TBA Law Blog

Posted by: Brittany Sims on Dec 3, 2014

The Tennessee Supreme Court has determined that Tennessee Human Rights Act claims against local governmental entities are not governed by the Governmental Tort Liability Act (GTLA) and claims filed in Chancery Court include a statutory right to trial by jury. The ruling pertains to the 2010 case of Larry Sneed, who was fired from his job as chief of police for the City of Red Bank. Sneed filed suit against the city in the Chancery Court for Hamilton County, alleging numerous claims, including a Rights Act claim against the city and a claim under the Tennessee Public Protection Act. Prior to trial, Red Bank filed a motion to transfer the case from Chancery Court to Circuit Court, alleging that the GTLA applied, which requires claims to be filed in Circuit Court and tried without a jury. The Supreme Court reversed the Court of Appeals decision and held that the GTLA does not control Rights Act claims because the Rights Act is an independent and specific statute, which itself removes governmental immunity and authorizes claims against governmental entities. Visit the AOC website for more.