The Tennessee Court of Appeals denied recently a request from embattled Juvenile Court Clerk Vic Lineweaver to have civil contempt of court charges overturned.
Justice Holly M. Kirby delivered the opinion, which affirms the trial court’s ruling that Lineweaver “willfully disobeyed the referee’s lawful order” by failing to produced court records for juvenile court referees.
The contempt charge stems from a well-documented public battle in 2007 between Lineweaver and Davidson County juvenile court referees.
Lineweaver, at a series of hearings held in August 2007, failed to produce requested records or provide credible testimony as to why the records were not provided. Referees wanted answers as to why files from the March and April dockets had not been provided five months later.
Lineweaver was arrested, handcuffed and taken to jail on contempt charges after he failed to produce the records deemed critical to the functioning of the juvenile court system.
Within a few hours of his arrest, the missing files were provided to juvenile court referees.
“The fact that the juvenile court referees found it necessary to order Lineweaver to produce files necessary for them to conduct the court’s important work is disturbing in and of itself. His willful disobedience of that order is deeply troubling,” Kirby wrote in the opinion.
Lineweaver, who is up for re-election in May, has been the target of several investigative reports. One, by WTVF-Channel 5 investigative reporter Phil Williams, showed the juvenile court clerk at home in his bathrobe during work hours.
He also came under scrutiny during Metro budget hearings, when he requested a car for his department but could offer no justification for his request.
To read more stories about Lineweaver, follow this link.