Unless otherwise indicated, all indented material is copied directly from the court’s opinion.
Decisions of the Tennessee Supreme Court
State of Tennessee v. Allison, 588 S.W.3d 633, 639 (Tenn. 2021).
This issue, sufficiency of the State’s notice of its intent to seek enhanced punishment, is a question of law that we review de novo with no presumption of correctness. State v. Livingston, 197 S.W.3d 710, 712 (Tenn. 2006).
Decisions of the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals
State of Tennessee v. Tidwell, No. E2021-00711-CCA-R3-CD, p. 9 (Tenn. Ct. Crim. App. July 5, 2022).
When a detail of the required information in a notice is omitted or incorrect, “the inquiry should be whether the notice was materially misleading.” Adams, 788 S.W.2d at 559. Moreover, when the State has “substantially complied” with the notice requirement, the defendant has a duty “to inquire about any ambiguities in the notice and to show that any problem with the notice prejudiced the defendant.” State v. Williams, 558 S.W.3d 633, 640 (Tenn. 2018) (citing State v. Patterson, 538 S.W.3d 431, 438 (Tenn. 2017)); see also Adams, 788 S.W.2d at 559. However, “[i]f a notice document is so defective as to amount to no notice at all, then the State has not met its burden, and the defendant does not have to show prejudice.” Williams, 558 S.W.3d at 640 (citing Adams, 788 S.W.2d at 559). The sufficiency of the State’s notice of enhanced punishment is a question of law subject to de novo review. Id. at 639.
When a superseding indictment charges a defendant with the “same crime,” the State is not required to file a new notice of enhanced punishment. Livingston, 197 S.W.3d at 714; State v. Carter, 121 S.W.3d 579, 584-86 (Tenn. 2003); Chase, 873 S.W.2d at 9. As explained by our supreme court, “where both indictments charge the same crime, the defendant has no reason to believe enhanced sentencing would not apply to a conviction under either indictment.” Carter, 121 S.W.3d at 586. Whether a notice of enhanced punishment is effective following the issuance of a superseding indictment is a question of law subject to de novo review. Livingston, 197 S.W.3d at 712; Carter, 121 S.W.3d at 584.