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It’s a court that does not swear in witnesses, considers hearsay without authenticating evidence and allows witnesses to holler their opinions from the audience.
There are no transcribed proceeding notes, and some files apparently have been destroyed.
In short, Division 14 of the Shelby County, Tennessee, General Sessions Court fails to follow the Tennessee Rules of Evidence or the Tennessee Rules of Civil Procedure.
Nevertheless, the court has assumed the authority to take homes from people who now are homeless, prompting a federal lawsuit.
“It is not an exaggeration to say that the Shelby County Environmental Court ruined Sarah Hohenberg’s life,” said the Institute for Justice, which is representing Hohenberg as well as Joseph Hanson.
Regarding Hohenberg, IJ said: “In 2009, a tree fell on her home causing significant damage. While she tried to get her insurance to pay for repairs to her home, Ms. Hohenberg’s neighbors sued her in the Environmental Court. The court’s multi-year proceedings left her without a home, without her possessions, bankrupt, and a fugitive from the law.”
The new case against the Democrat-run city and its court processes is in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee.