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Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Audit Critical of Metro Nashville's Juvenile Court and Clerk's Office

The National Center for State Courts and Matrix Consulting Group released a report yesterday that was critical of Metro Nashville's Juvenile Court and Juvenile Court Clerk's Office. The biggest problems relate to missing or incomplete files, which can delay hearings.

Juvenile Court Clerk Vic Lineweaver says his efforts to address the problem have been hampered by budget cuts. For example, Lineweaver has requested a bar code system to help track court records, but that request has been denied. Lineweaver also says that some referees fail to return court files after hearings.

This appears to be another situation in which a little investment in our court system could save litigants a great deal of time and money.

For more information, see the following stories in the Tennessean:
Metro Juvenile Court's office in disarray, audit reports
Lost files, communication woes hinder Juvenile Court, audit says

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Expected Inheritance as Alimony

The Georgia Supreme Court has held that a husband's portion of the undistributed estate of his deceased parents can be distributed as alimony. The court drew a distinction between expected inheritance from a living parent and expected inheritance from an undistributed estate. Under Georgia law, the court may consider but not award expected inheritance from a living parent. A court may actually award part of an expected inheritance from the undistributed estate of a deceased parent. You can read the opinion here. For more on the Georgia Supreme Court opinion, see this post from the Family Law Prof Blog.

Under Tennessee law, inheritance is considered separate property, not part of the marital estate -- but a court can still award one spouse's inheritance to the other as part of an award of alimony in solido. Blummer v. Blummer, 1995 WL 414872 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 14, 1995).