TN: Overbroad certified question for appeal, such as “the [in]validity of the search and seizure,” leads to dismissal

In a non-search case, the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals dismisses an appeal for an overbroad “certified question” for appeal, citing from a 2001 search and seizure case where the issue was presented as “the validity of the search and seizure of the” appellant, which is fatally general. State v. Toone, 2017 Tenn. Crim. App. LEXIS 199 (March 16, 2017):

In the present case, the issue reserved is “the validity of the search and seizure of the” Appellant. This overly broad question violates the mandates announced in Preston. The question is not only patently non-specific but also does not clearly identify the reasons relied upon by the Appellant at the suppression hearing. Additionally, review of the question as presently framed would potentially require a complete dissertation of the law of search and seizure of which this court is not willing to engage in absent specific boundaries circumscribed by the Appellant. The holding of Preston created a bright-line rule regarding the prerequisites for a Rule 37(b)(2)(i) appeal from which this court may not depart. See generally Preston, 759 S.W.2d at 650; but see State v. Harris, 919 S.W.2d 619, 621 (Tenn. Crim. App. 1995) (issue need not be framed in standard “law school” format; statement satisfies Preston if appellate court can ascertain from the record the scope of the issue presented).

No. M2000-03162-CCA-R3-CD, 2001 Tenn. Crim. App. LEXIS 869, at *6-*7 (Tenn. Crim. App. Nov. 6, 2001).

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