Appeals Court Says Fired Police Chief Larry Sneed Is Not Entitled To A Jury

Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Tennessee Court of Appeals has issued a ruling in favor of the city of Red Bank in a lawsuit filed by fired police chief Larry Sneed.

The ruling, unless overturned, would have the entire lawsuit tried without a jury.

 Mr. Sneed had filed suit in Chancery Court against Red Bank pursuant to the Tennessee Human Rights Act and the Tennessee Public Protection Act. He requested a jury trial on both claims. 

Red Bank filed a motion to transfer the case to Circuit Court and to proceed without a jury pursuant to the Tennessee Governmental Tort Liability Act.

Chancellor Jeff Atherton transferred the case and ordered the case to proceed without a jury on the Tennessee Public Protection Act claim. Relying on University of Tennessee of Chattanooga v. Farrow, Chancellor Atherton held that the Tennessee Governmental Tort Liability Act did not preclude a jury trial on the Tennessee Human Rights Act claim. Red Bank appealed.

The Court of Appeals said, "We reverse the decision of the trial court and hold that the Tennessee Governmental Tort Liability Act applies to claims brought against a municipality pursuant to the Tennessee Human Rights Act; therefore, that claim must also be tried without a jury."

Click here to read the opinion.

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