Rutherford County General Sessions Court, Part I Judge Ben Hall McFarlin announced his re-election bid.
“I love what I do, and I’m making a difference,” McFarlin said. “I get to deal with lots and lots of people every day. We routinely have 200-300 cases every day.”
First elected in 1998, McFarlin has consistently found solutions to increase the effectiveness and efficiencies of General Sessions Court. He was successful in developing the Domestic Violence Court and for reducing the backlog of children in foster care, awaiting adoption.
Nationally, every nine seconds, someone is a victim of domestic assault. In Tennessee, domestic violence accounts for $10 million a year in lost wages and $30 million a year in health care costs. Eighty-five percent of domestic violence victims are women. “When I saw those numbers, I couldn’t believe it,” McFarlin said. “I felt the community need, and I have a passion.”
When McFarlin first took office, his Court was responsible for juvenile cases. Children in foster care required termination of parental rights to enable adoption. Their cases were reviewed every six months by the Department of Children Services, but the Department lacked the resources to bring the cases to Court. McFarlin worked with DCS to contract attorneys to try the cases and set aside specific days to hear the cases.
“When the Juvenile Court was established in the midst of our efforts, I finished what I started, and over 50 children were adopted over 2 ½ years,” McFarlin said.
McFarlin is a member of the Special Kids Charter Board, the Blue Raider Athletic Association, and the Rutherford County and Tennessee Bar Associations. He is a member and past president of the Andrew Jackson Inn of Courts, part of the Inns of Court national association. McFarlin was the 2012 Tennessee General Sessions Judges Conference President. He is past chair of the United Way Board and Campaign, American Heart Association, Jerry Lewis MD Drive, Middle Tennessee Christian School, Stones River Manor and Mid-Cumberland Community Action Agency and past president of the Murfreesboro Kiwanis Club.
Prior to serving as General Sessions Judge, he practiced law in Murfreesboro for 25 years. McFarlin was the lead counsel for one of the defendants in the McGill murder trials and appeared before numerous criminal and civil juries.
McFarlin is a Murfreesboro native and graduate of Central High School, Middle Tennessee State University and the Tennessee School of Law. He is a retired U.S. Army Reserve Major, having spent 10 years in Military Intelligence, and a lifetime member of the Reserved Officers Association.
McFarlin and his wife of 44 years, Brenda, a retired teacher, are lifetime members of the North Boulevard Church of Christ. They have two children, Trey, a Murfreesboro attorney, and Elizabeth, a Brentwood pediatrician.