Judge Reprimanded Over Custody Case

LEBANON, Tenn. (AP) -- A Middle Tennessee judge has been publicly reprimanded for her actions during a child custody case.

The Tennessee Court of the Judiciary released a letter of reprimand yesterday to 15th Circuit Court Judge Clara W. Byrd in Wilson County.

The letter says that Byrd failed to follow a Court of Appeals ruling to restore custody to a mother, requiring the woman to pay additional attorney's fees to go back to the court to implement the order.

In the August 2005 case, Byrd granted custody to the child's father, despite findings of abuse from the Department of Children's Service and a police investigation.

The state Court of Appeals reversed her ruling August 2006 and ordered the judge to restore custody to the mother.

But Byrd left the boy in his father's care and then held a hearing in September 2006.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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