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Fifth Circuit Judge Anticipated for 22nd Judicial District

Updated: Sep 14, 2023

The law to have a fifth circuit judge in the 22nd Judicial District has been passed, but no appointment has been made.

Circuit Judge Caleb Bayless told the Pulaski Exchange Club recently at the end of August, two days before a new judge would have taken office, that Gov. Bill Lee has not not made an appointment.

“I was hoping when I came to talk with your that I would have something to report, but I don’t,” Bayless said.

The new judge would join judges Christopher Sockwell, Bayless, David Allen and Russell Parkes in the 22nd Judicial District.

The judges serve Giles, Maury, Lawrence and Wayne counties.

The 22nd, the 21st, which serves Williamson and 16th District, which includes Rutherford and Cannon counties, were judicial districts which received one judge each.

Population growth over the last several years happens to be increasing very fast in some counties in the three judicial districts.

Williamson, Rutherford and Maury counties among the fastest growing counties in the states.

Along with increasing population growth tends to come more activity in courts.

That could led to a need for more courtrooms.

Maury County has a much larger population than Giles County, though each county has three courtrooms in its courthouse, Bayless said.

Justification for adding the judges came from a study done by the Office of the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury, which showed an increasing case load in the 22nd Judicial District.

Circuit Judges in this district handle criminal, civil and chancery court cases.

Lee is expected to chose from attorney Lee Brooks, an assistant attorney general from the 17th Judicial District; Nicole Long, a Lawrenceburg attorney who has worked for 22nd District Attorney General Brent Cooper and Julie Heffington, a Columbia attorney.

Whoever is appointed will serve until August 2024, the next election at which judges can run for a full term.

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