Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Sledge v. Tennessee Department of Correction

Court of Appeals of Tennessee, Nashville

May 16, 2018

FREDRICK SLEDGE
v.
TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTION, ET AL.

          Assigned on Briefs March 1, 2018

          Appeal from the Chancery Court for Nashville and Davidson County No. 16-1073-I Claudia C. Bonnyman, Chancellor

         Fredrick Sledge ("Petitioner") appeals the June 16, 2017 order of the Chancery Court for Nashville and Davidson County ("the Trial Court") dismissing Petitioner's October 2016 petition for declaratory judgment ("2016 Petition") based upon the prior suit pending doctrine. We find and hold that the prior suit pending doctrine applies as Petitioner had a prior suit pending involving the same parties and the same subject matter in a court that had both personal and subject matter jurisdiction. We, therefore, affirm the Trial Court's June 16, 2017 order dismissing Petitioner's petition.

         Tenn. R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Chancery Court Affirmed Case Remanded

          Fredrick Sledge, Only, Tennessee, pro se appellant.

          William H. Slatery, III, Attorney General and Reporter; Andrée Blumstein, Solicitor General; and Pamela S. Lorch, Senior Counsel for the appellee, Tennessee Department of Correction.

          D. MICHAEL SWINEY, C.J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which W. NEAL MCBRAYER and ARNOLD B. GOLDIN, JJ., joined.

          OPINION

          D. MICHAEL SWINEY, CHIEF JUDGE

         Background

         Plaintiff, a State inmate, filed the 2016 Petition against the Tennessee Department of Correction, Commissioner, Tony Parker and Douglas Stephens, et al. ("the State") challenging the the State's application of sentence credits and the calculation of Plaintiff's sentences. The State filed a motion to dismiss alleging that Plaintiff had a prior suit pending with regard to the same issues, which was filed in 2014 in the Chancery Court in Davidson County ("2014 Petition").

         The Trial Court entered its order on June 16, 2017 dismissing the 2016 Petition after finding and holding, inter alia:

In its Motion to Dismiss and supporting memorandum, the State asserts that the Petitioner raised the same issues of sentence credits and sentence calculation in Fredrick Sledge v. Tennessee Department of Correction, 14-1041-III, which the State further asserts is still currently pending. The State argues that the three prerequisites necessary for dismissing a suit under the doctrine of prior suit pending are present (the two suits involve the same subject, the same parties, and the prior suit is still pending) and therefore the later filed suit now before this Court must be dismissed.
In a series of no less than three responses in opposition, the Petitioner argues that the two suits are over different subject matters. Specifically, the Petitioner states that the prior suit alleged the Department of Correction failed to apply all pretrial credits to which the Petitioner was due, while his second suit now alleges the Department of Correction failed to apply all Program Sentence Reduction Credits (PSRC) to which he is due. The Petitioner forcefully argues that these two issues are "separate and distinct" because they address different types of credits governed by different statutory provisions. The Petitioner also argues that this Court has subject matter jurisdiction to address the second suit because he also raises claims of a violation of his 14th Amendment right to due process.
The Court notes that the two enumerated claims raised in both suits filed by the Petitioner are in fact nearly identical. In both the 2014 and 2016 petitions for Declaratory Judgment, the Petitioner raises two "Legal Questions Presented for Review." His first question raises the issue whether the Department violated the law set forth in State v Burkhart by making him serve 100% of his aggravated robbery sentence before becoming eligible for parole. This same question is stated in nearly identical terms in both suits. The Petitioner's second question raises the issue of sentence calculation and proper application of sentence credits. In his 2014 suit the Petitioner alleges the Department erred in calculating the date his life sentence began and in applying the correct amount of pretrial jail credits. In his 2016 suit the Petitioner alleges the Department erred ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.