The Trial Court Vacancy Commission will consider eight applicants when it meets August 24, 2017, in Dandridge to select nominees for the Circuit Court vacancy in the 4th Judicial District – Cocke, Grainger, Jefferson, and Sevier Counties.

The vacancy was created by Judge Ben W. Hooper II who announced that he is retiring effective August 31, 2017.

The applicants are:

Jeremy Dane Ball – Dandridge

Keith E. Haas – Sevierville

James R. Hickman, Jr. – Sevierville

Charles Scott Justice – Jefferson City

Carter Scott Moore – Cosby

Melissa Moore – Sevierville

Barry H. Valentine – Sevierville

Nella Robin Vargas – Blaine


The Trial Court Vacancy Commission will interview the applicants on Thursday, August 24, 2017, at the Jefferson County Justice Center, 767 Justice Center Drive, Dandridge, TN 37725. The meeting will include a public hearing starting at 9:00 a.m. EDT, during which anyone may express their opinions in opposition to the applicants. The public hearing followed by the interviews will be open to the public.

The Commission is expected to vote immediately following the interviews and forward three names to Gov. Bill Haslam for his consideration. 

Completed applications of all the candidates can be found on