TBA Law Blog

Posted by: Stacey Shrader Joslin on Sep 9, 2016

The chair of the Judicial Ethics Committee says that conduct rules do not allow judges to retroactively sign orders without hearing evidence, and that such practices could violate a person’s right to be heard in court and could appear to be an impropriety. Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals Judge Alan Glenn issued the informal opinion in response to a request from Nashville General Sessions Judge Casey Moreland, who sought the guidance after news broke that General Sessions Judge Rachel Bell retroactively signed orders committing dozens of people to mental health institutions without hearing the cases herself. Glenn said he will not write a formal ethics opinion, which would require approval of the other judges on the committee, the Tennessean reports. He did not address the specific case involving Bell.