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In case you were wondering what all this "Judge Meares stuff" was about, here is the official finding of fact with regard to statements made to the local media about Blount County court rules and the statistical reporting of case dispositions.

It's some very interesting reading, in terms of all the misinformation being tossed around from another judge, the court clerk, and local lawyers, and I don't have time to summarize it for you right now. Better to read the whole thing and judge for yourself.

You probably won't read about it in the papers, unless the Knoxville paper decides to distort it for the benefit of the local political bosses.

If you're just looking for the bottom line, here it is...


IN RE: The Local Rules


IN RE: Statistical Reporting To the Administrative Office of the Courts



Based upon all the testimony and exhibits received in open Court, the findings of fact, analysis of the law, the Court ORDERS AND ADJUDGES as follows:

1. The Circuit Court Clerk shall continue to improve the system for the statistical reporting of criminal case dispositions and shall report on or before July 18, 2008 as to the measures taken to correct the problems with the Bridge Computer System.

2. The Circuit Court Clerk shall report to the Judge of Division II the exact number of criminal case filings in Circuit Court from July 1, 2007 to present, and further report for each case not concluded, the date the defendant is next scheduled to appear in Court or the date when process was issued to secure the presence of the defendant or that the defendant has neither a pending court date nor pending process.

3. The introductory unnumbered paragraph of the Local Rules as adopted April 30, 2007 which reads:

PURSUANT TO THE RECOMMENDATION of the Local Rules Committee of the Blount County Bar Association and with the consent of the Circuit Judges and the Chancellor, the following Local Rules are hereby adopted by the Circuit Courts and the Chancery Court for Blount County, Tennessee. [S]ame having been published for public comment by the Administrative Office of the Courts, pursuant to the direction of the Supreme Court of the State of Tennessee, to wit:

is inaccurate and was never published pursuant to Rule 18, Supreme Court Rules, and is void and of no effect.

4. Numbered paragraph 2 of the Local Rules as adopted April 30, 2007, the local Presiding Judge rule which reads:

2. Presiding Judge-Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph 1., above, the Presiding Judge of the Fifth Judicial District shall have the duties and responsibilities imposed upon such judge as provided by the statutes and shall oversee the administration and be the final arbiter of the case load for the Fifth Judicial District, to include the designation of the judges to hear civil and criminal cases.

is void and of no effect to expand the statutory authority of the Presiding Judge.

5. The prior reassignment of civil cases by Memorandum from Division I to Division II is affirmed by Division II as a transfer to promote the orderly and efficient administration of justice within the District except this Court has already declined assignment of cases by separate Order wherein either a conflict exists or has been alleged to exist.

6. The Circuit Court Clerk shall notify the Division II Judge in writing upon any further reassignment of cases either from or to Division I of the 5th Judicial District.

7. The Circuit Court Clerk shall record this Order in its minutes and shall make it available for copying when requested and a copy shall be sent to the Administrative Office of the Courts.


Adopted when?

Highlights are mine.

43. The June 6, 2008 Memorandum from Judge Young states that the Local Rules were published on January 9, 2007 by email to many attorneys in the local Bar association and further definitively states:
During the thirty (30) day period following the AOC’s publication of these rules for public comment, which began in early January, 2007,
no comments were received and no suggestions were made relative to the proposed Local Rules.
(See Ex. 7)


“Amanda Nolan” anolan@blounttn.org 4/30/2007 2:07 PM >>>
Judge Young asked me to be in touch with you regarding our Local Rules, which I have attached. He was of the understanding that the AOC would be posting the rules for comment before we made them final. Is this correct and if so, when will this happen?
Thank you for your assistance.
Amanda Nolan
Assistant to Judge W. Dale Young

From: Libby Sykes [lsykes@tscmail.state.tn.us]
Sent: Monday, April 30, 2007 3:31 PM
To: Amanda Nolan
Subject: Re: FW: Emailing: RULES.wpd
Yes. We can post them immediately. How long and where do they send comments?

If those rule changes had to go out for public comment before they were adopted then those rules could not have been adopted before May 30, 2007. That would be a big if they were posted on the AOC website.

Will we ever learn if those rules really were published on the AOC website? Ever use the wayback machine (link...) ?

And then the DT is forced to cover this issue...


Better late to the party than to never go, eh?

"If the Party could thrust its hand into the past and say this or that even, it never happened—that, surely, was more terrifying than mere torture and death."
- George Orwell, 1984

the story

The News Sentinel did better than normal. It actually sounds like news instead of the Robert Wilson Scandal Sheet: (link...)
Boxley is good: (link...)
Blount Today: Silent.

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

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