March 12, 2018 Addressing Williamson County Board of Commissioners
Alison's family was a healthy, strong family with a troubled teen. A teen who had been through two years of chronic illness, five major surgeries, and an intrusion into his life from a parent who gave him up for adoption.
All of these factors led to her son experimenting with drugs, fighting, acting out agressively, and becoming a major disciplinary problem at home and at high school.
The parents signed an unruly petition. They worked with local authorities. Their son was placed on probation and ultimately broke his probation again by being agressive at home. The parents did what they believed was the responsible parenting option: engage juvenile court to hold their son accountable. They believed that juvenile court would direct their son to respect his parents and would give them support in providing parenting direction.
Instead, the opposite was true. After Alison's son went in front of Judge Sharon Guffee, she placed him in "jail" for 14 days. The juvenile was appointed his own representation via a guardian ad litem (Michelle Lipford) who told him that he didn't have to go home because the state could make other arrangements for him. So, their son went in front of Judge Guffee and told her that he refused to go home. Within an instant, and without a hearing or investigation, or discussion with the parents, or consideration for rehabilitation and counseling, Judge Sharon E. Guffee placed the teenager with a foster home.
Judge Sharon Guffee took their young son away from the city of Franklin, TN, from the 17th wealthiest county in the USA, from a 10/10 rated High School, from his school honors program, from loving and caring parents, from a beautiful home in Franklin, TN, and ordered to him to his new life: He was placed in the city of LaVergne, TN (with a much lower rated quality of life and much higher crime rate), in another county where the school system was not even comparable with Franklin High School. His foster home proved to be trailer with multiple children. Their son was allowed access to drugs and roam the streets. Their son was also sexually assaulted and beaten by another foster child so badly that he was hospitalized. Alison was not notified for over 24 hours.
Alison lived in constant worry. After being put in the foster home, her son was essentially lost in the system. No one cared about the environment he was placed in. Instead, the system seemed to have a way to perpetuate itself requiring multiple court appearances, adding layers of government employees to the mix, and by turning the issue on BAD parents.
It took an appeal to another judge, in another court, before her son was returned home. Alison was thankful to Judge Deanna Bell Johnson, because that judge told her son, "had I spoken to my father the way you had spoken to yours, I wouldn't have had any teeth left in my head, and you have some nerve sitting in my courtroom with two state appointed and paid for attorneys against your good parents, who clearly love you and paid a fortune to get you back home."
The stress on Alison's family was too much. Allison and her husband separated; and ultimately divorced. She says the experience with Judge Guffee was utter destruction to her family.
It is clear from Alison's experience that Judge Sharon Guffee and Williamson County Juvenile court does not have the child's best interest in mind. Judge Guffee was quick to stick her son into foster care instead of rehabilitating the child.
Note: Attorney Connie Reguli was not the attorney on record on this juvenile court case in front of Judge Sharon Guffee.
Judge Sharon Guffee | Williamson County, TN - Official Sitehttps://www.williamsoncounty-tn.gov/1356/Judge-Sharon-GuffeeSharon Guffee has been a resident of Williamson County for almost thirty years. She received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of South Carolina. She received her Doctorate of Jurisprudence from Nashville School of Law in 1997. From 1997-2003 Judge Guffee was an Assistant District Attorney for