Monday, January 7 2013 3:04 PM EST2013-01-07 20:04:51 GMT
A coalition of media organizations is suing the Tennessee Department of Children's Services, alleging the agency is violating the law by not providing details about 31 children it had investigated that died...More >>
A coalition of media organizations, including WSMV-TV, is suing the Tennessee Department of Children's Services, alleging the agency is violating the law by not providing details about 31 children it had investigated that died during the first six months of this year.More >>
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV-AP) -
A Nashville judge heard arguments Tuesday regarding whether the state Department of Children's Services must release the case files of children who died or were hurt while in the state agency's care.
Several media outlets from across Tennessee, including WSMV-TV, argued DCS is violating the Open Records law by not releasing the files.
In court on Tuesday, media attorney Robb Harvey argued that state law requires the agency to disclose its files in cases where children have died or nearly died.
"The public has a strong interest in knowing what is happening," Harvey said.
The Tennessean originally requested the records in September for the 31 children who died in the first half of 2012 and the 206 children who nearly died in abusive homes since 2009.
In court, Deputy Attorney General Janet Kleinfelter, who is representing DCS, argued that the privacy of the children and their families overrides any public right to the records.
"There is a provision in the Public Records Act itself that these are not public records," Kleinfelter said.
Harvey countered that seeing the records was the only way to know whether DCS is doing its job of protecting vulnerable children.
Instead of providing the records, DCS has given spreadsheets with limited information about the cases and no information about any involvement by DCS.
"We need to bring Tennessee in conformity with other states for which the records have been provided for years," Harvey said.
Judge Carol McCoy said she would review the records and rule later, but a future court date has not been set.
Copyright 2013 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Friday, May 24 2013 7:48 PM EDT2013-05-24 23:48:47 GMT
One person was killed in a car wreck on I-24 this morning in Rutherford County. The wreck occurred near mile marker 86 in the eastbound lanes, which is partially blocked according to the Tennessee DepartmentMore >>
One person was killed in a car wreck on I-24 this morning in Rutherford County.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 2:09 PM EDT2013-05-24 18:09:40 GMT
A Nashville couple was killed Thursday in a car wreck on Interstate 65 in Kentucky. The crash happened at mile marker 98 near Elizabethtown around 4 p.m. Police said Claire R. Kahane, 75, was drivingMore >>
Emergency responders in central Kentucky had cleared the scene of a crash that killed a Nashville woman when they found the body of her husband nearly 1,000 feet away.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 6:39 PM EDT2013-05-24 22:39:20 GMT
David Michael Matson
A National Weather Service employee who police said beat a puppy to death and killed another five or six dogs pleaded not guilty Friday to aggravated animal cruelty.Police said last November that DavidMore >>
A man who police said beat a puppy to death and killed another five or six animals pleaded not guilty Friday to aggravated animal cruelty.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 2:54 PM EDT2013-05-24 18:54:46 GMT
A driver that police said caused a crash that injured two high school cheerleaders is now facing charges. Roni Proctor, 26, of Cumberland Furnace, TN, has been charged with driving under the influenceMore >>
A driver that police said caused a crash that injured two high school cheerleaders is now facing charges.More >>
Dan Sligh and his wife were in their pickup truck on Interstate 5 heading to a camping trip when a bridge before them disappeared in a "big puff of dust."More >>
The trucker was hauling a load of drilling equipment when his load bumped against the steel framework over an Interstate 5 bridge. He looked in his rearview mirror and watched in horror as the span collapsed into the water...More >>