LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Garland County Circuit Judge Wade Naramore is fighting to have his name removed from the child maltreatment registry (we first brought you this story back in 2017 when the judge was allowed to return to the bench).
His proceedings have started inside the Arkansas Court of Appeals Wednesday.
Being on the registry could negatively affect a person's employment, professional licensing, and in some cases, custody and visitation rights.
This child maltreatment central registry is maintained by the Arkansas Department of Human Services; it includes all individuals against whom a true finding of abuse or neglect has been made - which is what happened in Naramore's case.
Judge Naramore's 18 month old son Thomas died after the judge left him inside a hot car. He was charged with negligent homicide, but a jury found him not guilty in August 2016.
Since that time, naramore resumed his duties as a circuit judge, although he is not allowed to hear dependency and neglect cases.
Wednesday, his attorney asked a 3 judge panel to overturn previous proceedings placing him on that registry - arguing a traumatic accident should not qualify him for that list.
Erin Cassinelli is Naramore's attorney. She said, "The plain language of the statute neglect has a meaning. Maltreatment has a meaning, and they don't mean accident or something that could happen to anyone.
Jarald Sharum, the attorney for DHS countered saying, "The parent forgot the child was in the car. The child died as a result of the parent's actions...While its a tragedy and awful, the CMA provides consequences for the parents actions whether or not the parent intended to forget the child or not."
If this appeal is unsuccessful, Naramore's attorneys have a couple more options they can pursue in an effort to remove his name.
If judge Maramore ultimately loses his appeal, it's not clear how it may affect his position as a circuit judge if at all.
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