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Judge dismisses cases to take care of personal business

Nashville, TN (WSMV) -- Almost 20 people ready to face a judge had their cases dismissed last week without a word of evidence.

Now, they're hearing that instead of their charges being dropped, they will have to return to court.

Judge Lynda Jones was on the bench last Friday. She had some personal business outside the courtroom that afternoon, so when 1 p.m. rolled around, she dismissed the cases of 19 people charged with everything from assault, drugs and theft.

District Attorney General Glenn Funk's prosecutors were in the process of working those cases.

\"These cases should normally go in the next few minutes,\" Funk said. \"We would have been handing out court cases to these people. One-hundred and ninety-five people were on the docket that day.\"

That means about 10 percent of the cases were dismissed that day.

Through a publicist, Jones said she handled 300 cases that day, not 195. She added that the cases were continued, not dismissed.

Funk said she admitted the mistake to him in a phone call Friday afternoon.

\"She had not been aware of these other charges and she said she had intended to continue any cases other than the driver's license cases,\" Funk said.

\"I understand that if a judge says it's dismissed, that the case is dismissed, but we are going to review all these cases,\" Funk added.

Funk said despite Jones dismissing the charges against 19 people, his office will review each case and do what it takes to make sure they answer to the charges.

\"I think it was a mistake, but it's a mistake we can easily correct,\" Funk said.

The publicist working for Jones said letters will go out to all the people who thought their charges had been dismissed telling them to be in court ready to answer those charges within the next couple months.

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