A Tennesee High Court annulled a previous ruling that would have required police to share their investigation into Naomi Judd’s death publicly.
Per Billboard, The state Supreme Court did not rule on whether the records can be released but instead sent the case back to the lower court for an additional hearing. Judd’s family filed a petition earlier this year in a Williamson County Chancery Court claiming that the police records contain video and audio interviews with relatives in the immediate aftermath of Judd’s death.
They said that releasing such details would cause “significant trauma and irreparable harm” to the family. The claim further argued that the police investigation files were covered by an exemption to the state’s public records law.
Williamson Country Chancellor Joseph A. Woodruff initially ruled against the Judd family back in August, denying their request for an injunction to keep the records private amid their legal case. Woodruff found that the records “do not appear to fall within any recognized exception to the Public Records Act.”
Additionally, Woodruff ruled that the specific records are classified as “public records,” including body camera footage taken inside Judd’s home, but the Tennessee Supreme Court took issue with that part of the chancellor’s order. The high court vacated Woodruff’s earlier ruling and sent the case back to the Chancery Court for a second hearing.
Judd died at age 76 in her Tennessee home on April 30. Her daughter, Ashely, has previously said that her mother died by suicide and the rest of her family alluded to it by saying she lost her battle with “the disease of mental illness.”
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