Pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated §, this rule is promulgated to ensure that proceedings governing petitions for waiver of parental consent for abortions by minors are conducted in an expeditious and anonymous manner.
Proceedings under this Rule shall be given such precedence over other pending matters to enable the court to render a decision within the time requirements established below.
The proceeding shall be commenced by filing a petition in the Juvenile Court of any county of this state.
The form of the petition shall be prepared and filed in substantial conformity with the form set forth in the appendix to this Rule. Provided, that the court should not decline to decide a case brought under Tenn. Code Ann. §and this Rule because of any pleading omissions or other technical defects, but should favor the disposition of the case on the merits by liberally construing the pleadings.
No filing fees or court costs shall be required of the applicant.
Proceedings in the juvenile court and the circuit court shall be recorded by a court reporter, who shall maintain the anonymity of the petitioner and the confidentiality of the proceedings and the record. The expenses of reporting and transcribing the proceeding shall be paid by the state.
A judgment or decision by the juvenile court, the circuit court, or the Supreme Court granting or denying the petition is effective immediately upon the filing thereof. The clerk of the court in which the petition is pending shall notify the applicant by delivering to her counsel a certified copy of the order. Upon entry by any court of an order granting the petition, counsel for the petitioner shall deliver a certified copy of the order to the person who will perform or induce the abortion. The order shall become a part of the applicant's medical records. There shall be no appeal from a judgment granting the petition.
APPENDIX TO RULE 24
IN THE _______ COURT OF ______ COUNTY, TENNESSEE
IN RE: (Initials of Applicant)
) A minor ) No. _____________________ ) )
PETITION FOR JUDICIAL AUTHORIZATION OF AN ABORTION WITHOUT PARENTAL CONSENT
Comes now the applicant, _______, a minor, who respectfully states:
WHEREFORE, applicant prays this Honorable Court to enter an Order authorizing a physician to perform an abortion upon applicant without first obtaining parental consent.
(Signature of Counsel)
I verify that the statements made in this petition are true and correct to the best of my personal knowledge or information and belief. I understand that any false statements made herein are subject to the penalties of Tenn. Code Ann. §relating to perjury.
Tenn. R. Sup. Ct. 24
Advisory Commission Comment .
This new rule is in response to the Tennessee legislature's request that the Supreme Court promulgate rules to "ensure that proceedings under . [the waiver of parental consent to abortion statute, T.C.A. §§-307] are handled in an expeditious and anonymous manner ."T.C.A. § . Underlying this rule is the fact that a decision on a request to waive parental permission for an abortion must be decided quickly or the issue becomes moot simply because of the passage of time.
The proposed Rule 24 assumes that the process involves three courts: The juvenile court, circuit court, and Supreme Court. The initial petition for waiver of parental consent is filed in the juvenile court, T.C.A. §, which must rule within forty-eight hours of the application unless the time is extended by the minor. T.C.A. § . A minor whose petition is denied by the juvenile court may take a de novo appeal to the circuit court. T.C.A. § . Strict time limitations apply. Notice of appeal is filed within twenty-four hours of the juvenile court's decision. The juvenile court record must be received in the circuit court and the appeal docketed within five days of the filing of the notice of appeal. The appeal is to be heard and a decision rendered by the circuit court within five days of the day the case was docketed in the circuit court. Thus, the circuit court should render a decision no more than eleven days after the decision in the juvenile court.
The proposed Rule 24 adopts the dual principles of an expedited appeal with strict time limitations. Subsection (1) requires the minor appealing from a decision of the circuit court to file a notice of appeal with both the circuit court and the Supreme Court within forty-eight hours after the decision of the circuit court. Of course notice could be filed more quickly. Notice to both courts is designed to advise the circuit court clerk that a record will have to be prepared and should assist the Supreme Court in docketing the case.
Subsection (2) requires the minor's representative to prepare and file the record in the circuit court within three calendar days of the adverse decision. The circuit court clerk must transmit the record to the Supreme Court in three calendar days.
Subsection (3) requires the minor's representative to file a brief in the Supreme Court within three calendar days after the record is filed in the circuit court.
The Supreme Court is to conduct a hearing, unless waived, within three days after the brief and record are filed, subsection (4), and shall render its decision within three days after the hearings, subsection (6).
Upon application the Supreme Court may order the statutory time periods shortened in any given case. These procedures should enable the minor to have a full and fair opportunity to resolve the issue of whether a court should grant a waiver of parental consent to an abortion.