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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  • by Elephant Location: Lebanon, TN on Oct 30, 2010 at 12:18 AM
    Wow! I wish I had read this before I walked into her courtroom. I was extremely disappointed in her ruling on my case. I asked for help with Child Support and got 200 a month....the ncp has made over 80K the last two years and quit his job (he says let go - I couldn't prove he was lying). Even though my income level and his has been far above the TN average income, she used the min wage rule rather than the TN av. I could have received more support from the Families First program. In the end, I choose to marry/divorce the person that does not want to take care of his child financially, so I guess it ends up back in my lap and not hers. After reading the comments I will say this....she did not treat me with any disrespect and did listen to both parties. And I didnt observe her as disrespectful to any other case that came before her. I did not see her "use her power" as is listed below. But I am extremely disappointed today.
  • by Billy Location: Lebenon on Aug 6, 2010 at 07:41 PM
    She is totally incompetent and loves to portray herself as a "good 'ole country girl". What a joke. Most all Judges in Wilson County and the surrounding counties think she is nothing short of a fool. She tries to put on her obvious fake smile and go to all of our political functions and "plays the Judge part" but has no idea no one in this county respects her at all. She is totally disrespectful to people who come before her and then wonders why no one has any respect for her. She is basically a very insecure woman who derives pleasure by demeaning those who come in front of her or who make her feel insecure when they are smarter than she is. Most of the lawyers who come before her are much smarter than she is and it is oI sat in her court room for several days and watched her and she is just a pathetic example of a member of our judiciary. She is truly a joke but the problem is she uses her power to show people she is the boss. The true sign of a very, very insecure woman. Really sad.
  • by B Location: TN on May 6, 2010 at 12:45 AM
    This judge has no respect for good parent's or lawyer's.She makes up her own rules.In the state of Tn there are no grandparent right's but she would rather let a grandmother see the child more than the mother even though she gave her own kid's away.This judge need's out of office.
  • by Ms. H on Apr 12, 2010 at 02:00 PM
    I too have had the "pleasure" of having Clara Byrd reside over my case. I have had very similar problems and outcomes. I went to court assuming that at the very least I would be heard and allowed to show proof but was disabused of that idea right away. I was not only not heard but I was treated disrespectfully. Every person that is taking the time and money and emotional trauma to go to court deserves, at the very least, to be heard and to be treated with respect. I can handle not agreeing with how the law is interpeted I can not handle the law being thrown out the window and ignored. She needs to be disbarred.
  • by Mr. Location: Tenn on Apr 8, 2010 at 07:58 PM
    This so called judge is the most bias judge that I have ever witness. She allowed my ex-wife to the leave the state with our daughter before the custody battle had even started. I do not know how this person can continue to get away with this. I pray that she is removed from her position in some type of way.
  • by misty jenkins Location: lebanon,tn on Jan 28, 2010 at 07:17 PM
    This judge is very unfair and no she doesnt deserve the title judge she is a disgrace. i went before her in 2009 for final divorce and child custody. she ruled completely without my childrens best welfare in interest i had 2 get on my feet after leaving a bad situation with my ex husband and of course i took my children out of that but it got held against me and i work 2nd shift but i was doing what i could to care for my girls and my ex husband totally manipulated the situation and she didnt even listen to my side!! my girls i want her 2 know since being in his custody are 4 out of 5 days left with the babysitter til 10 or 11 at nite tehy are 10 and 8 and have already been caught smoking cigarettes while in his care and my youngest has had her arm broken. Clara Byrd is not fit to be a custody judge by no means. i am a fit mother and she just took my children away from me for no reason!!!
  • by robert on Nov 16, 2009 at 10:47 PM
    ive had an ongoing case with her for 8 years i have a 8 yr old daughter that i have never seen .she want let me see her.i have spent 15000 over the past 8 yrs for lawyers and still havent seen my daughter.i think it is unbeleivable that she gets away with what she gets away with .i havent even signed the birth certificate.everytime i say something she acts like she dont hear me .i think something needs to be done but iam sure it want i live in a town that alot of money gets pushed under alot of tables and in alot of pockets.this county needs a positive change and i dont ever see that happening until someone stands up to people like her.
  • by Mr B Location: lebanon on Nov 6, 2009 at 11:26 AM
    I just left the court house.My ex-wife filed for divorce after she kicked me out six years ago. I just settled in with a new family, after she found out she filed for divorce asking for 100.00 per week alimony and she made sure it went before Byrd. Bryd never allowed me to speak and threatened me that if I said one word it would be 500.00 per week.I will appeal and if you notice I did not say judge before her name because she is a disgrace to our judicial system.
  • by mixer1 Location: tenn on May 5, 2009 at 01:09 PM
    All the people that have had bias rulings in front of this judge should file a complaint against her. There is power in a group and if she is left alone the children are the ones that suffer. We, the parents, have to protect them.
  • by Concerned Citizen Location: Macon County, TN on Mar 24, 2008 at 01:15 AM
    She is dangerious. I have not had a personal case myself in her court. But I pitty anyone who does I have witnessed many cases thru her courtroom and she does not follow the law. It is just who gets to her first. or who knows what she goes by to make her judgements. She has no business acting as counselor for children. The comments I read posted on Feb 25,2008, is very true, I would have guessed the judge by the descriptipn you gave, it was a perfect description. I have a friend who is about to file for divorce and wants her for their judge because they know they are in the wrong and think they will have a better chance getting what they want with her since she does not go by the law.
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