By Nathan Baker
A local judge’s controversial order that was challenged by attorneys questioning its legality last week was rescinded Monday to give the judge and the Circuit Court Clerk’s office more time to smooth out the procedures of handling important court documents.
The order by Carter County General Sessions Court Judge John W. Walton, filed shortly after noon, negates the order filed Wednesday of last week decreeing that “the Carter County Sheriff’s Department shall release any paperwork pertaining to Carter County General Sessions Court and Carter County Juvenile Court to Lori Pierce and no other individual.”
In the new order, Walton said he enacted the previous action because a new policy in Circuit Court Clerk John Paul Mathes’ Office temporarily kept Pierce, a bench clerk, from accessing necessary court information in a timely fashion.
“Said order was intended to ensure the constitutional rights of all defendants before the court were protected,” Walton wrote. “The previous general order of the court was intended to be applicable to the initial return of all documents to ensure every defendant would be placed on the next available docket. This would allow their initial hearing to be conducted as soon as possible, and to provide the individual defendant with the quickest access to an impartial, just, fair and speedy hearing, and to provide more accountability in the process.”
Walton could not be reached by multiple calls to his office Monday.