Supreme Court chief thanks legislators for authorizing three new judges

Press release from the Administrative Office of the Courts

Nashville, Tenn. ­– The Tennessee General Assembly passed legislation this session funding three new judge positions in Tennessee. The new positions will be in the state’s 19th Judicial District, which serves Montgomery and Robertson counties; the 16th Judicial District, which includes Rutherford and Cannon counties; and the 21st Judicial District, which includes Hickman, Lewis, Perry, and Williamson counties.

“This investment in the judicial branch is critical to the fair and efficient administration of justice in the state. I want to express our sincere appreciation to the Tennessee General Assembly for their recognition and their willingness to fund these new positions that were much needed in these areas of the state,” said Chief Justice Jeff Bivins of the Tennessee Supreme Court.

Each year, the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury issues the Tennessee Judicial Weighted Caseload Study. The FY 2017 study showed a net deficit of 9.76 judges across the state. The three judicial districts receiving new judge positions this year have shown a deficit since 2013 and are the three districts showing the greatest need in our state.

“The addition of these three new positions will allow the judicial system to address the growing demands we are seeing across our state,” said Director Deborah Taylor Tate of the Administrative Office of the Courts. “A major factor in these increased demands is the impact the ongoing opioid crisis has upon every single court in the state, from criminal courts to juvenile and chancery courts handling the secondary affects like child abuse and neglect, bankruptcies, and other issues. We are grateful to the Legislature for recognizing the need and passing the legislation.”

The legislation is effective September 1, 2018 and the new judges will be appointed by the governor to serve until September 1, 2020. Elections for the new positions will be held in the August 2020 general election.

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