Tag Archives: uphold

TN Supreme Court Upholds City’s Ban on Fireworks in Annexed Area

News release from Administrative Office of the Courts:
Nashville, Tenn. – The Tennessee Supreme Court today upheld previous rulings by the trial court and the Court of Appeals that a city ordinance prohibiting the sale of fireworks inside city limits did apply to businesses incorporated into the city even though the business had been selling fireworks since 2006.
In Nov. 2003, Jefferson City passed an ordinance prohibiting the sale of fireworks within its city limits. Five years later, the city annexed neighboring property which included several businesses. Salvage Unlimited (SNPCO, Inc.) was one of those businesses.
Salvage Unlimited had been selling fireworks since 2006. After annexation, it asked the city for permission to continue selling fireworks despite the ban. Jefferson City denied the request. Salvage Unlimited then sued the city basing its argument on the “Grandfather Statute” (Tenn. Code Ann. ยง 13-7-208 (b)). The statute permits businesses to continue operating after their property is rezoned, even though the particular business being conducted on the property would be prohibited by newly-enacted zoning restrictions.
The Circuit Court for Jefferson County ruled that the city’s ban on the sale of fireworks was not a zoning ordinance and therefore did not fall under the grandfather provision in the zoning laws. The Court of Appeals affirmed this decision.
In a unanimous opinion, the Tennessee Supreme Court agreed with the trial court and the Court of Appeals. The Court ruled that Salvage Unlimited could not rely on the grandfather provision in the zoning laws as justification for continuing to sell fireworks within the city limits of Jefferson City.
To read the SNPCO, Inc. v. City of Jefferson City opinion authored by Justice William C. Koch, Jr., visit http://www.tncourts.gov/sites/default/files/snpcoopn.pdf

Gibbons Upholds Firing of State Trooper

The Tennessee Highway Patrol trooper fired for driving past a fatal wreck lost his first bid to save his job Tuesday, reports Matt Lakin.
Safety Commissioner Bill Gibbons turned down Trooper Charles Van Morgan’s appeal, calling Morgan’s behavior “a poor representation” of the agency.
“We have a responsibility to serve the state of Tennessee with professionalism, honesty and integrity, and we will not tolerate the actions of those who fail to do so,” Gibbons said.
Morgan had worked for nine years for the state Department of Safety and drew an annual salary of $49,344. He lost his job after internal investigators determined he slowed down but didn’t stop when he drove by the Nov. 26 wreck on Andersonville Pike in North Knox County that killed Gordon Kyle Anito, 20.
Morgan had been chasing Anito after clocking him driving nearly 80 mph in a 40 mph zone on Emory Road just before 3:30 a.m. Tests for drugs and alcohol on Anito aren’t complete.
Video from Morgan’s cruiser showed he slowed to nearly 20 mph as he passed Anito’s 2005 Subaru Impreza, which had run off the road and hit a tree head-on. He told dispatchers he’d lost the car, drove another half-mile down the road and sat parked for nearly five minutes before he returned to a car in flames.