Forest Hills created its own court and even appointed a judge more than a year ago in hopes of enforcing the satellite city’s ordinances.
But Chancellor Claudia Bonnyman ruled Friday morning in Davidson County Chancery Court that the proposed Forest Hills’ court system was illegal.
Metro sued the city of Forest Hills in August, claiming that the Metro Charter prohibits “small cities” within Metro to hold court unless one existed prior to the charter’s authorization in 1963.
Forest Hills maintains that the Tennessee state legislature has authorized the city to hold court through the Municipal Court Reform Act, a measure passed in 2004 and amended in 2009 that allows all municipalities to hold court.
Bonnyman ruled in Metro’s favor on a motion for summary judgment, effectively deeming Forest Hills’ court obsolete.
Forest Hills attorney Matt Foster said the city appointed a judge in 2011 but hasn’t held court yet.
Foster told The City Paper that the city’s commissioners haven’t discussed an appeal, but he expects they will be in favor of taking the case to the state Court of Appeals.
The Metro Legal Department didn’t immediately return calls for comment Friday.