joke.

66. Plush Club Hearing Delayed in Chancery -

A hearing on the future of the Plush Club has been delayed until next Wednesday.

Chancellor Arnold Goldin delayed the hearing Wednesday at the request of attorneys for club owner Kris Perkins and George Miller, the owner of the building at 380 Beale St.

67. One Claim Dismissed For Lee, Others Linger -

A judge has dismissed claims filed this summer by a private citizen against the former president and CEO of Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division and two of his attorneys.

That ruling sets the stage for one more unusual turn of events in what’s been a sometimes bitter court fight over a legal settlement the city of Memphis paid this summer to former MLGW head Joseph Lee.

68. Ruling Allows City To Switch Sides In Lee Suit -

The city of Memphis can switch sides in a lawsuit against the former head of the city-owned utility company in an attempt to recoup money the city paid this summer to that official, a judge decided Tuesday morning.

69. Council to Tease out Snarls Surrounding Lee Case -

The city of Memphis, under Mayor Pro Tem Myron Lowery, has hired a private attorney to recoup settlement money the city paid this summer to the former head of the city-owned utility company.

70. Halbert Files Ethics Complaint Against Deputy City Atty. -

Memphis City Councilwoman Wanda Halbert has filed complaints with the state disciplinary board for lawyers against Deputy City Attorney Veronica Coleman-Davis and a private attorney working for the city.

71. City Gives Second Thought to Lee Settlement -

Shortly before Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton retired in July, the city paid more than $426,000 to settle a lawsuit with the former head of the city-owned utility company.

But the city now wants to recover some or all of the money awarded to Joseph Lee, the former president and CEO of Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division.

72. Councilman Wants to Be Part of Complaint Against Lee -

Memphis City Councilman Bill Boyd has asked a judge for permission to join the bitter court fight over the legal bills of former Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division chief Joseph Lee.

73. Tempers Flare As Goldin Dissolves Order in Lee Case -

Shelby County Chancellor Arnold Goldin has dissolved an order requiring the former president and CEO of Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division and his attorneys not to spend money they got from a legal settlement with the city of Memphis.

74. UPDATE: Tempers Flare As Goldin Dissolves Order In Lee Case -

Shelby County Chancellor Arnold Goldin has dissolved an order that would have required former MLGW president and CEO Joseph Lee and his attorneys not to spend money they got from a legal settlement with the city of Memphis.

75. Lee Fees Caught in Legal Loop -

With the predictability of a boomerang, Joseph Lee’s legal fee situation never seems to go away and keeps coming back to where it started.

At the Memphis City Council meeting Aug. 18, the body is scheduled to approve Memphis Light, Gas and Water Division’s payment of more than $426,000 to the city of Memphis. That amount from the city-owned utility company is to reimburse the city what it recently paid to settle a lawsuit the former MLGW president and CEO filed last year.

76. Why the Struggle to Control Beale Street Continues -

Eight blocks lie between the Shelby County Courthouse and Beale Street.

The courthouse’s seated representations of wisdom, justice, liberty and authority look southward toward the entertainment district. Sometimes, if the wind is blowing in the right direction, you can hear the band in Handy Park from the courthouse steps.

77. Beale Street Case Transferred To Different Judge -

One of three separate Chancery Court cases involving control of the Beale Street Entertainment District has been transferred to the special judge handling the largest and oldest case.

Chancellor Arnold Goldin Thursday ordered the transfer of the case in which Performa Entertainment sued the city of Memphis over the city’s attempt to declare Performa in default of its lease on Handy Park. The city sent notice in December it was canceling the 10-year lease as Performa tried to renew it for another 10 years.

78. Law Week Ends While Memories Remain -

While the Memphis Bar Association’s annual Law Week events end today, they remain in the minds of the city’s legal community.

At 10 a.m., the bar will hold its traditional naturalization ceremony in which more than 340 incoming U.S. citizens will be sworn in at The Cannon Center for the Performing Arts.

79. Beale St. Merchants Take City to Court -

The Beale Street Merchants Association has joined the thickening legal fray over the finances of the entertainment district.

The association filed a lawsuit Wednesday in Chancery Court against the city of Memphis, according to The Daily News Online, www.memphisdailynews.com. It came as the city’s attorney accused the district’s manager, Performa Entertainment, of “hiding behind” a protective order in another lawsuit.

80. Beale St. Merchants Take City to Court -

The Beale Street Merchants Association has joined the thickening legal fray over the finances of the entertainment district.

The association filed a lawsuit Wednesday in Chancery Court against the city of Memphis, according to The Daily News Online, www.memphisdailynews.com. It came as the city’s attorney accused the district’s manager, Performa Entertainment, of “hiding behind” a protective order in another lawsuit.

81. Beale Street Lawsuits Multiply While Sources Stay Quiet -

The tangle of lawsuits surrounding the Beale Street Entertainment District has grown in the past month. The litigation frenzy has also extended to the Lee’s Landing development on the south side of the Beale Street block between Second and Third streets.

82. Hearing Postponed On Memphis Police Hires -

A court hearing on police residency requirements in Memphis has been postponed.

On Tuesday, Shelby County Chancery Court Judge Arnold Goldin allowed more time for lawyers to file written arguments.

83. State Supreme Court To Hear Cases In Memphis -

The Tennessee Supreme Court is coming to Memphis on election day.

The five-member court will be hearing three oral arguments in three cases at the Shelby County Courthouse on Tuesday afternoon.

84. Appeals Court Rules In Favor Of Forest Hill Attorney -

The Tennessee Court of Appeals has let the attorney for Forest Hill Cemeteries and Funeral Home owner Clayton Smart off the hook for asserting his client’s Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

85. Gatewood’s Ballot Fate May Be Decided Today -

What if there was an election and no one was on the ballot?

That is the prospect the Shelby County Election Commission will address at a special meeting this afternoon.

Local election officials disqualified Memphis City Schools board member Stephanie Gatewood from running for re-election on the Nov. 4 ballot because she failed to file a campaign finance report by the Aug. 21 qualifying deadline for school board candidates. Gatewood had no challengers.

86. Memphis School Board Race In Limbo -

It looked like Memphis school board member Stephanie Gatewood was on her way to re-election without opposition on the Nov. 4 ballot.

That was until Wednesday (Aug. 27) – the day before the Shelby County Election Commission certified the local portion of the ballot.

87. Memphis School Board Race In Limbo -

It looked like Memphis school board member Stephanie Gatewood was on her way to re-election without opposition on the Nov. 4 ballot.

That was until Wednesday (Aug. 27) – the day before the Shelby County Election Commission certified the local portion of the ballot.

88. Coin Toss Sparks Complaint Against Judge -

A coin toss was performed during a recent hearing in Shelby County Chancery Court that was intended to solve a logistical dispute in a high-profile case brought late last year by real estate developer Rusty Hyneman.

89. Attorney Faces ClaimsHe Stole $1.3M From Clients -      Memphis attorney J. Richard Rossie faces two claims in Shelby County Chancery Court that he stole $1.3 million from two clients.
     The civil lawsuit filed by Phoebe Copeland last week clai

90. Contracts in Breach -

Editor's Note: In May 2008, a Chancery Court lawsuit over the wrong barcodes on items at AutoZone stores has been settled and dismissed. The claim by Autozone and the counter claim by Mizco were settled in May and the consent order for dismissal was signed by Chancellor Arnold B. Goldin. No terms of the settlement were disclosed.

During the third quarter of this year, AutoZone Parts Inc. filed a breach of contract complaint against New York-based Mizco International and the company's CEO, Albert Mizrahi, and vice president of operations, Sam Mizrahi.

AutoZone is seeking $3 million in compensatory damages and the reimbursement of $115,000 in labor costs, in a case where AutoZone accused Mizco International of intentionally taking actions outside of what was spelled out in an August 2006 vendor agreement.

The suit, which was filed in Shelby County Chancery Court, was just one of the 51 breach of contract complaints filed in the quarter, according to The Daily News Online, www.memphisdailynews.com.


In breach

Though the number of third quarter breach of contract filings in Chancery Court remained relatively unchanged when compared to the same quarter last year, breach of contract filings in Shelby County Circuit Court almost doubled. In Q3 2007, 214 breach of contract suits were filed, up considerably from the 121 filed during the same period last year.

The filings have jumped because more people are having difficulty paying debts such as furniture or credit card bills, said Van Sturdivant, chief administrator of Shelby County Circuit Court.

"When the economy goes south and people have a hard time making ends meet, the companies end up coming in and filing civil suits against them to try and get their money," Sturdivant said.


Disagreement

Mizco International is a supplier of multiple products including cellular phone accessories such as chargers, cases, headsets and other products.

In the suit, AutoZone claimed Mizco violated the terms of their vendor agreement when it shipped mislabeled products to various AutoZone locations. In September, AutoZone officials said they noticed some of the items shipped from Mizco were improperly labeled.

"When scanned by the cashier, the earphones would ring up as if they were an FM radio, and the customer would be charged the FM radio price," AutoZone officials claimed in the suit.

"Mizco had intentionally mislabeled products because it had run out of some of the products that AutoZone ordered. Mizco chose to fill AutoZone's orders with different products labeled as if they were the products that had been ordered," the suit alleges.

Burch, Porter & Johnson PLLC filed the suit on behalf of AutoZone. There haven't been any new developments in the case as of yet, said Burch Porter attorney Jef Feibelman.

"We're just getting started," he said.


Up, down and all around

In other courts, meanwhile, filing activity is across the board.

In Circuit Court, for example, Q3 filings overall fell 7.3 percent to 1,550 from the 1,673 Q2 filings, and fell 8.6 percent from the 1,695 Q3 2006 filings.

The majority of case types filed in the court continues to be divorce, divorce with children, auto accidents and breach of contract. Auto accident cases edged to the forefront of Circuit Court filings, representing 21.2 percent of all cases filed in Circuit Court. Auto accidents numbered 277 in Q3 2006, making up 16.3 percent of filings.

Other types of cases filed in Circuit Court include workman's compensation, personal injury and appeals from Shelby County General Sessions Court.

Some case types, such as divorce and divorce with children cases, can be heard in either Circuit Court or Shelby County Chancery Court.

In Q3 this year, 185 divorce cases - with 105 of those being divorce with children petitions - were filed in Chancery Court. That number is slightly down from 197 filed in the same period last year.

Other filings in Chancery Court include adoptions, which climbed to 84 in Q3, compared with 50 filed during the same period in 2006.

The total number of Q3 filings in Chancery Court was 646, up 8.4 percent from Q3 2006 and Q2 2007, both of which came in at 596 filings.

Despite the fluctuations in certain case types at Circuit Court last quarter, the overall number of cases remained steady, something Sturdivant said is typical with the court.

"Unless there's something going on legislatively, there usually aren't any big changes or noticeable trends in filings," he said. "And, of course, it just depends on who needs to file a case at that time."

Filings in Shelby County Probate Court also remained steady last quarter, with 310 filings compared to 324 filed in the same period in 2006. In Q2, 306 cases were filed in Probate Court. Cases filed in Probate Court include wills, administrations, conservatorships and guardianships.

The number of civil filings in the Memphis office of the U.S. District Court, Western District of Tennessee fell nearly 28 percent to 183 from 254 in Q3 2006 and fell 29 percent from 258 in Q2 2007, according to the court's electronic document filing system. Those numbers include civil cases that were opened or re-opened during the quarter.

...

91. Judge Thwarts Lawyer's Attempt To Block Forest Hill Inquiry -

State investigators and the court-appointed receiver of Forest Hill cemeteries and funeral homes began to meet some resistance this week in their civil cases against those who allegedly embezzled more than $20 million from the cemetery trust funds.

92. N.J. Operator Bids to BuySmart's Cemeteries -      New Jersey-based cemetery operator David J. Shipper has made a bid to buy Forest Hill Cemeteries and Funeral Home owner Clayton Smart's 28 financially troubled cemeteries for $32.1 million.
    &n

93. Forest Hill Owner In Contempt Again -

Forest Hill Cemeteries and Funeral Home owner Clayton Smart has the money to hire attorneys to represent him on criminal charges. But that doesn't mean he's likely to get out of jail anytime soon.

94. Forest Hill Owner in Contempt Over House Sale -

Forest Hill cemeteries owner Clayton Smart has the money to hire attorneys to represent him on criminal charges. But he’s not likely to get out of jail any time soon.

Chancellor Arnold Goldin Wednesday found Smart in contempt of a court order as he approved the use of up to $120,000 from the sale of one of Smart’s homes in Oklahoma. Goldin ruled Smart is in contempt for having his wife, Nancy, sell the house without court approval.

95. Smart Clings to Claim He's Broke, Represents Himself -

Forest Hill cemeteries and funeral homes owner Clayton Smart will act as his own attorney at least for the time being.

Criminal Court Judge W. Otis Higgs made the ruling Wednesday at the end of another hearing in which Smart repeatedly claimed he didn't have any money to hire an attorney.

96. Billboard Developer Thomas To Appear in Court Today -

To say that local billboard magnate William H. Thomas Jr. has a bone to pick with the Memphis and Shelby County Board of Adjustment (BOA) probably is an understatement.

After that eight-member body - which meets periodically to hear appeals related to zoning decisions - declined recently to give Thomas the special permission he needed to build two billboards, the businessman filed suit in Shelby County Circuit Court. And though both Shelby County and the City of Memphis are listed as defendants in the lawsuit, Thomas directed most of his vitriol at the BOA.

97. Forest Hill Owner Has Assets Frozen -      Shelby County Chancellor Arnold Goldin has issued an order prohibiting Forest Hill Funeral Home and Memorial Park East LLC, which operates three funeral homes and cemeteries in Memphis, from transferring any assets.
98. Q2 Court Filings Up Slightly -

Who'd have thought the decision last year to close a 30-year-old Memphis amusement park would spark a grassroots campaign to save it with everything from concerts, press conferences and a host of other public pleas?

99. First Quarter Court Activity a Mixed Bag -

When Margie McMillan took a recent visitor out for a boat ride on the picturesque lake behind her home, her two dogs stood motionless behind her gate and watched.

That's what they always do when they're left behind, she explained. She always laughs when they turn into a prickly pair of angry pups on her return. She doesn't blame them; who wouldn't want to take a ride in her boat, she seems to suggest, drifting soundlessly across a 45-acre lake that's teeming with ducks, geese, mallards, the occasional blue heron and surrounded by rows of trees?

100. Young Lawyers Division Gears Up for 2006 -

The Memphis Bar Association's Young Lawyers Division recently elected a new set of leaders to govern the division's coming year.

Among the newly elected was Kirk Caraway, who assumed the YLD presidency Nov. 17 at the group's annual meeting and elections. Shannon Toon of Hill Boren PC was elected as 2006 vice president.