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Judge who ordered baby's name changed faces charges

Jan. 6, 2014 at 2:37 PM

KNOXVILLE, Tenn., Jan. 6 (UPI) -- A Tennessee judge who ordered two parents to change their child's first name from "Messiah" is up against a deadline to explain her actions.

Tennessee Child Support Magistrate Lu Ann Ballew was presiding over a court case in October between two parents, both of whom sought to have their surnames listed alone on the child's birth certificate. But the last names aren't what wound up making headlines -- that happened when Ballew ordered the couple to change the child's agreed upon first name, Messiah.

The parents objected to Ballew's claim the term "Messiah" is reserved for referencing Jesus Christ and an appeals court agreed, WBIR-TV, Knoxville, reported Monday.

The Tennessee Judicial Board of Conduct reviewed the case and has charged Ballew with not promoting confidence in the judiciary or upholding the law without bias or partiality through her actions.

She must respond to the charges in writing this week. Once she does, she will face a hearing within 60 days.

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