close
close
Tennessee courts will seek to put records online

Tennessee courts will seek to put records online

Tennessee courts will seek to put records online

(The Center Square) – The Tennessee Advisory Commission on Rules of Practice and Procedure has decided to launch a committee to investigate rules for making court reports available online in the future.

Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Dwight Tarwater will chair the committee, which will include commission Chairman Gino Bulso, Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals Judge Tom Greenholtz, former Attorney General Andree Blumstein and attorney Tim Mickel.

Tarwater said Chief Justice Holly M. Kirby assigned him to investigate the issue after both the Court of Appeals and the Tennessee Supreme Court received requests for copies of briefs.

“The time has come for our records to be available online,” Tarwater said.

The rules should include editorial policies, responsibility for editorials and how to handle confidential information, Tarwater said.

The Court Administrator will determine how access will be provided and how long backlogged records will be available.

“It’s a more complicated issue than one might think,” Tarwater said.

The commission’s quarterly meeting was made available online after being forced open following a Preliminary Court Order of March 2023 in a lawsuit filed by The Center Square’s vice president of news and content, Dan McCaleb.

McCaleb is represented by the Liberty Justice Center.

The group also broadcast their live December and April meetings.

McCaleb filed a lawsuit invoking the First Amendment to open the meetings, where the committee is considering changes to court rules that it will recommend the Tennessee General Assembly approve.

Tennessee Court Administrator Director Michelle Long and the department have continued to fight the lawsuit through the Tennessee Attorney General’s office in an attempt to shut down the meetings.

The commission voted at its June meeting to push for the possibility of courts… Maintain alternate jurors even after deliberations begin in a criminal case, so that cases do not have to be delayed or declared mistrials if a juror becomes ill or is unable to continue after deliberations have begun in a case.

If a substitute jury is required, the deliberations will have to start again.

The commission is scheduled to meet again at 9 a.m. on Sept. 13, when it is expected to hear the proposal to put the submissions online.