Judge’s law license suspended; legislator says no impeachment plans ‘at this time’

State Rep. Gary Hicks, R-Rogersville, tells the Kingsport Times News he has no plans “at this time” to launch impeachment proceedings against Hawkins County Juvenile Court Judge Daniel Boyd, whose license to practice law has been suspended because of acknowledged “dishonesty.”

The Tennessee Board of Professional Responsibility, which enforces ethics rules applying to attorneys, says Boyd agreed earlier to a 120-day suspension of his license, followed by three years of probation. The suspension is expected take effect soon, subject to final approval of the state Supreme Court, the newspaper said.

Boyd admitted telling an elderly woman client, who suffers from dementia, and her children that he had filed a lawsuit on her behalf when he had not – and did not until the statute of limitations expired after five years and it was too late. The lawsuit involved a dispute over the will of the woman’s deceased husband.

Boyd also allegedly lied about court dates being rescheduled; he falsely blamed delays on the step-sons for retaining an attorney, and he falsely stated that two of three stepsons had “signed the house over to her” and that the signed paperwork was on Chancellor Doug Jenkins’ desk for him to sign.

Boyd told the county commission’s budget committee in May that his caseload had reached the level where he now works every day to some extent on Juvenile Court issues, despite the fact that the position is paid for only two days per week.

Boyd’s defense in the TBPR complaint was that his time was consumed by his juvenile judge duties, resulting in his private practice being neglected.

Hawkins County General Sessions Judge J. Todd Ross has offered to take over Boyd’s Juvenile Court docket while the suspension is in effect. Boyd cannot serve as a judge while his license is suspended. A separate body, the Tennessee Board of Judicial Conduct, oversees discipline of judges and has not taken any action against Boyd yet. The county commission has the option of appointing an interim judge, probably to be considered at a Jan. 22 meeting.

TBJC has no power to remove an elected judge. The only body with that authority is the Tennessee General Assembly through the impeachment process. The worst penalty that the TBJC can impose is a public sanction, although it can recommend that the General Assembly take further action, such as impeachment.

“After considering the facts of the case and listening to input from constituents, I have no plans to seek or request further penalties or sanctions against Judge Daniel Boyd at this time,” Hicks told the Times News Friday. “I have complete faith that the Board of Judicial Conduct and the Court of Judiciary, the governing bodies which act on complaints against judges, will impose the proper course of disciplinary action against Judge Boyd.”

2 Responses to Judge’s law license suspended; legislator says no impeachment plans ‘at this time’

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


Posts and Opinions about Tennessee politics, government, and legislative news.