Judge Ron Murch recently met with Anderson County Veterans Affairs Officer Leon Jaquet and Tennessee Assistant Commissioner of Veterans Affairs Don Smith to discuss the implementation of a Veterans Court/Docket in the Anderson County General Sessions Court. Smith has been visiting judges in East Tennessee to discuss the commencement of veterans courts, a press release said.
The Veterans Court/Docket would operate within the framework of the existing Sessions Court and would identify veterans within the court system, the release said. It would coordinate services available to them through the VA that would assist with drug and alcohol problems, stress problems, and other needs such as housing, education, job training, medical services, or any other services or VA benefits available to them. The Veterans Court/Docket would involve mentors, who are also veterans, that would assist veteran defendants in getting to court and to any scheduled appointments for services, and working with the County Veterans Office to coordinate available benefits.
Murch and Judge Don Layton will be meeting Jaquet, Attorney General Dave Clark, and Drug Court Coordinator Winnie Gadd to set up and implement the Veterans Court/Docket, the press release said. They will also meet with Tennessee Rep. John Ragan, who is a member of the Veterans Task Force, to discuss other state resources that may be available to the court.
“One of the benefits of the Veterans Court/Docket is that it will provide helpful and needed resources and services to veterans before the court without any costs to the county,” the release said.
All veterans, whether involved with the court or not, are encouraged to contact Jaquet at his office in the Anderson County Courthouse in Clinton or by phone at (865) 463-6803 to determine if there are veterans benefits to which they may be entitled.