Marriage laws, Watson hearings are scheduled for next week

By BRIAN GRAVES

Posted 11/30/17

Two significant legal hearings have now been scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 13, at the Cleveland city courtroom, and both could potentially mark an end to the issues with which they are …

This item is available in full to subscribers

Marriage laws, Watson hearings are scheduled for next week

Posted

Two significant legal hearings have now been scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 13, at the Cleveland city courtroom, and both could potentially mark an end to the issues with which they are involved.

Special Judge Don Ash will preside over a hearing to determine if the motions made by Sheriff Eric Watson to dismiss charges against him made by the state concerning car titles will be sustained.

"New supplemental pleadings were filed by the state and we have a motion to dismiss those," said attorney James Logan who is serving as Watson's legal counsel. "We do not believe they are in compliance with the statute and the indictments are fallacious. We are hopeful they will be dismissed."

Logan said Ash has already delayed the hearing "a couple of times at the request of the state."

"We believe that hearing will commence sometime around 11 a.m.," Logan said.

The case immediately preceding that hearing will also bring an outside judge into Bradley County as well as a prominent Constitutional question.

Roane County Circuit Court Judge Mike Pemberton will preside over a hearing in that same Cleveland city courtroom concerning motions for summary judgment on the case which was filed by Pastor Guinn Green of the Kinser Church of God and Commissioner Howard Thompson in February 2016, contesting the state's marriage laws.

The two filed their case shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the legality of same-sex marriage.

"The case is against County Clerk Donna Simpson, but this does not mean they have anything against her," Logan said. "They are trying to have our marriage laws declared unconstitutional under the Tennessee Constitution."

Simpson has been required by law to issue same-sex marriage licenses since the nation's highest court made their decision. That is why she is being sued in her capacity as county clerk.

"This creates a lot of different issues and a lot of different problems," he said.

That hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m.

"We really appreciate the city fathers allowing us to use those facilities for these very important issues," Logan said. "They are not necessarily dispositive, but potentially dispositive in each case."

Comments

No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment

X

Print subscribers have FREE access to clevelandbanner.com by registering HERE

Non-subscribers have limited monthly access to local stories, but have options to subscribe to print, web or electronic editions by clicking HERE

We are sorry but you have reached the maximum number of free local stories for this month. If you have a website account here, please click HERE to log in for continued access.

If you are a print subscriber but do not have an account here, click HERE to create a website account to gain unlimited free access.

Non-subscribers may gain access by subscribing to any of our print or electronic subscriptions HERE