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Following controversy, Carter County judge changes course on public records

February 12th, 2013 12:39 pm by John Thompson, Johnson City Press

ELIZABETHTON — The public’s access to warrants and other papers for the Sessions Court appeared to be back to normal in Carter County on Monday, after three days of confusion and controversy over the policy to release public records. Calm was restored after Judge John Walton rescinded his Feb. 6 order that instructed the sheriff to route all the paperwork for his courts to his bench clerk and to no one else. The order resulted in a protest from attorney Don Spurrell that Walton was violating the Tennessee Opens Records Law.

The controversy was worked out late Friday through the efforts of Carter County Attorney Keith Bowers, who met with the judge and issued his own opinion on the judge’s order. As a result, Walton issued a new general order on Monday.

“This general order of the court rescinds and hereby vacates the order of the court dated Feb. 6, 2013,” Walton wrote in his newest order. The five paragraph order explained the judge’s intent in issuing the Feb. 6 order.

Read more at the Johnson City Press.

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