Retired Judge Seth Norman dies at age 89
Norman established the Davidson County Drug Court in 1996, one of the first recovery courts in the country.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - Retired Davidson County Judge Seth Norman passed away recently, according to the Tennessee Administrative Office of the Courts. He was 89.
Norman served as criminal court judge from 1990 until his retirement in 2018. He is often considered the father of the state’s recovery court system.
Norman established the Davidson County Drug Court in 1996. It was one of the first recovery courts in the country. In 1998, the program started the first court-operated residential drug court in the United States. He also founded the 13th Judicial District Recovery Court in 2011 and the Morgan County Residential Recovery Court in 2013. Today, there are 82 recovery courts in Tennessee, including several specialized courts focused on veterans, juveniles and other special populations.
“I am so very sad to hear of the passing of my friend, Judge Seth Norman,” Criminal Court Judge Melissa Blackburn said in a social media message. “Thousands of lives have changed for the better because of his work in the recovery community. He was a trailblazer in restorative justice and his contributions will not be forgotten.”
I am so very sad to hear of the passing of my friend, Judge Seth Norman. Thousands of lives have changed for the better because of his work in the recovery community. He was a trailblazer in restorative justice and his contributions will not be forgotten. pic.twitter.com/f4LLZWFAUi— Melissa Blackburn (@JudgeBlackburn) September 25, 2023
Norman was a Nashville native and the fourth of five children of Jack and Carrie Norman. After attending John B. Ransom grade school Norman graduated from Duncan Preparatory School of Boys. Shortly after enrolling at Vanderbilt University, he left college to enlist in the United States Air Force. He served from 1953 to 1957, including in the Korean War and missions in Southeast Asia. He continued his service in the Tennessee Air National Guard until 1965.
Norman graduated from the Nashville School of Law and gained his law license in 1962. While in law school, he worked as a deputy clerk in the Davidson County General Sessions Court Clerk’s office.
Copyright 2023 WSMV. All rights reserved.