May 22 2008

The Maryville Daily Times files this report on moves by Judge Meares to clarify local court rules regarding distribution of civil cases.

Blount Co. Republicans are characterizing it as election year politics. So apparently judges aren't supposed to do anything to clarify local court rules (which they set) or improve efficiency when there's an upcoming election. Maybe they should stop hearing cases, too, just to be on the safe side.

But seriously, this sounds like a lot of judicial inside baseball to me. At least the Daily Times ran a mostly factual report explaining what it's all about, if anyone cares. You can look elsewhere for the sensationalized tabloid version.


update- with transcript

Interesting quote

In today's Daily Times article about the Rules Change Controversy (link...), former Circuit Court Judge Kelly Thomas says:

When contacted on Wednesday, Thomas said that the last revisions to the rules were being worked on prior to his departure.

"We were very close to having the changes that were going to be made to the criminal rules," Thomas said Wednesday. "Then, my name went to the governor for the Court of Criminal Appeals. I just didn't think it would be proper to amend the rules until I found out if I was going to still be the judge in the Fifth District. I thought that whoever the judge was going to be, that should be the judge that ought to be involved in amending the local rules."

But according to the transcript, Judge Meares was looking for information related to a change that occurred on April 30th, 2007. This was a period of time in the interim between Kelly Thomas' departure and Meares' appointment. So whatever the change in rules, someone put it into place without input of a Division 2 Circuit Judge, in spite of Thomas' intentions for his replacement to have input.

My question is, is there a public comment period on these local changes? It seems to be called for in TN Supreme Court Rule 18, and the consequences are that changes made without being published 30 days ahead of time and input considered are invalid.

I guess it depends on what the rule is/was as to whether or not that would be a good thing!

"Men are equal; it is not birth but virtue that makes the difference." --Voltaire

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